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New nursing role to help parents of seriously ill children

The charity Wellchild has appointed its first parent trainer nurse to help children continue to receive the essential medical care they need after leaving hospital.
Nurse Esther Bennington

A pioneering new nursing role that teaches parents the skills to ensure their child receives essential medical care after leaving hospital has been launched by charity Wellchild.

Esther Bennington has been appointed as the Wellchild parent trainer nurse by the charity, which helps seriously ill children leave hospital and be cared for at home with their families wherever possible.

Based at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, Ms Bennington's training for families includes showing parents how to use machinery, such as suction devices and ventilators, administering medicines and basic life support skills.

Better at Home Suite

She also teaches parents at a specially-designed Better at Home suite at Edge Hill University in Lancashire, which recreates the look and feel of a home environment.

A pioneering new nursing role that teaches parents the skills to ensure their child receives essential medical care after leaving hospital has been launched by charity Wellchild.


Wellchild parent trainer nurse Esther Bennington (centre) with 15-year-old patient Hannah Forster and her mother Karen Corness. VJT Photography

Esther Bennington has been appointed as the Wellchild parent trainer nurse by the charity, which helps seriously ill children leave hospital and be cared for at home with their families wherever possible.

Based at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, Ms Bennington's training for families includes showing parents how to use machinery, such as suction devices and ventilators, administering medicines and basic life support skills.

Better at Home Suite

She also teaches parents at a specially-designed Better at Home suite at Edge Hill University in Lancashire, which recreates the look and feel of a home environment.

The charity said the role was the first of its kind to focus on providing education for parents of children with long-term serious and complex conditions.

Ms Bennington, a former critical care sister and team leader in children and young people’s complex care, said: ‘Families with children who have exceptional health needs often have to learn many health skills, my role supports these skills delivering bespoke, flexible, training to match parents’ needs.

Various settings

‘I can do this in a variety of settings: on the ward, at home, in school, community centres, and at the Better at Home Suite.’

Wellchild's children's nurse programme was established in 2006 and has funded nursing posts across England and Wales to provide emotional and practical support to children and their families.


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