Irish Paediatric Critical Care Audit National Report 2021-2022

Irish Paediatric Critical Care Audit National Report 2021-2022 Image

The Irish Paediatric Critical Care Audit (IPCCA) was established by NOCA and reports on the care of patients in paediatric critical care units in Ireland.

The Irish Paediatric Critical Care Audit National Report 2021-2022 presents data on 3,329 infants, children and adolescents who were cared for across the two PCCUs in Ireland over the 2 year period.

Key Findings

The report reveals a 14% increase in paediatric critical care admissions in 2021 and 2022 compared to 2018, with occupancy rates at Children's Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin consistently exceeding 95%, far above the recommended national standard of 85%. Neonates, defined as corrected age at admission of less than 29 days old, accounted for 28% of admissions at CHI Crumlin and 25% at CHI Temple Street. Respiratory issues made up 30% of admissions at CHI Crumlin and 39% at CHI Temple Street in 2022, up from 18% and 24% respectively in 2020.

Key Recommendations

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Recommendation 1

Paediatric critical care should be resourced with a workforce which allows the Units to deal with acute surges in demand and maintain an average occupancy of 85%, as per national standards. To facilitate the opening and running of the Paediatric Critical Care Unit (PCCU) in the National Children’s Hospital with an increase in beds from 32 to 42, a detailed multidisciplinary workforce plan is required. CHI should submit to the National Service Planning process for the additional resources required from the HSE.

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​Recommendation 2

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) rapid health technology assessment (HTA) of immunisation against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants is underway. The Department of Health should prioritise findings from the HTA, when available, to inform their decision on immunisation of infants against RSV and, if approved progress implementation without delay.

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Recommendation 3

Paediatric critical care audit should be mandatory and adequately resourced to enable timely, complete and accurate information to be submitted.

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Recommendation 4

The Health Service Executive should consider the development of regional paediatric high dependency care capacity in regional centres.

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Recommendation 5

Dedicated hospital organ donation personnel should be appointed to increase awareness of organ donation and provide education and training locally to ensure all opportunities for organ and tissue donation in PCCUs are realised where appropriate.