Bristol Children’s Hospital Emergency Department sits on the front line of children’s emergency care in the South West. We caught up with Dan, one of 30 doctors who work there to find out more about what makes this award-winning team so special.
Briefly, what’s your main part of your role, day to day?
I am a Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine here in Bristol. Day to day that means being a senior doctor in charge of the children’s emergency department and helping the whole team to look after sick and injured children from Bristol and the South West of England. I look after children from the first day of life through to their sixteenth birthday and see and treat everything from minor problems like coughs and colds all the way through to children with life threatening illnesses like sepsis or major injuries caused by severe accidents.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Seeing children and their parents in the emergency department comes with a lot of responsibility and I am constantly aware that it is a privilege to be part of their lives at that moment. It is a job that is sometimes upsetting and occasionally tragic, but more frequently it is full of hope, smiles, laughter and children who get better. The chance to do something important and good for children is what gets me out of bed in the morning. It is without a doubt the part of the job I love the most.
What is one thing might we not know about your department?
Over 24 hours, the entire department pulled together to row 365 miles to raise money for The Grand Appeal. Rowing through the night on rowing machines in the main entrance of the hospital was a gruelling challenge, but one that I was incredibly proud to do alongside my colleagues. Everyone pitched in to get us to the finish line and we raised over £3,000!
Why is it important that The Grand Appeal supports ED and its young patients?
The support of The Grand Appeal is absolutely vital for our department and is helping us to be one of the best children’s emergency departments in the world. In the last year alone The Grand Appeal has funded lifesaving emergency equipment, better facilities for parents and families and support for our staff. Our partnership with The Grand Appeal means that we can improve the overall experience for our patients and their family from the moment they enter our doors to the point that they leave. Transforming the waiting room, creating a more child-friendly environment, and funding parent beds and additional lifesaving kit, are just a few of the special things that we simply wouldn’t be able to do without this support.
Are there any interesting projects going on in the department at the moment, or any exciting developments?
The Grand Appeal has supported the Children’s Emergency Department for over 20 years and our team is working closely with the charity on a number of different projects including creating a new-look waiting room, a dedicated area for children with special needs, a new resuscitation station for babies and new parent beds for the department’s observation ward, so that family members can stay close to their little ones overnight.
What is your department’s current goal? What improvement would you most like to see?
Our main goal is to be a world-leading children’s emergency department, providing the best emergency care for all children. We are looking to push the boundaries and become a leader in patient experience, safety, digital technology, research and education and training.
If you weren’t in healthcare, what might you be doing?
I’d be an actor, but possibly not a very good one…. or maybe working for a global health charity.
Surprise us with a fact about yourself
I speak ‘Luo’ – the tribal language of western Kenya.
Favourite thing about Bristol?
Penfold’s Kitchen – my favourite coffee shop (and cinnamon buns) just opposite the hospital.