WHEN two-year-old Alex, who is in need of constant medical attention, was finally able to leave hospital to live at home in Seaford, organising the care he needed was a stressful time for his parents.
Alex has hydrocephalus and several other serious conditions, leaving him in need of help with breathing and feeding and has spent much of his life in hospital
Since his health stabilised he has been able to live at home with his parents and two older brothers.
That was when East Sussex’s new WellChild Children’s Nurse stepped in to help and Alex has been out of hospital all winter.
Andrea Ferns began to work with Alex’s family to help ensure he continues to receive appropriate care as his needs develop, supporting them to prevent Alex being re-admitted to hospital and providing expert advice and emotional support.
Life has been greatly improved for the family since knowing that Andrea is on hand to help with any issues and to guide them to speak to the right people.
Andrea’s post has been funded by the national charity for sick children WellChild and last week was the official launch of her post.
Based in Lewes and working closely with hospitals and community services, she will help seriously ill children with long term and complex health needs in East Sussex to leave hospital and return home to their families with the care and treatment they need.
“I hope my role will be able to bridge the gap between the services to ensure that the journey home for families is more streamlined and all the child’s needs can be met closer to home,” Andrea said.
In those parts of the UK where there is still no WellChild Children’s Nurse to provide a dedicated link between all the health professionals and different services required to care for a child with complex health needs, children can remain in hospital for months, even years, when it is better for their emotional and physical wellbeing to be at home with their families. It can also be more cost efficient to care for a child at home than in hospital. Visit www.wellchild.org.uk.