1. What is LauraLynn@HOME?
LauraLynn@HOME is a programme of hospice care, providing nursing and health care assistance to children with life-limiting conditions and their families in their own homes.
National and international evidence suggests that the majority of parents of children with life-limiting conditions wish to care for their child at home with the appropriate supports. This premise underpins the national policy for children’s palliative care. LauraLynn@HOME will bring the care and expertise currently available in LauraLynn House into the family home.
LauraLynn@HOME is offered to children and their families living in two HSE regions: Dublin Mid-Leinster and Dublin North-East. Working alongside other care providers in the community, LauraLynn@HOME will provide hands-on care in the child’s family home. Additionally, families will be offered the support and care at LauraLynn House for planned respite, transitional, crisis and end-of-life care.
2. When did the programme launch?
LauraLynn@HOME began in June 2014.
3. Is there a difference in the care provided in the home and that at LauraLynn House?
Our aim is to provide the same high standard of care, regardless of whether a child is cared for in LauraLynn House or in their own home.
4. Which regions will Lauralynn@HOME provide care for?
The two regions in our remit are Dublin North-East and Dublin Mid-Leinster.
- Dublin North-East covers: Cavan; Monaghan; Louth; Meath and North County Dublin
- Dublin – Mid-Leinster covers: South County Dublin; Kildare; Wicklow; Laois; Offaly, Longford and Westmeath
5. What needs to happen for LauraLynn@HOME to become nationally available?
Although LauraLynn is the first children’s hospice providing an in-home care service in Ireland, similar services are well established in other countries. Following an extensive review and evaluation of the programme, LauraLynn@HOME will be rolled out to other areas of the country on a phased basis. UCD are evaluating the programme and will provide independent analysis and recommendations.
6. Who is eligible for this service and how do families apply?
In order to be eligible, children must meet the standard admission criteria which is in place for LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice– please refer to the How to Access Us section of our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The child’s home must be in either Dublin Mid-Leinster or Dublin North-East.
However, all children who have been diagnosed within the criteria may not be suitable for the programme if for example the home environment is deemed not to be appropriate for the type of care provided (e.g. housing/environmental concerns) or if the care needs are assessed as not being able to be met by current resources.
7. Will families receiving care in the home from LauraLynn also be eligible for respite care in LauraLynn House?
Research has shown that the majority of parents prefer to avail of care in the family home if possible. LauraLynn is Ireland’s only children’s hospice and children from any location in Ireland with medically diagnosed life-limiting conditions are considered for admission. It is envisaged that the majority of families will wish to access both services. Where families already receiving respite care at LauraLynn House, we may replace some of their allocation with our LauraLynn@HOME care programme.
8. What has the interest been in terms of recruitment? What qualifications do staff need to have?
LauraLynn@HOME received a great deal of interest during the recruitment phase and all applicants underwent a rigorous recruitment process. We have two very experienced team leaders with excellent skills in caring for children with life-limiting conditions and their families. In addition, each team has two posts for Registered Children’s Nurses and also two Healthcare Assistants. All staff recruited demonstrated their skill and commitment to children’s palliative care and excellent people skills.
9. What community supports are in place to accompany LauraLynn House?
It is widely recognised that community services for children with life-limiting conditions and their families are currently sporadic and at times insufficient to meet their needs. We recognise the fantastic work already being done by colleagues in the community including the recently appointed Children’s Outreach Nurses and The Jack and Jill Foundation, local disability and primary care services and adult specialist palliative care teams for example.
We continue to work closely with colleagues in acute, community and disability services to plan for the development of high quality care for children with life-limiting conditions.
We are strong advocates for the children in ensuring that whatever assistance families need to keep their child at home, should be given.
Through the establishment of a Department of Clinical Education & Training at LauraLynn, we are working to identify the training needs of healthcare staff nationally and we use our expertise to support these teams in the community to deal with issues that may arise with individual children with life-limiting conditions.
10. Are there plans to replicate this service in other parts of the country?
Our Vision is that ‘all children who need us can access us’. We will strive to achieve that vision and to meet the needs and wishes of children with life-limiting conditions and their families. It is our belief that all children who need it, deserve the care and support that a hospice facility like LauraLynn House can offer. In developing LauraLynn@HOME, we aim to bring hands-on care into the child’s home, working closely and collaboratively with our colleagues in other agencies to achieve this. The evaluation of this project will be invaluable in steering our strategic direction.
We also plan to develop an outpatient service, which will support families by limiting their need to travel long distances for appointments. We also have innovatively supported these families travelling to the acute children’s hospitals in Dublin, by providing respite care for their child the night prior to their appointment. This respite includes family accommodation for the whole family and eliminates the need for long stressful journeys on the day of their appointment.
11. What is the difference between this service and existing at home support – such as Jack and Jill and HSE nurses?
LauraLynn@HOME provides hands-on care for children with life-limiting conditions in the family home including: Family Support, Symptom Management, End-of-Life Care, Bereavement Support and Direct Care. LauraLynn@HOME does not replace existing services in the community but can be an additional service provided as part of the child’s over all care. LauraLynn@HOME works in collaboration with and compliments the care provided in the community by other statutory and voluntary organisations.