What we do
The Rapid Response team brings all of the services offered at the hospice into the family home in order to offer choice to children/young people and their families.
The team is led by Lesley Fellows along with a team of highly skilled registered nurses and health care support workers (HCSW) who are dedicated to supporting families in their own homes. The team has access to the play specialists, physiotherapists, music and complementary therapists to provide holistic care.
The team are based at Claire House and a satellite base in Liverpool from where they outreach to children and young people from Merseyside, Wirral, Cheshire and parts of North Wales.
Following a child or young person’s death we have a Butterfly team that look after the child and provide support for the family.
The Butterfly coordinator may assist in transferring the child to use our Butterfly suite in the Hospice. This is a private, comfortable suite which may enable families to stay together at this sad time and is also a place where other family members can come and see the child. The child can stay for up to seven days if the family wish, depending on availability of the suites.
Should the family wish to stay at home with their child, we are able to work with local funeral directors to enable this wherever possible. The child may rest at home with a cuddle cot or cooling blanket and have support from the butterfly team at home if needed.
Helping families at this difficult time will be very individual and can range from practical support such as registering the child’s death and funeral planning to emotional support such as collecting mementoes and supporting siblings.
Following a child’s funeral, the child will be allocated a bereavement key worker from the Butterfly team and they will continue to maintain contact with the family through telephone and home visits when needed. The bereavement key worker may refer to the counselling and/or complementary therapy service where appropriate or direct families to the appropriate organisations for support.
Often many of the children/young people accessing Claire House spend a prolonged amount of time in hospital whether it be Alder Hey Children’s Hospital or the local district general hospital. We recognise that this can be a very stressful and difficult time for both the child and the family.
The Rapid Response team visit Alder Hey and other hospitals in the Claire House footprint regularly to support children and families that are inpatients and to keep abreast of the child’s clinical care. When we can, we often offer to sit with the child or young person for a few hours to give parents a little break from the ward, whether it be to get a meal, take a shower or pop home for a few hours as we are aware how difficult it is to leave their child.
The team can also attend any clinic appointments should a parent wish for some additional support and be a source of advice or information.
Advanced care planning
Sometimes families worry about what might happen if their child suddenly or unexpectedly becomes unwell. Talking through what might happen can help reduce some of these worries and concerns and having such discussions documented in an advanced care plan, often reduces how often these difficult conversations are needed.