THE Isle of Wight’s hospice service for terminally ill children and young people has been shortlisted for a national award.
Established four years ago by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust children's community nursing team, the virtual hospice — so called because it does not operate from a single location — offers support to families following a devastating diagnosis.
The team, which works closely with the YMCA psychology service, works with families in their homes or a location of their choice to provide personalised end of life care and respite services.
It has been shortlisted for the Integrated Approach to Care award by the Nursing Times.
Team leader Becky Hepworth said: "Collaborative working and inventive thinking has enabled us to provide a service that was previously unavailable to families on the Island. These respite, psychological end of life care services were non-existent before 2010.
"The feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly favourable. Families have said they feel supported and more able to cope with the tough times and to enjoy the good times. We are very proud of our achievements and the impact the service has already had."
The virtual hospice was established following a survey carried out by the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which found there was a lack of respite provision, psychological services and children's hospice care on the Island.
Naomi House, Winchester, is the nearest children's hospice, and for many Island families it is too far and expensive to travel.
The Nursing Times Awards 2014 will be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on October 29.