Tracheostomies in children are increasingly common; subsequently, the need for coordinated multidisciplinary care of
tracheostomy patients has become better recognised. This study explored the patient’s experience of attending a joint complex
airway clinic at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, examining patient satisfaction and their perceived level of involvement in the decisionmaking
process. As well as, exploring whether the examination of their child’s dynamic airway improved their understanding and
confidence in managing complex airways independently. Finally, it aimed to determine the impact the clinic had on the number of
airway endoscopies required under general anaesthesia.
The joint complex airway clinic at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is a multidisciplinary clinic with both ENT and respiratory teams
present to manage children with tracheostomies and long-term ventilation needs. Additionally, it provides the opportunity for airway
examination under local anaesthetic. This qualitative prospective study used feedback questionnaires, completed by parents/carers
after attending the clinic; to obtained rated responses regarding the clinic set up and effectiveness. Those participating patients
were then followed up to determine their need for further invasive airway endoscopies under general anaesthesia.
The study suggested an overall satisfaction in the format and care provided by the clinic. In addition, it resulted in a large
decrease in the need for endoscopies under general anaesthesia (95%).
These findings suggest the new service format has the potential to significantly benefit patient care in the future, as the need for
long term tracheostomy care is ever expanding.
Abbreviations:ENT: Ears, Nose and Throat; MLTB: Microlarngotracheo bronchoscopy