Rainbows’ bid to place more of its nurses on wards to help families
A hospice is rolling out a programme to place more nurses in the region’s hospitals, thanks to its resounding success in Leicester.
Earlier this year, Rainbows recruited four specialists in neonatal and paediatric palliative care at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Nottingham Children’s Hospital.
The roles are part of the Loughborough hospice having a presence in East Midlands hospitals.
Supported by the team at the hospice, they provide specialist holistic care to each life-limited or lifethreatened child and their family. The nurses are there to support the child and family wherever they choose their care to be.
Rainbows – a hospice that carries out outreach work across the East
Midlands - is the only service for babies, children and young people in the region with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.
Statistics show, only 30 per cent of those who could benefit from the support of an expert palliative care team have accessed support that Rainbows offers.
Since the new nurses have been at Leicester and Nottingham, referrals to Rainbows have increased. Plans are in place to recruit specialist nurses in Derbyshire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire in the next three years.
Lynne De Melo, Rainbows lead nurse in palliative care, said: “A phrase I hear so often is ‘a hospice is a place you go to die’. Rainbows is a place to embrace life, giving families the opportunity to make the most of every moment.
“Sadly, the number of children living with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition has been increasing each year. Many families are going through the challenges of coping with a child with a serious condition on their own, unaware of the support they could have from Rainbows.
“As part of that support we desperately need to get more Rainbows nurses into hospitals near you. We only get around 15 per cent of our funding from government bodies, so rely on donations to be able to carry on providing care to children. Many children with serious conditions will die in hospital, their families unaware of the support Rainbows could provide.
“The knowledge and experience our Rainbows nurses can bring will not only help the families, but will also be a support to our wonderful NHS colleagues. “By putting Rainbows nurses into your local hospitals, we can play a key role in identifying those children and families who may benefit from Rainbows support and make families aware of their options: care at Rainbows, in hospital or at home.
“Rainbows isn’t just a building, it is the care and support each and every team member gives the families of a life-limited or a life-threatened child, wherever they choose to be. We need to get Rainbows nurses into your local hospitals, taking the Rainbows experience where it’s needed.”
A donation of £30 could pay for an hour’s care from a Rainbows nurse, £50 could fund a home visit from a nurse and £90 could pay for up to half a day of a Rainbows nurse.
To help fund more nurses across the region, visit rainbows.co.uk/ donate.