KENT charity Hospice in the Weald, a provider of free Hospice care for this community for the last 40 years, has announced that they will be progressing plans to launch a brand-new Children’s service later this year.
The service will care for children with life-limiting conditions of all ages from 0-18 by providing treatment, appointments, pastoral care and activities, based within the comfort of the child’s home.
There is currently very limited provision for children’s services of this kind across the whole of Kent and Sussex, despite the number of children with life-limiting conditions rising, and their life expectancy also rising, meaning there is a huge demand for such support, which many only find in London and beyond.
In 201o, adding together Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Malling, Sevenoaks, Maidstone and Wealden, the total number of children and young people in need of Hospice care would appear to be about 398. Today the number is estimated to be 1415, a multiple increase of 3.5, with population growth in the area projected for the next 10 years.
This population growth, combined with medical developments which increase the life expectancies for many of these children, means the need for Hospice care will only continue to grow.
Hospice in the Weald Chief Executive, Nick Farthing commented:
“We have cared for the adult population in the local area for more than 40 years, and now is the time to extend this outstanding care to families with children and young people who need our support. The care we provide for children is likely to look different to that we provide for adults; typically, we care for adults in the last year of life, but we are likely to care for children for much longer periods.
“At present, some of our most vulnerable children across Kent & Sussex have to travel long distances to London for care that simply isn’t available in our area. Our new children’s service will change this – reducing stress by providing free, at-home care for children with life-limiting conditions, where they can remain surrounded by their favourite people and comforts, rather than in a strange hospital bed for as long as they need.”
Hospice in the Weald will be running engagement sessions across the community in November to hear from local families who will need this Service. For more information, please visit: hospiceintheweald.org.uk.