New standards for paediatric wards
16 February 2005
BRUSSELS – A plan to introduce higher standards for paediatric wards has been tabled by Social Affairs Minister Rudy Demotte.
His revised “programme for child care” is now before the Belgian parliament for discussion and hospitals are also being consulted.
According to La Libre Belgique, the ambitious project is not expected to enter the statute book before 1 January 2008.
It will require paediatric units to respect certain quantative and qualitative norms such as the number of patients admitted and specialised care for children and their parents.
Under the plan, children under sixteen must never be treated in the same wards as adults.
This must also apply to the operating theatre and parents will be allowed to be present while their child is still conscious.
Rooms must also be adjusted to allow parents to overnight if necessary and children, where possible, should be grouped by age.
A nearby games room of at least 25 m2 will be compulsory, as will a kitchen where parents can heat up meals.
Staff requirements will also be more stringent, with new rules on the number of specialised paediatric doctors and nurses that must be present.
The medical team must comprise three paediatric specialists and at least 75 percent of the nurses must also be trained in paediatrics.
Paediatric units will have to meet new admissions targets to ensure high standards.
To qualify as a paediatric unit, 1,500 admissions must be made every year, rising to 2,000 for hospitals combining maternity wards.
Exceptions will exist for hospitals in sparsely populated areas.
The quality of Belgium’s hospitals has been under the spotlight recently.
On Tuesday a survey revealed that poor hygiene among hospital staff has helped to breed a strain of ‘superbugs’ responsible for an estimated 4,000 patient deaths a year.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news