Specialist children’s nurses help ease burden for families

PUBLISHED: 21:00 17 August 2018

Tina Bodell, Children’s Hospice at Home Nurse at Rennie Grove.

Tina Bodell, Children’s Hospice at Home Nurse at Rennie Grove.


For families caring for a young one with a life-limiting condition, the physical and emotional challenges can be bewildering and overwhelming. But Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s team of dedicated children’s nurses help shoulder the burden and – literally – ease the pain.

These specialist nurses are available 24/7 for local babies, children and young people up to the age of 19 and their families. The aim is to ensure that each patient is able to fulfil their potential and enjoy the best quality of life possible, however short that life may be.

Tina Bodell is one of Rennie Grove’s Children’s Hospice at Home nurses, and in a piece on the charity’s website detailing one of her working days, she said: “As well as providing clinical support to our children, we try to provide holistic care to the whole family too.

“This might include acting as the link between all health and social care professionals involved in their child’s care; making sure parents’, siblings’ and carers’ needs are looked after and working alongside them to deliver care to their child.”

The range of complex conditions tackled by Rennie Grove’s children’s nurses is vast, and an extract from Tina’s story gives an example of a visit to patient who has been newly-referred to the Children’s Service:

The new patient is Joe. He has a tumour in his kidney and his family needs help with managing his symptoms.

Once introductions have been made Tina starts with an explanation about Rennie Grove and what its children’s nurses can offer Joe and his family.

This includes care that is tailored to Joe’s condition, medical support, pain management, help with administering medication and a service that families have access to 24/7.

Tina explains that they will work closely with the children’s community nurses and the local hospice to make sure that the family get the help they need to care for Joe at home.

Tina explained: “Our families trust us completely as highly skilled clinicians who know all about the complex needs of their child.

“They feel reassured that they have access to a member of the team at any time of the day or night. This is crucial when you are caring for a very sick child at home.”

You can read ‘A day in the life of a Rennie Grove children’s nurse’ at www.renniegrove.org/childrensnurse and to find out more about Rennie Grove’s services and how you can support the charity please visit www.renniegrove.org.

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A few years back I was fixing a shed in our garden and had enlisted the help of my young son. We were busy moving rotten pieces of wood from the side of the shed when suddenly I felt sharp stabbing pains in my lower legs. Before I had a chance to investigate my son started screaming in pain and it took a few more seconds to realize that we were trampling on a wasps’ nest!

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