|My Personal Health Passport©||| Print ||
So What Is ‘My Personal Health Passport©’?
‘My Personal Health Passport©’ provides a snapshot of information about a child in an informal and easy to read manner. Information is written in the first person highlighting the uniqueness and personality of each child to the reader. The passport is presented in an A4 sized folder with colour coded signposts which quickly direct the reader to the information they require. Easy read symbols are used throughout. Passport alert stickers are provided for patient files to alert staff that a child has a passport. Each passport comes with a booklet explaining how to fill in the passport in order to make it as valuable a resource as possible.
Once given to a child the passport remains their property. Children and parents are encouraged to bring the passport to all services they attend such as hospital appointments, emergency department presentations, community services, therapy appointments and respite.
The passport was developed for use by children with:
o Severe, complex multiple disabilities,
o Intellectual, physical, sensory disabilities
o Children with or without complex medical healthcare needs,
o Children with chronic illnesses
o Children with communication difficulties.
Using a passport has many potential benefits. These include ensuring information given is accurate, promoting person-centered care, it quickly orientates new staff about a child, reduces the repetition of information sought by healthcare professionals, allows the child’s voice to be heard and is useful at times of transition.
Where did ‘passports’ originate?
The term ‘passports’ was coined at the CALL Centre in the UK in 1992. Passports developed where focused at children with communication difficulties. Today various types of passports are used across adult and paediatric settings in the UK. In Ireland until now parents, therapists, schools and disability services had to utilise templates or compile their own passports within organisations. ‘My Personal Health Passport©’ is the first officially launched health passport for paediatrics in the republic of Ireland.
How was ‘My Personal Health Passport©’ developed?
Having worked in the emergency department of a Children’s Hospital I met many parents of children with intellectual disabilities and associated complex healthcare needs. Parents reported how stressful and exhausting they found having to recall their child’s birth and medical history to healthcare professionals each time they presented to hospital. On commencing my post as CNS in Paediatric Intellectual Disability here in Cork I wanted to develop a health passport for children with complex disabilities and healthcare needs. I collaborated with Roisin Kinahan, Speech and Language Therapist from Brothers of Charity Services and consulted with speech and language therapists from COPE Foundation and the Mercy University Hospital. Parents were also involved in the review process and were asked for their anticipated expectations of how using a passport could help their children on a daily basis. Responses received were enormously positive. Following the launch of ‘My Personal Health Passport’ in April 2012 initial feedback has been hugely positive from both parents and healthcare professionals.
Funding for this project was kindly granted by the ‘Kids Fund’ of the Mercy University Hospital Foundation.
Where can I get ‘My Personal Health Passport©’?
‘My Personal Health Passport©’ replacement inserts are available to download by clicking here. Users can type directly into the passport inserts by clicking on the relevant text box. Users can save their passport to their own computers allowing changes to be made and printed as required.
The booklet on ‘How to fill in My Personal Health Passport’ is available by clicking here.