Posted: 5th October 2018

Children in Derby will need to spend less time in hospital, as a new Children’s Nurse from WellChild, the national charity for seriously ill children, will be arranging and coordinating the care they need at home. The new nurse is being funded by our recent grant of £110,000.

Caring for children at home

The WellChild Nurses’ programme was established to address a clear gap in the provision of care and support for children with long-term serious illness and complex conditions. In addition to keeping families together and benefitting a child’s development, it is often more cost efficient to care for a child at home than in hospital. Through this post, families will receive close support in the community from a nurse who can help parents gain confidence and guide them through difficult times.

WellChild nurse officially launch at Derbyshire Children’s Hospital

This week is the official launch of the new post, held by Nina Heighington, who will be helping children and young people across Derby and providing specialist advice as well as emotional and other practical support for the whole family.

Nina will be based at the Derbyshire Children’s Hospital as the WellChild Pathway Coordinator for Children with Medical Complexity. Through this unique post, she will support families by working closely with colleagues in the community, hospitals and other specialist centres to ensure the highest quality of care.

Nina qualified in 2006 with a degree in children’s nursing from Birmingham University then worked on the general medical ward at Derby Children’s hospital for 10 years where she gained a vast amount of experience. More recently she has worked as a discharge coordinator at Derby ensuring discharge is quick and efficient, managing patient flow. Nina brings a comprehensive understanding of the needs and challenges faced by the families with whom she will be working.

Nina commented:

“I am proud of being a WellChild nurse, and am really looking forward to working with children and families in Derby. Supporting families through a traumatic event and putting services in place is the tip of the iceberg, working with families to ensure they can make the most out of the resources and achieve a good quality of life as they transition from hospital is where a WellChild nurse role can really make a difference.”

Linda Partridge, WellChild’s Director of Programmes, said:

“We’re very grateful to Derbyshire freemasons for their generous grant. We’ve worked to make sure that the essential service provided by WellChild Children’s Nurses in regions of the UK have a long-reaching impact. 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 Derby.”

Local freemasons visited Derbyshire Children’s Hospital to meet Nina and find out more about her work

Derbyshire freemason, Stephen Varley said:

“We are very pleased to be able to support the new Children’s Nurse in Derby. Wellchild nurses do an outstanding job supporting children and families and keeping the amount of time they spend in hospital to an absolute minimum. This is hugely important for the children and their families, but also helps hospitals to make the best use of their resources.”