Background During the height of the pandemic and for many months after, as many families were readjusting to life with children going back to school, many families of children with life-limiting conditions were still securing themselves in their homes, afraid to send children to school, afraid of bringing disease back from shops or public places while feeling very isolated and thoroughly exhausted. Prior to the pandemic, Outreach provided vital short breaks in the home, allowing families and care givers to take a break to do some shopping, housework, take other children to an activity or birthday party, or spend some time looking after their own wellbeing by visiting the hairdressers or going to the gym.
Aims To determine the suitability of Outreach nurses reassessing children and adding a layer of confidence that families could allow children to return to in-house care at Acorns, or choose to continue with Outreach visits if they preferred that model of care. In line with our strategic plan for 2022-23, we will increase our reach to unique children by offering Outreach as a core service.
Methods Reinstating outreach, a team of qualified nurses, in July 2021, re-engaging with families who had little or no contact with Acorns through the pandemic through reassurance that we kept children safe through effective use of immunisation, testing and PPE.
Results Capturing the changes in development and care needs of those who had not engaged with us in 18 months, other than by having regular virtual contact from the family team, we were able to reassure families that re-attending the hospice would be safe for children and give families the much needed break from the intensity of caring. Some families chose not to come in-house, but appreciated the outreach model.
Model to be rolled out to families newly referred to Acorns to build relationships with Clinical Services.
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