Better at Home Training Suite launched

Posted on the 4th December 2015

An innovative training resource for families of children and young people with long term and complex medical needs, the ‘Better at Home’ Training Suite, is officially launched by Edge Hill University and WellChild on the 4th December, 2015. The first of its kind in the United Kingdom, the ‘Better at Home’ training suite provides a safe and supportive place for families to learn and practice skills for providing essential medical and nursing care to their children in an environment which looks and feels like home.

Training will be given by highly skilled professionals in this new and interactive training resource, which offers a safe and supportive environment. Here families have the chance to gain the competency and confidence needed to deliver ongoing and often complex technology care in their own homes.

During the successful 24-month pilot phase, parents, grandparents and carers who used the ‘Better at Home’ suite and received training from a dedicated parent educator nurse reported that it empowered them to provide care themselves in their own home. Where previously they had encountered difficulties in getting suitable and consistent standards of training, families were overwhelmingly positive about the benefits of this facility. One mother said: “It was really good, gave you loads of confidence. It’s not just beneficial, I’d say it was essential”.

Linda Partridge, WellChild Director of Programmes, said: “We believe that the growing population of children surviving with complex needs and requiring technology-assisted care should be cared for at home so that families can be together whenever possible. Their families and carers therefore need innovative models of care and training to bridge the current gaps.The ‘Better at Home’ training suite provides an excellent and much-needed example of good practice.

We are delighted that this facility at Edge Hill will continue not only to serve families in this region but also help develop greater understanding of how best to support families across the UK.”

The project has already resulted in the development of online learning tools for parents once they are back home in areas such as tracheostomy care, gastrostomy care, oxygen, suction and care of the long-term ventilated (LTV) child. Following the launch it will lead to further improvements in the resources available and influence approaches to training for parents and carers of children with complex medical needs across the UK.

Tanya Byron, Chancellor of Edge Hill University, said: “Appropriate training is vital for families and carers to feel confident that they can safely care for their children at home. Without this children and young people can remain in or return to hospital unnecessarily, preventing hospital beds being used for others. We are proud that Edge Hill University is able to provide the first training facility of its kind to be housed in an educational setting. It’s a great example of the way this University innovates to improve people’s lives. ”

WellChild will shortly be providing additional funding from ITV Text Santa donations to appoint an experienced parent educator nurse to work with families as they make the journey from hospital to home.

Our picture shows mum Hayley Smallman training at the new suite.

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