Some children who have had severe breathing problems and who have been in intensive care remain dependent on technology, such as a breathing machine, to keep them alive. However, medical advances mean that these children could get well enough to go home.
We know that being at home is better for a child's development. It is the aim of the children's long-term ventilation (LTV) service to coordinate a child’s discharge from hospital and to provide a safe transition to home as soon as possible.
We work throughout the region providing local centres (including premature baby units and children's hospices), professionals and families with clinical support, education and training during the journey from hospital to home.
About the team
The children's long-term ventilation (LTV) service at Royal Brompton Hospital is a multidisciplinary team with expertise in:
- paediatric intensive care
- advanced respiratory and ventilatory management
- complex discharge planning
The LTV team is made up of:
- clinical nurse specialists
- occupational therapists
They work throughout London and the South East region with a network of:
- neonatal and paediatric intensive care units
- high dependency units
- paediatric wards
- local hospitals
- children's centres
How the service works
The long-term ventilation (LTV) team has developed an award-winning web-based clinical pathway to provide communication across different hospitals and between hospital and community professionals. The aim is to ensure continuity during the discharge process and ensure all actions are appropriately allocated and followed up. The pathway provides a structured discharge process and allows secure communication between hospital and community professionals.
Each patient is tracked throughout the discharge process and intelligent workflow processing allows real-time delays to be identified and immediate action taken.
The pathway ensures uniformity, reduces administrative burden and can be used for every patient.
"From hospital to home"
In this short film, parents of children who have used or are using the long-term ventilation service talk about their experiences, including:
- what the early months of using the service were like
- how the service has helped them
- recommendations for families going through similar experiences
Another family, Ruth, Ronald, Roya and Junior have also benefitted from the children's long-term ventilation service when Junior was born prematurely and needed help to breathe normally. Read about Ruth's experience of the service.
Education and training
It is essential both parents and professionals have access to high-quality and up-to-date education to ensure the safe transition of children with long-term ventilation needs from hospital to home. Royal Brompton's LTV team provides education and practical simulated training to parents and professionals caring for LTV children.
Our mission is to share our specialist expertise and help to make care in the community as safe as possible. This education programme is designed to improve the knowledge and confidence of professionals and parents caring for children on long-term ventilation, particularly in understanding:
- the reasons for ventilation
- assessing degrees of ventilator dependency
- troubleshooting clinical or equipment problems
- managing emergency scenarios
There are three levels of training suitable for the following groups:
- Parents and non-qualified carers
- Qualified staff working in a local hospital or hospice
- Qualified staff with pre-existing knowledge of and experience with LTV children