Clinicians', policy makers' and patients' views of pediatric cross-border care between Malta and the UK.

Saliba, V; Muscat, NA; Vella, M; Montalto, SA; Fenech, C; McKee, M; Knai, C; (2014) Clinicians', policy makers' and patients' views of pediatric cross-border care between Malta and the UK. Journal of health services research & policy. ISSN 1355-8196 DOI:

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OBJECTIVE The Malta-UK cross-border health care collaboration gives Maltese patients access to highly specialized care that is not available locally. Our aim was to identify the issues that arise in cross-border specialized care for rare childhood diseases. METHODS We conducted 31 semi-structured face-to-face interviews with policy makers, consultant pediatricians from Mater Dei Hospital in Malta, the Royal Marsden Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital in England and the parents of a random sample of children referred for treatment abroad in 2011. We conducted qualitative thematic analysis of the data. RESULTS Respondents viewed the collaboration as successful in providing timely access to high quality specialist care. Four factors facilitated implementation: long established personal relationships; communication and data sharing; shared care approach; and well established support systems. The key challenges are logistical, financial, communication and cultural and psychological. CONCLUSION Cross-border care pathways can successfully support access to high quality specialized care that is acceptable to health professionals and patients.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Research Centre: ECOHOST - The Centre for Health and Social Change
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 24486988
Web of Science ID: 337958800005


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