Article Text

Download PDFPDF

2113 Preferences of 16–17 year olds in the emergency setting as to their preferred ward area (adults or children) on admission
  1. Hannah Ha1,
  2. Sam Jones2,
  3. Damien Roland3
  1. 1University of Leicester Medical School
  2. 2University Hospitals of Leicester NHS trust
  3. 3University of Leicester


Aims and Objectives There is not a standardised approach in the UK regarding whether 16-17-year olds should be managed in adult or paediatric emergency settings.

Understanding the preferences of 16-17-year olds in the emergency setting is crucial for improving healthcare services. And implementing the recommended measures can help healthcare providers meet the unique requirements of this age group, leading to improved outcomes and patient satisfaction.

This research investigated the attitudes of 16-17-year olds towards their preferred location for emergency treatment and admission. The findings aimed to inform service improvements for this age group.

Method and Design An opportunistic sampling approach was used, focusing on 16-17-year olds attending Leicester Royal Infirmary’s Children Emergency Department (PED). Structured interviews were conducted, combining open and close-ended questions. Qualitative and quantitative data were analysed for common themes and associations.

95 patients were interviewed.

Results and Conclusion The findings indicated that 54.7% (52/95) of participants preferred to be seen in the Paediatric Emergency Department (PED), with 16-year olds showing a higher preference (62.2%) compared to 17-year olds (48.0%). Additionally, 58.9% (56/95) desired a choice in treatment location, and 67.4% (64/95) expressed a preference for age-specific wards during admissions. Notably, participants with learning disabilities (12/95) exhibited a significantly higher preference for PED (83.3%).

On average, 10 patients between the ages 16-17 attend ED per day with 8 discharged. At the very most, enabling patient choice will result in an additional 1-2 admissions per day spread across adult/paediatrics wards, and specialties.

The findings recommend exploring the accommodation of 16-17-year olds in both adult ED and PED, and potentially establishing specialised wards for older teenagers. Additionally, evaluating the adequacy of existing sensory-friendly spaces is recommended.

Abstract 2113 Figure 1

Comparison of 16-17-year olds and where they want to be seen in the emergency setting

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.