Award-winning ACE Service now treating jaundiced babies at home

BABIES throughout the district with infant jaundice can now be treated in the comfort of their own homes, thanks to a pioneering service launched by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and its dedicated charity.

The Trust’s award-winning ACE (Ambulatory Care Experience) Service is going from strength-to-strength and has now added another clinical pathway to its virtual ward.

The service’s jaundice pathway is the fourth to come online.

Launched at Bradford Royal Infirmary in December 2017, the ACE project aims to bring care to poorly young patients and prevent unnecessary admissions to the Trust’s hospitals.

Clinical pathways allow some of our youngest patients aged up to 16 with wheeze, asthma croup, gastroenteritis and now infant jaundice to be treated at home by our community nurse team under the expert eye of our consultant paediatricians.

Before the jaundice pathway was given the green light, junior doctor Jessica Morrison carried out an audit on the use of phototherapy to treat infant jaundice on 18 babies seen at Bradford Royal Infirmary’s Children’s Clinical Decision Area (CCDA).

Her study, carried out between February and April 2019, discovered that if the Trust had ‘the potential to perform phototherapy in the community, 16 of the 18 children would not have required admission’, and highlighted that the notes of two families also “documented distress due to admission”.

Consultant Paediatrician and Children’s Ambulatory Care Experience (ACE) Lead, Dr Mat Mathai, said: “We can now discharge babies with common neonatal physiological jaundice (who are otherwise well) home for phototherapy treatment.

Phototherapy lamps

“Thanks to £10,000 from Bradford Hospitals’ Charity we have bought two phototherapy lamps, which the community nursing team will use. This clearly will be much safer for babies and more family friendly. Home phototherapy is not new and is being done effectively in other centres around the country.

“It will also mean we have more cubicles available in the children’s unit, which are very precious – particularly at this time of year.”

Dr Mathai added he hoped data collected by the new jaundice pathway, which is now live, would help the team develop it further for our local population, and other trusts across the region and country would be interested in mirroring the standardised approach ACE is using.

Hayley Collis, Head of Fundraising for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, said: “We are delighted to see that our charity is making such a big difference to our young patients and their families.

“This is a superb example of how charity donations and fundraising have made a positive impact on our patients. Our babies and families are much happier at home, which is something we can’t put a price on.”

The ACE scheme delivers a more efficient service to our patients as it reduces emergency admissions and readmissions to our hospitals, empowers families to manage common medical problems better and enhances our collaborative working with our CCG and GP colleagues across the district.

In 2018, the ACE service topped the Improvement in Emergency and Urgent Care category at the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) awards in London.

Donations to Bradford Hospitals’ Charity can be made via Alternatively, to find out more about Bradford Hospitals’ Charity and how you can support your local hospitals, visit, contact Hayley Collis or Elaine Drake on 01274 274809 or email


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Note to Editors:

  1. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for providing hospital services for the people of Bradford and communities across Yorkshire. We serve a core population of around 500,000 and provide specialist services for 1.1 million people.

Our 5,500 staff work over several sites, including Bradford Royal Infirmary, which provides the majority of inpatient services, and St Luke’s Hospital, which predominantly provides outpatient and rehabilitation services. We also manage local community hospitals at Westwood Park, Westbourne Green, and Eccleshill.

In early 2017, a new £28 million wing opened at Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of a £75m investment to improve patient care across our hospitals over a five-year period. It provides world-class facilities for elderly care, children’s services, a state-of-the-art intensive care unit with increased single-room provision and a retail concourse.

The new wing is a continuation of our work to improve patient experience after our new £2 million neonatal unit officially opened in January 2015. Our maternity services were recently shortlisted for the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Midwifery Service of the Year Award, recognising excellence and innovation in the provision of maternity care.

In 2017, we also completed a £2m refurbishment of our Emergency Department (ED) as part of an ambitious vision to create a more efficient acute medicine service for the people of Bradford. It has been designed to provide a slicker and more efficient service, with faster senior clinical involvement at an early stage in the patient pathway.

As a teaching hospital, we are at the forefront of education and development in healthcare, and have an excellent reputation for research performance. We are one of the leading centres in conducting applied research in the country, particularly in quality and safety, elderly care and rehabilitation.

The Trust is home to the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR) where researchers have led the development, validation and implementation of the award-winning Bradford Electronic Frailty Index (eFI) which helps calculate an elderly person’s risk of disability, impairment, falls and complications of chronic diseases, as well as their diminishing independence and capability. This is now being used by 98% of all GPs across the country.

Our award-winning Ophthalmology department is home to numerous worldwide clinical trials taking the lead in eye care research and we are one of only three sites in the United Kingdom to be enlisted in the Perioperative Enhanced Recovery Hip Fracture Care of Patients with Dementia (PERFECTED) study, which will investigate how the NHS can introduce better standards of care to improve outcomes for people with dementia.

The Trust has its own Bradford Hospitals Charity:

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