Emergency children’s surgery in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw is being brought together at Sheffield Children’s Hospital once again, as all hospital trusts work together in response to the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak. The pathway will go live at 9 a.m. on Monday 2nd November 2020.

The move will impact children up to the age of 16 who would currently receive emergency surgery at Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham hospitals. The exception is children who have very time-critical conditions, who will still be taken to their nearest hospital if it is safe to do so.

This does not alter A&E arrangements. Parents/ carers should continue to take their children to the nearest A&E if they need urgent treatment.

The Covid-19 outbreak has had significant impacts upon services across the world. This second wave comes at a time where hospitals are also managing increased presentations through seasonal illnesses. Some of the pressures for hospitals have changed from the initial Covid-19 crisis, as previously all non-essential activity was stopped.  At the moment wherever possible, hospitals are continuing to undertake some elective surgery, whilst workforce capacity is significantly impacted by Covid.  

In order to protect the quality of services for children within South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw the Trusts have agreed once again, as an emergency measure, to move emergency children’s surgery into Sheffield Children’s hospital until the significant pressures in the DGH decrease. Sheffield Children’s is in a position to assist its neighbouring trusts by increasing emergency capacity.

The decision on whether children will need to go to Sheffield Children’s for surgery will be made by clinical staff. If they first present at a GP’s surgery, the GP will identify children who are likely to need emergency surgery and send them to Sheffield Children’s. If they are brought directly by their parents the decision will be made in the hospital after arrival. Children who are picked up by a 999 call who need surgery will be taken directly to Sheffield Children’s Hospital by the ambulance services.

As during the first wave, Trusts will continue to provide A&E, inpatient, community, and child protection services as required. 

Similar to arrangements made in April, an agreement has been reached to ensure families who don’t have a car, or who are experiencing financial difficulties are not negatively impacted by this change.

These changes will be reviewed regularly by the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (ICS).

An email address: helloworkingtogether@nhs.net is available for people to give their feedback on this temporary change.

Any identified common themes from the feedback, which can be resolved with reasonable adjustments whilst not affecting patient safety and quality of care, will be explored.