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How we support families

At Children's Hospice South West (CHSW) we are absolutely committed to making the most of short and precious lives. The care offered at each of our hospices is not simply about medical and nursing care for sick children, but about enriching the lives of children and their families. 

We offer care, support and practical help while working in partnership with families, following as closely as possible the care children receive at home so each family feels they are in control. We aim to be flexible in the support we offer, allowing each family to choose how we can help and whether we become fully or partialy involved with their child’s care.

At a time when we felt completely alone and scared the hospice helped us through some of our darkest times - providing support, comfort and reassurance. 

We aim to help each family to wind down in the way that suits them. Some families take advantage of meals being prepared for them and telephones being answered so they can spend more time with their sick child, take well brothers and sisters out, enjoy leisure activities or just catch up on sleep! Others, once their child has got to know and trust us, may leave their child in our care whilst they take a break elsewhere.

Families talk about the 'treasure chest' of precious memories they build to carry into the future... a future which will, sadly, be without their much loved child or children.

The Turner family - Iona's story

The services we provide

We are involved with children and their families from the point of diagnosis or recognition of a life-limiting or life-threatening condition and beyond. This means the needs of the children and their families using our service varies tremendously and we provide a range of services to meet these needs. 

  • We provide planned short break and respite care away from the home for the child and family
  • We are available 24 hours a day/365 days a year for telephone advice and support between your visits - you can phone at any time, there will always be someone here
  • We are able to offer emergency care, (both if a child is unwell or if there are social/domestic emergencies)
  • We can help with symptom management if your child has difficult symptoms
  • When a child reaches the end stages of life we can provide care and support to all members of the family at this very difficult time
  • We provide a dedicated sibling service to meet the special needs of brothers and sisters
  • We provide ongoing support for all the family in between visits from named ‘contacts’ on the Care Team
  • We also offer bereavement support to the whole family after a child dies