St Elizabeth’s Health Team provides 24-hour assessment, treatment, diagnosis and emergency care for the children and young people in our care.
The Team is made up of a range of healthcare professionals to ensure we fully meet their individual needs, including:
- General Nurses
- Epilepsy Specialist Nurses
- Learning Disability Nurses
- Paediatric Nurses
- Mental Health Nurses
Our Health Team is registered with the Care Quality Commission and rated Good. Click here to read our most recent report.
All staff working at the centre receive extensive training from the start to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to deliver a high quality provision to our vulnerable clients, with our Health and Therapy Team delivering training on subjects ranging from Epilepsy Management and Fluids and Nutrition, to Administration of Medication and Dysphagia.
We pride ourselves on knowing each and every one of the children and young people in our care – we know their conditions, their triggers, their likes and dislikes, and their behaviours – so that we can always provide a personalised service that meets their needs.
What do we provide?
- 24-hour nursing cover, with an emergency bleep system available to all staff across the whole site.
- Epilepsy Specialist Nurses – on-site specialist who can respond immediately to any problems, make quick changes to a care plan, support medication administration and check VNS implants, as well as provide reports for Neurology Clinics.
- Seizure Tracking – using innovative technology to monitor and record an individual’s seizure activity/ frequency /type and length of seizure, essential to enable adjustments to treatment and to improve seizure control, and thus quality of life.
- Regular GP clinics held at the Centre, enabling epilepsy medication to be monitored and other illnesses to be treated promptly.
- On-site VNS clinics to enable service-users to receive and adjust treatment without needing to attend hospital or external clinics – Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) therapy is a form of treatment for epilepsy for people whose seizures are not controlled with medication. Members of the team are trained and certified as competent in programming, monitoring and managing all aspects of VNS therapy.
- Night Monitoring – including a Waking Night Staff, 24-hour emergency response and bespoke monitoring equipment – across all our services, including our off-site Supported Housing provision (Windhill).
- "Pulse Guard" monitoring – heart rate monitors that can detect a rise or fall in heart rate suggesting possible seizure activity.
- Neurology clinics held on-site, in partnership with lead professors from Great Ormond Street Hospital and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.
- On site ophthalmology, dentist and chiropodist services and access to other community health specialists.
- Support for those requiring PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) feeding.
- Rigorous medication protocols to ensure safe and timely administration, with regular medication reviews held with their GP or neurologist. Care staff are all trained on medication administration.
VNS Therapy and Pulse Guard Equipment:
Our aim is to provide as much medical support on-site as possible, to limit the disruption a seizure might have on their everyday lives. When a learner has a seizure, our team can provide in-situ support to keep them safe, support their recovery and help them to re-join their activity or lesson as soon as they feel able to do so. We aim to limit the number of hospital admissions, and our specialist support and expert training means that we can usually support individuals through their seizures without the need to call outside help.
Thanks to our specialist, dedicated and individualised care and support, many of our children and young people have seen the frequency and intensity of their seizures reduce, with some becoming seizure free. For some, it has meant they have been able to move to intensive support services because of improvements in their conditions. read about some of our success stories here.
Supporting On-going Research:
We support the on-going research to develop new treatments and medication, and work together with lead neurologists and epilepsy specialists to provide data for a number of innovative projects and new treatment trials. Some of the information and outputs we have provided have been shared as part of national studies that have lead to positive improvements within the field of epilepsy and its treatment.
We are also supporting studies within the Genome project, working alongside clinicians who are looking at analysing genes from people with epilepsy (particularly some of the rarer forms (e.g. Dravet Syndrome)) to try and identify any genetic cause or trends.
We work closely with three major Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) implanting centres: Addenbrooks Hospital in Cambridge and Great Ormond Street Hospital and Kings College Hospital in London. With staff trained and certified in programming and monitoring all aspects of VNS therapy, it means all post-implantation appointments can be carried out on site, in a familiar and safe environment, without the need for hospital visits. It means we can respond quickly to any changes in epilepsy presentation or side effects should they occurred. We feed back the outcomes of any VNS therapy to leading neurology consultants as part of individual and research reviews.
Mental Health, Wellbeing and Behavioural Support
A significant number of the children and young people we support have challenging behaviours, difficulties with anxiety, mental health conditions or sensory complications.
- Specialist Behaviour Support Practitioners within each service, who provide targeted support to those who have challenging behaviour or whose behaviour has recently changed, with reviews constantly on-going.
- Extensive training of carers, teachers and support workers, offering alternative approaches, safe management of potential and actual aggression, and strategies for dealing with challenging behaviours, as well as looking for underlying reasons for that behaviour.
- Individual support for personal issues, including bereavements, difficult family dynamics, homesickness, including an on-site counselling service.
- Our Multi-disciplinary Teams work together to ensure the needs of the people using our services are met holistically.
- Clinics every 2 months with Dr Zia, an Adult Psychiatrist from the Community Learning Disability Team (Hertfordshire), who also reviews each resident taking psychiatric drugs to update their prescription as required.
We have close working relationships with the local Positive behaviour, Autism, Learning disability and Mental health Service (PALMS) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).