Specialist Palliative Care Nurses: Meet Victoria

The Palliative Care Nurses support families throughout their journey between home, hospital, community and hospice. They refer families into the Kentown programme ensuring that they receive timely care and support. Playing a lead role in coordinating hospital discharge, they also prepare Advance Care Plans, a document setting out recommendations when a child’s condition becomes unstable or deteriorates. The nurses support children’s community nursing and hospital teams to deliver palliative care and help to raise awareness of children’s palliative care services with professionals.

Meet Victoria   

1. Can you explain your role in a few sentences? 

I support around co-ordinating care and care planning for the children, supporting the best quality of life for the child and family within the Programme and also supporting staff within my Trust. This is aimed at nurturing staff confidence around supporting the children with palliative care needs and also supporting the educational and support needs of the staff, to be able to support the families.

I am also involved in reviewing wider strategy within children’s palliative care to ensure we meet the needs of the families and am instrumental in the work around Advanced Care Plans.

2.  Looking back over the past year, what has been a highlight?  

For some families, we have been able to talk to them about palliative care in a way that they understand what this support means and reframe what they may have perceived palliative care to be. For one family I was able to introduce myself in a way that meant the family felt comfortable with how I was able to support them. This initial/early support and introduction is so important for these families, to ensure that they feel open to support when they need this and a good understanding of how we can support the whole family on their child’s journey.

3.  What is your favourite thing about your job?  

I love every part of my job and providing support around quality of life for families. And when you can reach and spend time communicating with a family who may have not previously reached out for extra support and look at how you can help with their needs as a family.

4.  Can you see the programme making a difference to the families you support? 

We can see it making a real difference to all the families we are meeting. What’s unique about this support programme is that we are a holistic team approach- and we have direct access to one another within the service. This means we are able to access the support a family may need at any point, practical, emotional or clinical/co-ordination and have the tools within each of our services to be able to meet and explores needs of a family.