Together for Short Lives has published its latest edition of ‘A Guide to Children’s Palliative Care’ with a contribution from the chief executive of Havens Hospices Andy Smith.
Andy was one of two non-medical personnel invited to contribute towards the document, which is endorsed by NICE and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
The report, now in its fourth edition, gives a deep insight into children’s palliative care and is aimed at improving the understanding of the specific needs of the UK’s 49,000 babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions.
Andy has drawn on his 18 years of experience of leading the care at Havens Hospices in Essex, which includes Fair Havens Hospice, Little Havens Hospice for children and The J’s Hospice, a service aimed at young people.
In 2006 he was part of a group that met Prime Minister Tony Blair to present a case for sustainable funding for children’s hospice services across the UK, which resulted in £27 million secured for a three year period from the Department of Health – something that has continued to be honoured by the government.
Talking about his contribution to the report, Andy said:
“I was delighted to be invited by Together for Short Lives to be a member of the working group. We reviewed the previous edition of the Guide, bringing together our collective experiences and were delighted by the outcome. It was a privilege and honour to have been involved.”
The report focuses on children’s palliative care no longer being ‘in development’ and being a medically recognised speciality.
“The care we provide at Little Havens is unique – there is nowhere else in Essex that is offering this mix of nurse-led care with holistic support for the whole family. For the nurses and carers that work at Little Havens, we utilise every part of their training and invest in their development and education to ensure we are delivering exactly what the children and families need.
“We hope that by highlighting the speciality of children’s palliative care, we can attract more qualified paediatric nurses to the charity to help us care for the children and families and their ever increasing complex needs.”
To read the guide visit A Guide to Children’s Palliative Care
To find out more about the hospices visit Havens Hospices