Our new-look service provision to protect our future...

We’ve been on quite a journey over the past two years and I'd like to tell you all about the fantastic work we are doing and share our plans for the future.

Since our hospice opened nearly 16 years ago, the needs of children with life-limiting conditions have changed. Children are living for longer, with more complex conditions and with more dependence on technology. We need a workforce that can meet their needs, and care services that can adapt to the ever-changing requirements of children and families who rely on our vital services.

We recognise that the care and support we provide to families wouldn’t be possible without the funding of our loyal supporters and know the importance of keeping you updated. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure share our exciting developments and what the future looks like for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice...

Like many charities and organisations, our well known and loved children’s hospice has faced challenges brought on by the pandemic, which led to a temporary suspension of our clinical services in June 2022. We spent some time assessing and redesigning how we offer care within the community to ensure a robust and sustainable care model is in place for babies, children and young people, and their families across our catchment.

We are building a team of professionals to make us stronger and able to protect ourselves against any future changes and so have redefined our nurse-led model, ensuring that our care services are responsive, sustainable, and able to meet the needs of children and families.

Reopening of our care services

After a determined and focused recruitment drive for nurses, support workers and team leaders, we were able to resume some of our care services in December 2022. Care and short breaks at home were recommenced and the hospice reopened for two-night stays. As our recruitment continued to see positive results, we have gradually increased the number of nights and we are open five nights per week.

Our support services remained throughout

Our range of family support services were maintained throughout our temporary suspension. We welcomed families into the hospice for craft and sensory activity days and we continued to provide support to brothers and sisters through our sibling workshops and days out. Additionally, our bereavement counselling service, music therapy work, parent groups and wellbeing workshops were all sustained.
We also took the opportunity to refresh, renew and update all areas of the hospice to improve family experience. One of the key projects has been to re-design and refresh the Primrose Garden which is now a calm and peaceful space for families using our bereavement rooms.

We have a new Transition team

In July 2023 we welcomed two new members of staff to the care team to work with young people (between the ages of 14 and 25 years) who are supported by the hospice. Our transition team help ensure young people have a smooth transition from children’s services to adult services including managing their care, educational and social needs. They have already made a huge impact working with adult hospices and other organisations, including activities and sessions like the Solar powered car project

Our care services are nurse-led

Our nurse-led model of care is a common one for children’s hospices across the UK. This approach ensures that care services offered by Bluebell Wood are responsive to the needs of families and delivered in a safe, effective, child-focused and family-centred way.
We have employed a team of highly experienced nurses who have completed additional training which means they can treat children with a range of needs. Our new Symptom Management Team allows us to provide responsive symptom management 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The team of advanced nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists provide care in the hospice, in family homes and in hospitals around the region. They have enabled Bluebell Wood to play more central roles in providing responsive palliative care out in the community. We are proud to lead on giving families the opportunity to communicate and make choices about their child’s care when they are coming to the end of their life. 

To read more about our nurses, please take a look at Zoë’s and Anna’s stories.

Building our Care Services, Building for the Future, Building Income Generation

Our strategy centres around supporting sustainability and growth for the future. We’re working hard to recruit the final vacancies which will complete the care team, allowing us to provide short breaks for children seven nights per week, as well as enabling us to provide symptom management and end of life care, and care for children after death in our specialist bereavement bedrooms.

As well as all the fantastic work our team are delivering, we are also working towards being able to provide:
 • more overnight stays in the hospice.
 • end of life care in the hospice.
 • care for children after death.
 • more support for families when life-limiting conditions are found during pregnancy.

Our costs

These essential changes come at a cost, so our expected running costs will increase to almost £6.5m this year to support the investment we have made into our uncompromisable service.

Whilst we have made many positive changes in the last two years, the fundamental thing that hasn’t changed is the need for Bluebell Wood to continue to be there for families who need us.

We receive around 16% statutory funding and rely on the support of businesses and the community to help with all our fundraising efforts so we can be here long into the future. We are so grateful to our supporters, volunteers and staff who make this possible.

Thank you so much for your support.

Donate today