Critical Support for Seriously Ill Children and Families in Barking & Havering Thanks to New Better At Home Suite 

Families of seriously ill children in Barking & Havering are set to receive vital assistance through the recently inaugurated Better at Home Training Suite, a project by WellChild, the national charity for seriously ill children. 

By Charlotte Edwards · December 7, 2023

The Better at Home Training Suite, officially introduced on December 5th at Queens Hospital on Tropical Lagoon is designed to deliver essential training for families, facilitating the safe transition of children with complex medical needs from hospitals to the comfort of their homes. This initiative became a reality through a generous donation provided by Property Race Day. 

This cutting-edge suite represents the 12th addition to WellChild’s nationwide network of Better at Home suites. These suites provide home-like environments where parents and caregivers can acquire life-saving skills and interventions in a secure setting, utilising specialised equipment to simulate real-life scenarios. Designed to replicate a child’s bedroom, these spaces allow families a private and secure environment to prepare for providing care at home. 

Among those set to benefit from this new facility is the family of 4-year-old Alma, who has a tracheostomy tube following an accident at home and multiple surgeries. The Better at Home Training Suite ensures families like Alma’s can receive training in a private and comfortable setting, free from the disruptions of a hospital ward. 

‘The Better At Home suite will definitely make a huge difference. We can have members of our family come and train here which will give us so much more flexibility. It means someone can give us a hand and help us care for Alma at home and allow us some valuable respite time.’ 

Alma’s Dad, Razvan

Situated at Queens Hospital in Romford, the suite offers families proximity to their children during training while ensuring access to medical services for additional support. Professionals from various specialties at Queens Hospital will have access to the suite when necessary. In contrast to training at a child’s bedside, the Better at Home Training Suite offers a dedicated space for focused education, better preparing parents and caregivers for potential crises or emergency situations. 

“The suite is a great place to teach families. It’s less noisy and chaotic than the ward, and parents can ask questions freely in a private setting. We believe this will help parents feel more confident and reduce the length of hospital stays for children.” 

Jenny Clancey, Complex Discharge Coordinator at BHRUT

WellChild CEO, Matt James, expressed his enthusiasm for the new facility, stating, “Our Better at Home suites are vital in giving parents and carers the skills and confidence they need to care for their children safely at home, where they will have the very best chance to thrive. We’re delighted to be able to extend this support to more families. Huge thanks go to the Property Race Day for making it possible to provide this crucial support for families in Barking & Havering.”