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ProjectB+ (B Positive) reducing blood testing related distress in children in SHSCT is a Q Exchange Finalist

16 May 2022

Q Members Q Exchange

ProjectB+ (B Positive) reducing blood testing related distress in children in SHSCT is a Q Exchange Finalist

Anyone who has accompanied a child to have a blood test or been the healthcare professional taking the blood test, knows how anxiety can make this situation really challenging. The Project B+ Team in Southern Health and Social Care Trust is helping to make the elective blood testing of children a much better experience for children, parents/caregivers and staff. As finalist in the Health Foundations’ Q Exchange programme, the project is hoping to be awarded £40,000 to continue to develop the work.

The team consisting of psychologists, ID CAMHS, LAC Services, IT, paediatric medical and nursing staff and QI experts, is using a quality improvement approach to work closely with parents/caregivers and children to co-design the project and co-produce the end product, and is also taking advice from other professionals interested in the learning.

One parent who is very enthusiastic about the new approach is Bronagh.

“ My son is 14 yrs old and at the age of 4 he was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes.  From that day on he couldn’t get bloods done or get injections because it was horrific for him.  He would jump off the bed, he would scream and make himself physically sick whenever anyone came near him to take bloods or give him medications.  I can’t believe how far my son has come in the last few years because of the team.  If my son had the support he recently received sooner, it would have made the difference.  Please support our application for Q Exchange funding. ”

The Project B+ Team is hoping that Q Members in the HSCQI Network and other Q Members outside Northern Ireland will get behind the project by voting for it when voting opens on the Q website on 17 May. HSCQI is a country partner of the Q Community and there are over 250 Q Members across HSCNI who are eligible to vote.

Speaking on behalf of the Project B+ team, Dr Sinéad Hannan, Consultant Clinical Psychologist with the Paediatric Psychology Service commented

Our Paediatric Psychology service sees children who have developed significant anticipatory anxiety and pain, phobias and trauma experiences.  Children do not forget each experience even from the point of infancy onwards.

The system around the child plays a key part in influencing the child’s experience. Parents have a vital role in how children cope, with research showing that parental anxiety has been linked to child distress.  Staff are also important in supporting the child and parent by doing the procedure in the best way for the child.  It is also emotionally hard for both parents and staff, particularly if a child is distressed.  The more stressed the system is around the child, the more stressed the child will be.

Project B+ will focus initially on 2 areas in the blood testing process. Firstly developing digital resources and training which will be fun, entertaining and strengths focused. the secondly completing a trauma-informed and inclusive environmental assessment and making appropriate adjustments.

Our aim will be to improve coping, confidence, skills and knowledge, as well as the experience for all involved in the blood test. “

Currently we are co-designing a virtual platform with interactive information for families and training modules for staff. As part of Q Exchange we are able to refine and develop our ideas with the help of the Q community through a collaborative online process. This year’s Q Exchange theme is ‘Bringing together the worlds and methods of improvement and digital, to enable better outcomes and faster, more sustainable change.’ Early indications are that Project B+ is improving outcomes for parents/care givers., staff and ultimately the children who are the focus of this project.

Here’s what it is all about!

project b+ rich picture


Or watch the video to find out more form those who are encouraging you to vote for project B+, the folks it is really making a difference for.

Project B+ Video 1 – YouTube

Hear more on why it is so important.

Project B+ Video 2 – YouTube

For Q Exchange in 2022, funding of £800,000 has been allocated for the programme. Delivered by Q and jointly funded by the Health Foundation and the NHS, in partnership for digital health and care. 30 projects have now been shortlisted and will go forward to the Q community vote where Q members vote on which projects receive funding. The winners will be announced in June 2022. Project B+ and Southern Health and Social Care Trust’s two further shortlisted projects are the other finalists representing HSCNI. This is a tremendous achievement for Southern Health and Social Care Trust in having the three projects shortlisted as finalists.

To find out more about Project B+ see ProJect B+:Reducing blood testing related distress in children. | Q Community (

Q Members can find out more about how to vote during 17-31 May on the Q website link above.