Specialist children’s nurse Judith Bentley has joined Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice as Head of Care.

Judith Bentley joins the hospice from Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield and is passionate about delivering gold-standard care for children and families at the North Anston hospice and expanding her team to enable more care at home.

She brings a wealth of nursing expertise and life experience to the role, which involves managing the in-house and community care teams and leading and developing services including day care, short breaks, and nursing on-call.

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice offers vital care and support to children and young people with life-shortening or life-threatening conditions across South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Derbyshire. It currently supports around 250 families both in the hospice and in family homes.

At Pinderfields, Judith advanced to become the Mid Yorkshire Trust’s Children’s Neurodisability Team Lead for four years, managing the children’s Epilepsy, Learning Disability, Continence, ADHD and Respiratory teams.

She also specialised in helping children with autism and ADHD, reviewing children and managing their symptoms in her own ADHD clinics.

“I am passionate about delivering high-quality care and this is an exciting time to be joining Bluebell Wood,” said Judith.

“We are recruiting now to expand our care team in early 2020, ensuring we can continue to support care in the hospice while also increasing our community nursing team to enable us to further support children and families who choose to stay at home for end of life care.

Judith added: “I advanced the ADHD services at Pinderfields to a gold standard service and that is my aim for the children’s services I manage at Bluebell Wood.”

Judith’s nursing career didn’t begin until she was 38 and she is a firm believer that age should not be a barrier or be detrimental to achieving your dreams, success and ambitions.

After working as a florist and raising two sons, at the age of 35 she set her heart on fulfilling a childhood desire to work in healthcare and enrolled for a Higher Diploma in Children’s Nursing at Huddersfield University.

Said Judith, 54, of Sharlston Common, Wakefield: “I was 38 when I became a nurse on the children’s general ward at Pinderfields. I juggled my training and then the job with my role as mum of teenagers and it wasn’t always easy, but the career I came to later in life has always been my calling and has been hugely rewarding.”

Since qualifying as a children’s nurse 16 years ago, Judith has continued to attend university while working full-time, increasing her knowledge and qualifications. She now has a degree in paediatric nursing and is a qualified non-medical prescriber.

Added Judith: “I am now bringing all the experience I gained, and my skills in supporting families and colleagues through potentially traumatic or emotional situations, to the hospice.

“My focus is on enabling children and young people to make the most of every moment they have with their families so they can create wonderful memories, and giving the most dignified and comfortable care to those coming to the end of their lives, whilst supporting the family,” she commented. “I feel very privileged to be a part of this wonderful team.”

Ever determined to live life to the full, in her private life grandmother of two Judith is  on a mission to try out new life experiences with her partner Glyn. They love to head off on motorbike rides and after recently tackling fishing and taking a trip in a four-seater light aircraft, they will be rebuilding her Honda 125 off-road motorcycle.