Whilst we have a lot of fun at Chestnut Tree, helping families make precious memories with their children, sadly more and more of our work is now focussed on caring for children at the end of their life.
This includes caring for the child and helping to make them as comfortable as possible and managing their symptoms, including pain and difficulties with breathing, and providing invaluable support for the whole family.
Some of the families choose to spend this difficult time at Chestnut Tree House, and some choose to stay in their own home with our nurses available on hand 24 hours a day.
In the past we often provided this service alongside statutory services received by families from the NHS, but sadly these teams have been reduced and are unable to be part of an on-call rota, leaving it to the Chestnut Tree nurses to provide cover 24/7.
The families need support, not only with managing their child’s complex symptoms, but also by providing them with a friendly face, a hand to hold, or someone to talk to.
Everyone is supposed to be able to have the right to choose where they spend their last days, but without the support of Chestnut Tree community services in Sussex, these families would simply not be able to.
Without a children’s hospice like Chestnut Tree, with all of its specialist knowledge, many families would have to reply on hospital services.
You can find out more about the work we do at Chestnut Tree by visiting www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk