It was a real pleasure recently to do some work with Carer Support Team, part of West Herts Hospitals Charity, and to meet the project’s inspiring founder Suzanne Boon.
Parents and Carers really struggle when they’re staying in hospital with their sick child. How will they be able to leave their child to have a shower, get a drink or food? Who can they talk to reduce isolation and worries or to answer non-medical questions?
Carer Support Team was set up by Suzanne at Watford General Hospital’s Starfish children’s ward after she experienced first-hand how practical and emotional support was vital for parents when their child was an in hospital.
As someone who has experienced hospital stays with my own child -albeit briefily and in a different NHS hospital – I knew this was a charity I wanted to do some work with. On a relatively small budget,we developed a new website for the charity to help explain better what they do and the impact of their work.
Although volunteers are routinely used in NHS hospitals, this is the first time in a children’s ward / paediatric A&E department. NHS staff including paediatricians and nursing staff have really welcomed the initiative, and parents have given very positive feedback. It’s great to hear that other NHS children’s hospitals are interested in replicating this fantastic service.