What is your current role?
I'm a complex care clinical nurse specialist in the compass service, Evelina London's complex paediatric service.
In this service we work exclusively with children and young people with medical complexity who are in hospital for prolonged periods of time, usually months. All of our children will have multiple teams involved in their care.
When we spoke to families to ask what would improve their care, they asked for better continuity, coordination of care and communication and this is what I aim to provide. I support them during these long stays and advocate for them. I try to address the child's and family’s whole picture, including their psychological, social and medical concerns.
Tell us about a typical day
I don't really have a typical day, my role is incredibly varied. It depends on the needs of each individual patient and their families! My day can range from helping set up a bank account to caring for a child who needs intensive care.
My day often consists of time with families, ward rounds, attending multidisciplinary meetings, teaching my colleagues or parents, and general coordination of hospital teams.
What's the best thing about your job?
The amazing families I work with. Their incredible resilience and strength during exceptionally challenging times is inspirational.
I'm passionate about raising awareness of children with medical complexity. This is a quickly evolving area of practice and I want to help drive change and rethink how we partner with families to improve care.
I have an amazing team!
What is your proudest moment?
There are moments where the work you do culminates into a really joyful day. We had a child with a life-limiting illness who needed high intensity care and we managed to find a safe space that enabled him to have a birthday party with friends and family that meant so much to him and those that loved him.
Why is the compass service so important?
The number of patients who require this type of care is increasing, and our service acknowledges their wide and differing needs. The team helps recognise their social, psychological, practical and emotional needs. Having a child with medical complexity leaves families spinning multiple plates, navigating a fragmented and often confusing system. I hope our service helps them cope with this and alleviates some of this stress.
Thank you to the children and young people who have so brilliantly illustrated our blog pages.