Children’s Palliative Care
It is estimated 3,800 children In Ireland have life-limiting illness in Ireland. Some 350 of these children die each year, most of them in the first year of life.
No definitive official figures for childhood bereavement exist, but it is estimated that between 36,000 and 60,000 children in Ireland may have experienced a significant bereavement.
How we work to support children’s palliative care:
- Funding Ireland’s first Consultant Paediatrician with a Special Interest in Paediatric Palliative Care as part of our Hospice Home Care for Children Programme.
- Funding five Children’s Outreach Nurses at different locations around Ireland.
- Funding a Children’s Oncology Liaison Nurse at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.
- Funding a night nursing service which helps families keep a loved one (an adult or a child) who is in the final stage of illness at home to the end.
Education & Training
- Providing education and training for professionals who work with grieving children and families, including a postgraduate Professional Certificate Course in ‘Children and Loss’; and an annual series of one/two-day workshops on topics such as Parental Grief, Bereavement and Loss in Adolescence, etc.
- Running on-site staff development workshops (Final Journeys; Breaking Bad News) for hospital staff, including those working in children’s and maternity services, which aim to enhance end-of-life care, raise awareness and improve communication skills.
- Continuing to advocate and work for the full implementation of the government’s 2010 national policy on palliative care for children with life-limiting conditions, not least through our active representation on the National Development Committee for Children’s Palliative Care.
- Hosting the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network, a hub for those working with bereaved children, aimed at facilitating access to information, guidance and support. We employ a half-time Coordinator to lead and develop this Network.
- Supporting bereaved families – including children/teenagers – by offering a range of information resources, such as leaflets, reading lists, a dedicated website and a specialist library.