Differences in access to Emergency Paediatric Intensive Care and care during Transport

What is this research about?

There are 28 paediatric intensive care units (PICUs) in the UK. When a child is seriously unwell, they may need to be transferred from their local hospital to a hospital with a PICU. The transport of a sick child will usually be undertaken by specialist teams who can provide intensive care on the move. These teams are known as paediatric intensive care retrieval teams (PICRT).

The organisation of PICRTs varies across the UK, particularly with regards to the composition of the team and the distance they need to travel to reach a child. Research is needed to investigate how these, and other factors, affect the outcomes and experiences of sick children and their families.

The DEPICT study has four distinct, inter-related, workstreams:

  • Quantitative study: to investigate if there are differences in outcome between different transport services
  • Qualitative study: to investigate the experience of parents and children (where practical) during the transfer
  • Health economics: to evaluate the costs and value for money of the ways that the PICRTs work
  • Mathematical modelling: to investigate the impact of alternative models of service 

What will the DEPICT Study data contain?

The DEPICT study dataset used in the first workstream will comprise data from:

  • Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network (PICANet)
  • Case Mix Programme at ICNARC (Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre)
  • Hospital Episode Statistics (HES)
  • Office for National Statistics (ONS) mortality data

Data linkage will be conducted by NHS Digital and all data will be anonymised before transfer to the study team at the University of Leicester, where the quantitative study will be undertaken.

Who funds this research and who works on it?

The DEPICT study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research programme (project reference: 15/136/45). The Chief Investigator for DEPICT is Padmanabhan Ramnarayan based at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Elizabeth Draper, co-principal investigator for PICANet, is leading the quantitative study at the University of Leicester, and the study statistician is Sarah Seaton.

Visit the DEPICT Study website at depict-study.org.uk

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