New ‘at home’ hospice care service for children

19 Jun

LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice makes the move to bring an ‘at home‘ hospice care service for children into the family home; with a 12-month trial to begin this June in selected areas.

We have announced today an exciting new development with the official launch of the LauraLynn@HOME programme. Children’s Hospice Week which is being celebrated at LauraLynn all week, culminated in the announcement of this exciting new direction for the charity. The new service will bring all of the expertise and care that children currently receive at LauraLynn into the family home on a 12-month trial basis.

LauraLynn@HOME will provide hands-on care in the home, provided by a team of dedicated LauraLynn nurses and health care assistants. This care will include respite, transitional, crisis and end-of-life care. The only difference to the current model of care available at LauraLynn will be that families can have the option of receiving this care in their own home.

The LauraLynn@HOME Pilot Programme will be offered in the following areas:

  • Region 1:  Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, North County Dublin
  • Region 2:  Kildare, Wicklow, Westmeath, Laois, Offaly, Longford, South County Dublin

LauraLynn estimate that approximately 50 families will avail of this service during the trial period. The pilot project will run for one year at an estimated cost of €800,000. All of the money for this additional service has come from publicly donated funds, with the majority coming from the recent Half Million Half Marathon event organised by The Ray D’Arcy Show on TodayFM.

Julie Ling, Head of Strategic Development at LauraLynn, is coordinating the LauraLynn@HOME pilot and overseeing its roll out. Julie today said; “Parents are often the main providers of care for children with life-limiting conditions and national and international evidence suggests that the majority of parents  where possible, wish to care for their child at home with the appropriate supports. LauraLynn@HOME  working with colleagues in the community aims to provide families with more choices.

Our aim is to provide the same high standard of care, regardless of whether the child is cared for in LauraLynn or in the child’s own home. We would welcome any family in either of the two pilot areas who would like to apply for the LauraLynn@Home service to contact us at any stage to discuss.”

Jane McKenna, mother of Laura and Lynn, joined us at the Children’s Hospice Week celebrations for the announcement; “In the short few years that LauraLynn has been open it is amazing that we can now offer this crucial service in the home. For parents who find themselves in the difficult situation of requiring end-of-life care, choices are important. We can now offer families options. It is our hope and belief that this new service will eventually bridge the gap for hundreds of families who require the support of LauraLynn but who want to have their child at home.”

LauraLynn is the only children’s hospice in Ireland and therefore the first to provide hospice at home. Similar services have been successfully established in many other countries. It is envisaged that this service will be a success and an evaluation of the project to be conducted by UCD, will ensure that services are meeting the needs of the child and family and provided in the most appropriate format and structure. It is hoped that 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.

In order to be eligible for the LauraLynn@HOME pilot project, children must meet the standard admission criteria for LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice which can be found on our website or email for further information.



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