The Marshall Government is expanding a highly successful video link service at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital to reduce the number of kids going to ED for treatment and reduce the risk of infection by Omicron.

More children, adolescents and their families will have increased access to the Child and Adolescent Virtual Urgent Care Service with the service increasing its operating hours and now being available to rural and regional communities.

“We have already seen success with the service, which provides young people medical assessment from their home and has already helped more than 1,300 children since its launch in August,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

“The virtual service enables adolescents and their families to receive quicker and more appropriate care, whilst avoiding an unnecessary trip to the Paediatric Emergency Department (PED) if they are not experiencing an emergency, freeing up the beds for those who really need it.

“What’s more, this service has been able to keep more than 100 ambulances on the road since November last year, enabling them to help other people who are experiencing a health emergency.

Women’s and Children’s Health Network CEO, Lindsey Gough, said the new video link service delivered through WCHN, has allowed concerned parents to connect with highly skilled emergency nurses and doctors to receive personal medical advice for their child.

“We’ve received outstanding feedback from families who have accessed this service and we’re thrilled that our hospital will now be able to help more children and young people following an increase in hours and expanding to regional areas,” Ms Gough said.

“From this week, our Child and Adolescent Virtual Urgent Care Service extended its hours from 1pm to 8:30pm to 9:30am to 8:30pm seven days a week and will further extend again until 10pm later this month.

Project lead, Kerry McKeough, said the service involves a highly skilled team of consultants, nurses and administration staff and allows patients to speak directly to a skilled doctor or nurse via video-link from their own home or community.

“A visit to the PED can be daunting for children and their parents, and this virtual care has allowed children who are well enough to avoid a trip to the hospital while still receiving expert healthcare virtually, particularly with an increasing number of cases in the community,” Ms McKeough said.

Families can access the Child and Adolescent Virtual Urgent Care Service seven days a week from 9:30am to 8:30pm.