Child and Maternal Health
Better @ Home Supportive Palliative Care Team
NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Better @ Home Supportive Care Team have established a new service working with midwifery, obstetric, neonatal and paediatric services to provide palliative care when a family is expecting a baby who has had a fetal anomaly identified which is life limiting.
The team are introduced to the family around the 28th week of pregnancy to enable a relationship of trust to be established, plans to be made for the time of delivery, immediately after birth and for ongoing care. Families are supported in either hospital or home twenty four hours a day. The support offered is individual to each family dependent on their wishes and continues through the death of the child and beyond.
Parents have told us that the support of the team gave them strength to cope with the very difficult situation they found themselves in and have also expressed their joy at being able to take their baby home to create memories and spend time as a family. By caring for the baby at home the siblings and extended family are able to be part of the team too while getting to know the baby, even if only for a short time.
As far as we know this model of care is not replicated elsewhere in Scotland and we hope by sharing this that other areas will look to develop similar services as our parents have told us, ”memories are better than dreams”.
Dr Sarah Coy, Lead Clinician for Paediatric Palliative Care
Aileen Crichton, WellChild Advance Paediatric Nurse Practitioner