What do healthcare staff think about the quality and safety of care provided to children and young people with an intellectual disability? A qualitative study using the framework method of analysis

Natalie Ong*, Abbie Lucien, Janet C. Long, Janelle Weise, Merrilyn Walton, Annette Burgess

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Objective To elicit patient safety issues pertaining to children and young people with intellectual disability in hospital from healthcare staff perspectives. This follows a previous paper of parent interviews of patient safety experiences of their child in hospital. Design Qualitative study. Setting We conducted semi-structured interviews and focus groups of staff of tertiary children's hospitals based on the domains of the Patient Safety Education Framework and using the framework methodology for data analysis. Participants There were 29 female and 7 male staff aged between 27 and 70 years from a range of departments and specialties including ancillary staff. Intervention Questions based on the patient safety framework were developed from consultation with parents, researchers and clinicians exploring staff views and experiences of safety and quality care of these children in hospital. During April 2021 to May 2022, 22 interviews and 3 focus groups were conducted of staff who have had experience caring for children and young people with intellectual disability in the last 12 months in the hospital. Results Key themes elicited include Definition of Safety, Need to consider additional vulnerabilities of children and young people with intellectual disability in hospital, Communication is key to safe care, Parent and family perspectives on safe care, Management challenges compromising safety and Service system gaps in preventing, identifying and managing risk. Conclusions Staff need to consider additional vulnerabilities, mitigate negative attitudes and biases towards better engagement and relationships with parents, children and young people of this population. Improvement of current systems that prevent the identification, prevention and management of risk and safety issues for this population need to be undertaken. Future developments include combining data from parent interviews, academic and grey literature in developing safety competencies in this population for training and education of staff across the health system.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere071494
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Developmental neurology & neurodisability
  • Quality in health care
  • Health & safety

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