One of Europe’s largest children’s hospitals has developed an electronic survey system to involve children in their care plans and allow them to rate their experiences.

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has developed the National Paediatric Toolkit (NPT) along with its commercial partners, Priority Research, Panasonic and BT Health.

The trust started working with Priority Research several years ago to develop patient feedback and engagement using paper surveys.

It pushed forward with the initiative after Lord Darzi outlined plans for the routine collection of Patient Recorded Outcome Measures (PROMS) in the NHS Next Stage Review last year.

Valda Smits, managing director of Priority Research, told E-Health Insider that Alder Hey wanted the survey to be as inclusive as possible and to provide it with enough real-time data to make immediate changes to services.

She said: “The trust wanted to be able to carry out the survey on individual wards and across a diverse range of people. The toolkit can record real-time data and integrate with other systems.

“We can create bespoke NPTs for customers and develop and produce individual PROMS for individual areas or trusts.”

The toolkit provides a computer-based survey that uses animated characters, such as Fabio the Frog, to guide patients who may have difficulty completing a paper questionnaire, including those with an injury or disability.

Smits added: “We designed Fabio the Frog because the children told us that they were fed up of people using smiley or sad faces as an animation.

“When we first piloted the frog, the children told us that they liked it but they wanted it to be naughty. So we redeveloped it to pick its nose and pass wind. To date, not one child has refused to do the survey.”

The survey can be set up on a number of templates with almost 2,000 question options available. Patients can use a touch screen device or mouse to choose their answer in one of eleven different languages.

Dr Steve Ryan, Alder Hey’s medical director, said: “We know that the NPT is a unique innovation for involving young patients in their care plans and their overall patient journey.

Ryan added: “Any service which interacts with children can use this system to capture their feedback and use the collective voices of the young people they care for to redesign and develop services around the child’s needs and wishes.

BT Health is working with Priority Research Ltd to distribute the NPT, which costs around £1,500 per licence.

Paul White, BT health business director, said: “This is a great example of public and private sector organisations working together to benefit patients.

"The NPT places children right at the heart of paediatric care, capturing their feedback and ultimately helping to redesign the way that healthcare is delivered.”

More than 100 organisations are already looking to pilot or purchase the toolkit. It will also be piloted in several primary care settings over the coming months.

Smits concluded: “This is a very exciting time for us. We are also working with Alder Hey to develop a children’s survey for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence around pain and sedation, an area which is particularly daunting for children.

“We are also one of the only four partnerships in the world working with the World Health Organisation on a survey around respect and dignity.”

Link: National Paediatric Toolkit