Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital prepares for first patients

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital is getting ready to receive patients in June 2017. The newly appointed hospital leadership team, led by interim CEO, Joe Seoloane, is in the process of recruiting staff and setting up all operational and clinical protocols.  After the leadership team, the first group of operational, clinical and support staff will commence in April, in line with government budget allocation. The month of May is dedicated to staff on-boarding, calibrating medical equipment and conducting simulations of the patient journey from referral to discharge. This is to ensure a smooth, efficient and hassle free first patient intake.

Patient services will be implemented in different phases, in order to ensure that the lives of children are not put at risk and care is not compromised. Outpatient and diagnostic services such as X-rays, will be the first services that will be offered, followed by Nephrology (Dialysis), Cardiology (Heart) and general surgery, with support services such as Anaesthesiology and ICU. Other services will be added at a later stage.

“We expect to assist the surrounding referring hospitals such as Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and Steve Biko Academic Hospital to reduce their waiting lists for paediatric services. Furthermore, we would also assist in areas where there has been the greatest need for specialised paediatric service “says Joe Seoloane.

Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will provide Paediatric healthcare services to children up to the age of 16 years, though exceptions will be made in very special circumstances to expand services to children up to the age of 18 years.  The hospital is a quaternary hospital, which caters for the needs of extremely sick children with very complicated illnesses that require highly specialised care.  Admission to the hospital is only through referral, where patients must first be seen by a specialist who will then, based on a pre-determined criteria, refer the patient to Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

“Through our international partnerships, we will also provide opportunities for local and international learning and development for Clinicians who work at Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.” says Joe Seoloane.  “We have been very deliberate about attracting the best calibre of staff, who will be advocates for child and family centred care and in line with Madiba’s vision of accessible and quality healthcare for all children, irrespective of socio-economic status.

We are excited about the prospect of getting the hospital operational and we will continuously review the patient outcomes, to ensure that lessons learnt are re-integrated into hospital processes as we roll out the remaining phases,” concludes Seoloane.