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Assessment of the sick child in a general practice setting

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For many nurses working within general practice, the management of children, especially sick children, can be an area of anxiety. Most have trained as adult nurses and may have concerns about their competence in this area.

In 2011, our practice was invited to take part in a South Yorkshire initiative, Training and Action for Patient Safety (TAPS).1 We were able to use this to improve significantly the care of sick children within our practice. This article describes how we went about this, and may help other practices introduce similar systems.

The TAPS project seeks to improve patient safety within the NHS in South Yorkshire by supporting projects within the workplace. Practices are invited to send a multidisciplinary team to a series of workshops, supported by online learning, through which the principles of patient safety and their application to practice are explored.

Our team comprised: Sarah Allum (then a GP registrar); Jo Buchanan (GP trainer); Anne Baird (nurse practitioner) and Janice Ellis (administrative assistant). Sarah led the work, which she used as her registrar project within the practice.

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