In a June article 'QHC honours Belleville nurse practitioner-led clinic, Gateway centre' we learned Belleville “has also received funding to provide follow up care to QHC newborns during their first two months of life,” Kearns continued. That program has yet to be established fully, but the clinic has so far accepted more than 100 “unattached” babies via QHC. Many of their relatives also have no primary-care provider and have received care through the clinic.
Now we have an update.
Community Newborn program
The Community Newborn program is a pilot program with staff who started at the end of September.
The purpose of the Community Newborn program is to provide follow up care to newborns who have no primary care provider in the community. Infants are seen by the program staff within 72 hours of discharge from the hospital.
The Community Newborn Program consists of a Nurse Practitioner-Paediatrics, a Registered Nurse, and an Admin Support who each work 20 hours per week. The NP and RN provide routine follow up care and non-emergent assessments for the infants up until 6 months of age. They also provide routine vaccinations for siblings of their infant patients who also do not have a primary care provider.
The benefits of this program include:
- Consistent and reliable access to care for infants with no PCP
- Improve patient experience.
- Decrease ED visits for non-emergency reasons ensuring the right care is provided at the right time in the right location.
- Reduce the risks of injury in the infancy period by providing the recommended anticipatory guidance regarding infant safety, vaccine schedule and care more than once.
- Increased opportunity to identify risks and connect families with appropriate community resources to optimize health outcomes in both the short and long term.
Funding is secured until the end of March 2023. They hope to get funding to continue the program.