shutterstock_118577374_webThe Care Quality Commission has today released the results of their first national children’s survey. Almost 19,000 children and young people who stayed in hospital overnight or were seen as a day patient took part. It represents the experiences of children and young people who received inpatient or day case care in 137 acute NHS trusts in 2014. The full press release can be found here:

Amongst other findings, the results show:

  • Less than half of parents and carers of children with a physical disability, mental health needs or a learning disability felt that staff definitely knew how to care for their child’s individual needs. This compares to 72% of parents and carers of children without these conditions.
  • 45% of parents and carers of children with physical disabilities and 49% of parents and carers of children with mental health conditions or learning disabilities thought staff were aware of their child’s medical history before caring for them or treating them, compared with 59% for parents or carers of children without these conditions

Jolanta Lasota, CEO at Ambitious about Autism explains this highlights the need for better education for staff:

“A hospital experience is traumatic for any child but it is even more so for those with special needs. A good understanding of the nature of learning disabilities such as autism is vital in knowing how to treat someone on the autism spectrum. Factors that might not be taken into consideration for others, such as sensitivity to physical contact, bright lights and loud noise, can all be extra factors that make a hospital experience more traumatic for those with autism.

“Parents and carers know their child better than anyone else so it is disappointing to see they don’t feel the understanding is there from those who look after their children. This is representative of a wider need for more understanding of the needs of those with special needs. Educating staff is the first step in solving this issue and we urge government to address this problem.”