Better at Home campaign launched for children with complex health needs
National children's charity, WellChild and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have launched a joint "Better at Home" campaign which calls for improved care for children and young people with long-term complex care needs and their families through greater investment in community children's nurses.
This wide-ranging campaign will not only highlight the current disparity in the health and social care services available to these families, but will also for the first time map the number of children and young people throughout the UK who remain in hospital long term rather than receive care at home because of a lack of specialist children's nurses.
The campaign has received parliamentary support through an Early Day Motion and will be asking for backing from all parliamentarians as well as families, health and social care professionals and managers to support the campaign.
The Better at Home campaign aims to achieve the following:
Timely, high-quality and effective care to be delivered in the home where possible.
Packages of care that coordinate health, social care and education in a way that meets their individual and ongoing needs of the children and their families.
The government's commitment to support greater financial investment in the provision of children's nurses to work specifically with this group of vulnerable children and bridge the gap between hospital and community services.
Dr Peter Carter, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary said: "It is unacceptable that children suffering from long-term conditions are stuck in hospital when they can be cared for at home with their family around them.
"We want the government to invest more in community children's nurses and provide the necessary resources so that no child is stuck unnecessarily in hospital. Health and social services also need to work more closely together and look at why this is happening and how it can be addressed."
For the past three years, WellChild has funded a small number of children's nurse positions around the UK. WellChild nurses bridge the gap between hospital and home so that children are discharged as soon as possible. They work to get children the care they require at home with their families, which frees up valuable hospital beds for other more critically ill children.