Spotlight QI: NHS England National Paediatric Accelerator Programme

In partnership with the Children's Hospital Alliance and 10 participating NHS Trusts, a National Paediatric Accelerator Programme was established in 2021 to support COVID recovery.

By meganpeng · May 17, 2022

In April 2021, the National Lead for the NHS England Children and Young People’s Transformation Programme secured additional funding alongside an Integrated Care Systems-level Accelerator Fund announced for COVID recovery of adult services.

In partnership with the Children’s Hospital Alliance and 10 participating NHS Trusts, a National Paediatric Accelerator Programme was established. The objectives of the programme were:

  1. Delivery of national elective recovery target.
  2. Transforming care longer term through innovation with a commitment to deliver long-lasting change at scale and rolling out existing cutting-edge innovation.
  3. Reduce variation of care and tackling inequalities, both across the national footprint and Integrated Care Systems.
  4. Embedding best practice and shared learning.
  5. Establish clear governance and accountability structures.

Super Saturdays

One work stream developed from the accelerator programme was the #NHSSuperSaturday collaboration. Two ‘Super Saturdays’ trialled innovative approaches and delivered over 2,000 additional hospital procedures in 2021, including the use of virtual technology in theatres for minor procedures at Leeds; a Health Bus reaching deprived populations in Sheffield; and theatre and pharmacy tours by teams at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Hundreds of extra patients were seen by teams at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital for their Super Saturday event. Watch a video below with details of the event created to overcome the backlog of hospital admissions brought on by the pandemic:

Super Saturdays were also held at Leeds Children’s Hospital and Sheffield Children’s Hospital in October 2021. The patient journey for one family attending Super Saturday at Sheffield Children’s Hospital was shared in Matilda’s story, with more staff and family experiences highlighted in the video below:

Next steps

The work of the Programme will continue in 2022-23 and focus on:

  1. Transformation for elective recovery
  2. Innovation
  3. Heath inequalities
  4. Insight and metrics
  5. Advocacy
  6. Communication

Key learning from the programme so far include the importance of  shared working, recognising that not all Trusts move at the same pace and transparency can a great strength with improvement supported by benchmarking, and the impact of senior and operational leadership to drive success with a need for more clinical voice in the future.

Find out more about the wider NHS England ‘accelerator sites’ initiative here.