Better at Home programme

WellChild Better at Home training suites provide home-from-home spaces where parents and carers can learn the often life-saving interventions needed by their child in a safe environment with state-of-the-art simulation equipment. They are also used to train the many professionals involved in their care.

Currently training for parents and carers often takes place at a child’s hospital bedside prior to discharge home. This does not prepare parents and carers for crisis or emergency situations that might arise, and the delivery of the training can be inconsistent, limited and delivered by more than one professional. In many cases it can cause an avoidable delay to discharge.

The WellChild Better at Home Suite at Edge Hill University was the UK’s first parent and carer training facility. Since then the programme has expanded to cover 10 different centres across England, Scotland and Wales.

What are they?

WellChild Better at Home training suites provide home-from-home spaces where parents and carers can learn the often life-saving interventions needed by their child in a safe environment with state-of-the-art simulation equipment. They also provide the opportunity to train extended family members to widen the support network for families. Set-up like a child’s bedroom, they provide a safe space to prepare for providing care in the home.

Each project is designed to be flexible and responsive to local needs providing support in hospital, in the community or both. Some areas have a dedicated training room in a hospital or related health centre which parents and carers visit to receive training both prior to their child’s discharge from hospital as well as afterwards. Others have mobiles resource where equipment is taken directly to the family to provide training in the home or other locations in the community.

Map of Better at Home Units across the UK

The aims of the programme are:

  1. To provide a combination of static and mobile training providing parents with choice and easier access.
  2. To improve consistency of training for parents, including updates and review training.
  3. To prepare parents to deal with all scenarios including emergency situations.
  4. To develop the training resources needed to support training.
  5. To enable joint training opportunities e.g. other family members, carers, school support workers.
  6. To provide access to training for all professionals involved in supporting families.

449 Last year 449 people trained through our WellChild Better at Home programme including 175 parents and family members, 153 carers and 108 health professionals.

10 10 projects funded to date across England, Wales and Scotland

650 More than 650 training sessions delivered last year

  • NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • Edge Hill University and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital
  • Nottingham Children’s Hospital/University
  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital
  • Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust
  • Cardiff & Vale University Health Board
  • University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
  • Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, London
  • St George’s Hospital, London

William’s story

The WellChild Better at Home Suite at Edge Hill University was the UK’s first parent and carer training facility. Hear from a family who have received training at this Better at Home Suite.