Community nurses get royal approval

Specialist children’s community nurses from Hampshire Hospitals were commended for their work by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex at a special award ceremony.

Friday 07 September 2018

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1 - Winchester Childrens Community Nursing Team Meets Duke And Duchess Of Sussex

The children’s community nurse team, based in Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, received the prestigious award for ‘most inspirational health team’ at the national WellChild Awards, recognising the compassion, dedication and incredible care the nurses provide to sick children in the community.

They were chosen from hundreds of nominations and were in the company of royalty as they collected their award, after being nominated by several parents of children they cared for, as well as a consultant paediatrician who recognised the amazing care they provide every day.

Children’s community nurses look after children and support their families in their own homes, helping them to manage chronic and complex conditions. The children often have life-limiting conditions and the team go above and beyond to provide palliative care and support during this difficult time.

Wendy Green, clinical matron for the children’s community nursing team, leads the team of nine specialist children’s nurses. She attended the award ceremony in London with four of her colleagues, where they met Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Wendy said: “I am so proud of the entire team for this award and it feels really special to have been nominated by families we have looked after. 

3 - Winchester Nurse Team Recieving Well Child Award With Gaby Roslin ,Touker Suleyman , Matt Allwright And Scott Maslen

“Meeting Prince Harry and Meghan is something the team will never forget, but we were all so honoured to have been in such incredible company of other healthcare professionals, children, families and volunteers. Hearing their stories was really inspiring for us all. It was a fantastic evening.

“The whole team are passionate about community nursing and caring for children with complex conditions in their own homes. We are a small group in a busy healthcare environment and are exceptionally proud of what we do.”

Speaking at the event, Prince Harry said: “Every one of you is truly amazing. You have shown all of us what it means to be a champion – whether for yourself, your family, your community, or someone in need.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the devoted nurses and volunteers across the UK who help give children and young people living with serious illness or exceptional health needs a chance to be cared for at home instead of hospital.” 

The team’s nominations included parents who had experienced first-hand the exceptional care they provide, particularly during the final stages of a child’s life. The parents explained how nothing was too much trouble for the nurses, who constantly go above and beyond to make a family’s time together special and as positive as possible.

Two members of the team thought nothing of staying on in their own time when a family asked them if they could attend an emergency christening for a child whose condition was deteriorating quickly after the nurses had become such a major part of his life.

Karen Hamblen, whose son Sam was looked after by the team during his 21 month battle with neuroblastoma, said: “Sam loved them and despite the fact that they often had to administer medical procedures he found difficult, their fun and caring manner meant he would rush to greet them when they came to the house.

“They were so efficient, despite the complexity of his care needs, and being able to have complete trust in them was hugely helpful to our family.”

A consultant paediatrician who works with the team described them as “a fantastically dedicated, caring and skilled group of nurses” and went on to explain how, despite the burden placed on them when caring for children needing palliative care, they continue to provide a level of consistent, accessible and relentlessly cheerful, child-centred care.

The awards are run by WellChild, the national charity for seriously ill children and aim to celebrate the courage of children coping with serious illnesses or complex conditions and honour the dedication of professionals who go the extra mile to help these children and their families.

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