WellChild Nurses

WellChild Nurses provide essential care and practical support to children and young people with exceptional health needs and their families. They play a crucial role in enabling children to leave hospital and be cared for at home, reducing the practical, emotional and financial impact for families.

WellChild Nurses respond to the needs of individual children and families. Typically their role involves:

  • Planning and co-ordinating a child’s transition from hospital to home, ensuring that all necessary equipment, care and support is in place for the child and family.
  • Being the nominated key worker to co-ordinate the child’s care once at home – in particular facilitating communication between health, social and educational services.
  • Providing nursing care in the family’s home, such as dressing changes or administering intravenous medication – limiting the need for regular trips to hospital for routine medical care.
  • Training parents and carers in the use of equipment such as ventilators and feeding tubes.
  • Providing emotional and practical support day to day and, crucially, at times of crisis.
  • Arranging respite care to give parents a much-needed break.
  • Providing information and advice on services – i.e. specialist schools, equipment and financial support.

Before we had a WellChild Nurse, no one took the lead. It has been such a weight off my mind knowing she is there.

WellChild Nurses provide care and support to families right across the UK.

WellChild Nurses care for children with a variety of conditions which will be life limiting, life threatening, degenerative, congenital or caused as a result of an accident. Many will be born with very complex needs affecting many of the body’s major organs and systems. Our Nurses are supporting children who will sadly never ‘get better’ but will need the ongoing specialist support to ensure they have the very best possible quality of life.

Typically each WellChild Nurse will have a caseload of 30-50 families at any one time but there are hundreds more which they could help. It is our aim to ensure that every child who requires a WellChild Nurse has one available to them, but we’ve still got a long way to go.

WellChild Nurses - FAQs for families

I’m a parent of a child with long-term complex needs. How do I get a WellChild Children’s Nurse?

WellChild is not directly involved in deciding which families are supported by WellChild Children’s Nurses. However if there is a WellChild Children’s Nurse in your area and you would like to know if this service is available to you, then you will need to speak to your child’s paediatrician, GP or other health professional about whether you can be referred. Each WellChild Children’s Nurse has a slightly different role depending on the group of children and young people they are looking after. For example, some WellChild Children’s Nurses only look after children and young people who are ventilated.

Is there a WellChild Children’s Nurse in my area?

The WellChild Children’s Nurses map shows the areas of the UK which are currently covered by this service. This network is still expanding and our aim is to have a WellChild Children’s Nurse in every area of the UK to ensure that all children and young people with long term and complex health conditions can have access should they need one.

WellChild Nurses - FAQs for professionals

How are WellChild Children’s Nurses funded?

WellChild funds each nurse for a period of three years after which time the individual NHS health provider commits to continue the post. Please note this commitment to continuing the service is a condition of the funding being awarded. Each nurse is employed and managed by the local healthcare trust in which they work. Funding for each nurse comes entirely from donations to the charity.

How do I apply for a WellChild Children’s Nurse?

For all information on how to apply for a nurse post in your area please see here. Please note we are only able to accept applications from NHS health providers and are not currently in a position to fund nurses based within other charities such as hospices.

How do I apply to be a WellChild Children’s Nurse?

Once WellChild has agreed to fund a nurse in a specific area the local NHS trust will advertise the job locally and also on the national NHS Jobs website. View latest vacancies here.

Watch our documentary celebrating 10 years of the WellChild Nurse programme, with introduction from WellChild Patron, Prince Harry.