The Norwegian Association for Children’s Palliative Care (FFB) held their annual general meeting at Scandic Kristiansand Bystranda on Sunday 22 April. On the agenda was the work to create a children’s hospice in Norway.
“None of us were familiar with terms such as ‘children’s palliative care’ or ‘waiting grief’ until FFB was established by Natasha Kjærstad Pedersen in 2009”, said Laila Dåvøy (KrF), former Minister of Children and Family Affairs and Minister of Labour and Government Administration, who has been FFB’s patron since 2015.
Natasha Kjærstad Pedersen will continue as Chairman and Chief Executive of FFB , but new members of the board were elected, statues were amended and the organisation is now preparing for new and greater tasks.
On the agenda
‘Children’s palliative care’ is the term used to describe soothing care and treatment for seriously ill and dying children and their families. The work of making people realise that this segment is different from the general palliative care is still in its pioneering stage in Norway.
“A lot could be mentioned of all the good work that is presently being done to fulfil the organisation’s goals to increase the knowledge and improve the soothing care for seriously ill and dying children in Norway. It is you, who work in the organisation, who make this work possible. And I am deeply impressed,” said Davoy.
The organisation is evolving quickly. We are working to professionalize the organisation to achieve the great goal of establishing Norway’s first children’s hospice. A place where the entire family can spend their time, have a break, and end a life with dignity, even though it is a short one.
FFB’s work and visibility have created increased demands from those who are afflicted and their families. Greater resources are necessary to meet their actual needs. The demand for health professionals and increased competence in palliative care is particularly pressing.
We have therefore decided to move into suitable offices in Kristiansand, and have started to cooperate with several relevant partners.
Robert Eriksson (FrP), former Minister of Labour, was chosen to be one of FFB’s patrons. He had the following to say about his new appointment, “I really look forward to the task of being a patron of FFB, and I am following their work with great interest. I might even consider the role of chairman of the association in future!”
Children’s hospice within five years
One of the most important issues at the annual general meeting in Kristiansand was the status of our work of establishing our own children’s hospice. The goal is to offer a hospice with a holistic approach to children’s palliative care sometime between 2020 and 2023.
After three years of research, we have drawn up a plan for accomplishing this goal. Natasha Kjærstad Pedersen has, among other things, been invited to give a report in the form of a dissension to the NOU 2017:16 – On life and death; palliation for the ill and dying, where it is referred to the fact that other countries are ahead of Norway when it comes to establishing children’s hospices.
“Our goal is that the first children’s hospice will be ready by 2023”, said Natasha Kjærstad Pedersen.