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Charity-funded study aims to demonstrate worth of specialist children’s nurses

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A children’s charity has announced a partnership with a university to try and demonstrate the value of the specialist paediatric nursing posts that it funds.

The programme will evaluate the impact of 20 specialist paediatric nursing posts that have been appointed jointly by the Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and the NHS since 1 April 2016.

“It will demonstrate the impact of the wonderful work our community of nurses do”

Sophie Dziwinski

The charity funds a network of specialist nurses across the UK. There are currently 67 Roald Dahl Specialist Children’s Nurses providing expert help and support to families affected by serious illness.

The evaluation project aims to demonstrate the outcomes delivered by Roald Dahl Nurses through their work and the impact this has on children, young people and their families.

It will also show the cost savings made to the NHS, in turn, highlighting the real difference made to beneficiaries and trusts, in order to help fund additional posts in areas with the greatest need.

The first 18 months of 20 new Roald Dahl nurses’ posts will be reviewed, with 19 of the posts being located across England and one of them in Northern Ireland.

It will aim to show the difference nurses can make to families when in post for the first 18 months, said the charity, which is working in partnership on the project with Sheffield Hallam University.

“The role of the specialist children’s nurse is vitally important”

Robin Lewis

Researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of the nurses by reviewing the social and demographic profile of their caseloads, the conditions they treat, as well as the ages of the children in their care.

The study will also examine each nursing post from the perspective of the post-holder, the heads of children’s nursing, the multi-disciplinary team, and the children and families who form the caseload.

For every one of the 20 Roald Dahl nurse posts and stakeholders evaluated, an individual case study and report will be presented.

Each of the case study findings will be analysed and compared, providing a comprehensive report to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.

Sophie Dziwinski, the charity’s head of programmes, said: “Roald Dahl Nurses are educators, innovators and experts in their field.

“The collaboration with Sheffield Hallam, a university with tremendous experience in research, and one that shares our values of high-quality healthcare, is exciting,” she said.

“It will demonstrate the impact of the wonderful work our community of nurses do in supporting seriously ill children and their families,” said Ms Dziwinski.

Senior lecturer Dr Robin Lewis, who is leading the project at Sheffield Hallam, said: “The role of the specialist children’s nurse is vitally important when it comes to providing care and support for all the family at what is undoubtedly an extremely difficult and stressful time.

“We are extremely proud to be working with such a worthwhile charity to highlight the impact it is making on the lives of young people and their families,” he added.

The announcement coincides with Roald Dahl Day, an annual celebration of the author’s birthday.

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