Traditional Poster Round
Introduction & Aims
Absconding, when a child or young person leaves hospital against medical advice, can result in a multitude of
challenges for medical staff. Children and young people may come to harm both from the medical cause of their
admission and by lacking a place of safety.
There is little existing training for staff in this area. These young people are often vulnerable and may have presented
with self-harm or other mental health concerns. In addition, uncertainty around management of these events, which
often occur out of hours, adds to the difficulties junior doctors may have in taking appropriate action during an on-call
The purpose of this scenario was to teach trainees about courses of action to be taken when a child absconds from
hospital, and to reinforce the importance of patient safety issues and escalation pathways, as well as rehearsing the
interaction with other agencies (such as ambulance and police services).
We devised a scenario of a teenage girl who had been admitted after reporting taking a medication overdose.
Candidates will be asked to review the patient and find the bed space empty except for patient notes and a few
The scenario is due to be run in both in-situ in the clinical environment and in a high fidelity simulation centre in the
coming weeks. We will present the feedback from these sessions, including Likert scale questionnaires and free text
feedback, and discuss the candidates’ experiences in both settings.
Planned debriefing points include the processes to follow when a young person absconds from hospital, preventative
aids before a patient leaves hospital, calculating the level of risk to the child or young person, and communication with
This scenario is a novel method of training staff in the management of a child or young person who has absconded from
hospital. It requires negligible resources which minimises the cost and set-up time required. It links in with multiple
domains of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Postgraduate Curriculum (Progress), particularly in the
area of safeguarding.