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New specialist nurse post for long-term sick children in London

Children’s charity WellChild is funding a new palliative care post at Whittington Health NHS Trust in north London.

The WellChild palliative nurse specialist post will initially be held by Diane Miles. She will help children with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition across Camden, Haringey and Islington to receive the care and treatment they need at home.

Ms Miles will be based in the trust’s Life Force palliative care team, supporting families by working closely with colleagues in the community, local hospitals, hospices and other specialist centres.

She has worked for the past three years as a children’s community nurse in the local area. Prior to that, she taught students undertaking paediatric nursing training.

Ms Miles said: “It is an absolute privilege to be working with both children and families who are living with life limiting conditions and end of life situations.”

Bernadette O’Gorman, who is community matron at Whittington Health, said: “The new WellChild Children’s Nurse is a really welcome addition to the Life Force team.

“Diane brings new skills and experience, which allows Life Force at Whittington Health to offer more care and support to children and families both within the community and hospital settings.”

“Our target is for every seriously ill child or young person to have access to a WellChild Children’s Nurse”

Linda Partridge

The WellChild Nurses’ programme was established in 2006 to address what the charity described as a “clear gap” in the provision of care and support for sick children with long-term serious illness and complex conditions.

It argues that it can be more cost efficient to care for a child at home than in hospital.

The success of its original pilot has resulted in the creation of permanent posts in Ayrshire, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Cumbria, East Sussex, Hywel Dda in Wales, Kirklees, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Oxford, Southampton and Walsall.

New posts are also starting this year in West Sussex, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Newcastle. 

Linda Partridge, WellChild’s director of programmes, said: “Our target is for every seriously ill child or young person to have access to a WellChild Children’s Nurse, and I am delighted that we have now been able to extend that support into this area of London.”

WellChild Children’s Nurse Diane Miles

Joe McCallum (12) one of Diane’s patients with his family (Mum Anna Rimmington, brothers Nate and Fran) and WellChild Children’s Nurse Diane Miles

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