COVID-19: parents reveal fears over home visits for seriously ill children

Survey findings, released as part of Children's Hospice Week, have revealed that parents of seriously ill children fear home visits by nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Survey reveals parents' concerns about home visits during the pandemic

Parents caring for seriously ill children are worried about nurses coming into their home during the COVID-19 pandemic, a study has revealed.

The study, released as part of Children’s Hospice Week, found 95% of parents were debating the risks and benefits of allowing healthcare professionals into their home to support their children.

A total of 44 parents have completed the ongoing study from Martin House Research Centre, the UK children’s palliative care charity Together for Short Lives, and the University of Southampton.

Of those who participated:

  • 89% think their child should be isolated from everyone except immediate family during the pandemic.
  • 93% fear their child’s treatment will be cancelled or delayed.
  • 59% had struggled to get nursing support during the pandemic, and 66% struggled with in-home care.

Families will need support to negotiate the gradual lifting of lockdown rules 

Commenting on the report, the charity’s children's palliative care nurse specialist Tara Kerr-Elliot said it is important that families of seriously ill children are supported when coming out of lockdown as we enter the new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘While the most seriously unwell children have continued to receive home visits, nurses working in the children’s palliative care sector – in hospitals, community teams and hospices – have tried new ways of reaching these families, whether this is providing virtual support or more doorstep contact.'

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