Meet some of our Nurses

Meet some of the 38 WellChild Nurses working across the UK to help seriously ill children, young people and their families.

Amika Challacombe

WellChild Children’s Nurse Specialist – Long Term Ventilation, Sheffield

www.francesmilburnphotography.co.ukAs a WellChild Children’s Nurse, Amika provides vital support to seriously ill children and young people across Yorkshire. Amika specializes in helping children and young people who need a ventilator to assist with their breathing.

Amika helps to reduce the time children on long term ventilation have to spend in hospital by arranging and coordinating the care they need at home. She also provides specialist advice as well as emotional and other practical support for the whole family.

“My post being put in place means we can concentrate on delivering high quality community support at home for children on both long term invasive and non invasive ventilation. We are able to support children in the community when they become unwell to try to avoid hospital visits.” – Amika

Read about Ibraheem who is supported by Amika

I am in a very privileged position seeing families at their best and worst of times. By being a WellChild Children’s Nurse I can hopefully just make it all a bit easier for them.

WellChild Nurse Amika

Rachel Gregory

WellChild Long Term Ventilation Nurse Specialist, Nottingham

As the WellChild Long Term Ventilation Nurse Specialist, Rachel enables children and young people with complex health conditions to receive care in their own homes, reducing the time they have to spend in hospital by arranging and coordinating the care needed for these children and young people to live at home and providing emotional and practical support for the whole family. Rachel is based within the Community Nursing team at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, supporting families by working closely with colleagues in the community, hospitals, hospices and other specialist centres. Prior to this post Rachel worked in the Community Nursing Team and Paediatric Intensive Care and so brings considerable expertise and a comprehensive understanding of the needs and challenges faced by the families with whom she will be working.

Read about Maddison who is supported by Rachel

There are a growing number of home-ventilated children and this number is predicted to continue to rise. My aim as a WellChild Nurse is to provide these children's families with the necessary help and support so that they are able to care for their child safely and expertly in the best place, namely at home.

WellChild Nurse Rachel

Michelle West

WellChild Children’s Nurse for Complex Care, Cornwall

Michelle is based at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. Through this unique post, she supports families by working closely with colleagues in the community, hospitals and other specialist centres to ensure the highest quality of care.

As the WellChild Children’s Nurse she helps to reduce the time children have to spend in hospital by arranging and coordinating the care they need at home and providing specialist advice as well as emotional and other practical support for the whole family.

“As a WellChild Nurse I have the opportunity to be able to support children with exceptional health needs and their families both in hospital and at home.  This unique role allows me to have the flexibility to meet the individual needs of each child and family as they require.”

Read about Curtis who is supported by Michelle

Seeing a child at home with their family and knowing that your input has made sure this has been achieved without delay, safely and with the family having the correct support around them, is amazing.

WellChild Nurse Michelle

Linda McCarthy and Laurie Jack

WellChild Respiratory Nurse Specialists, Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh

WellChild Children’s Nurses Linda McCarthy and Laurie Jack provide specialist care and support to children and young people with serious health needs across Scotland, in particular, those who need a ventilator to help them breathe.

Linda and Laurie work closely with colleagues in the community, hospital and other specialist centres to improve the lives of the growing number of families in the area whose children have serious illness and complex conditions requiring long-term ventilation. They provide practical and emotional support to get children out of hospital to be together with their families at home and well connected to local services. Once home Linda and Laurie remain on hand to help reduce the number of potential hospital readmissions which can be upsetting and disruptive to families.

“We’re really looking forward to the opportunity provided by WellChild to keep developing and enhancing our existing service for children and families in this area and to be able to make a real difference to their lives.” (Linda)

Read about Rogan who is supported by Linda and Laurie

We are also excited and proud to become part of the growing WellChild Nursing Team which will allow us to share knowledge and experience with other nurses providing similar services elsewhere and a chance to work together towards advancing the way specialised nursing care is provided.

WellChild Nurse Laurie

Diane Miles

WellChild Palliative Nurse Specialist, London

Diane ensures children and young people with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition across Camden, Haringey and Islington receive the care and treatment they need at home with their families.Joe-25

As well as providing emotional and practical support for the whole family, including training for parents and carers, having a WellChild Nurse means more families can be supported as their child reaches the end of life. They will continue to have choice in where their child is cared for at this time and continued support after the death of their child. Diane has worked for the past three years as a Children’s Community Nurse in the area and so brings considerable expertise and a comprehensive understanding of the needs and challenges faced by the families she works with. Prior to this she provided teaching and clinical support in the acute paediatric setting; for student nurses undertaking their paediatric nursing training, particularly in the area of skills.

Read about Joe who is supported by Diane

It is an absolute privilege to be working with both children and families who are living with life limiting conditions and end of life situations. I hope the WellChild role will enhance the service already provided by the established Life Force team and will enable us to reach out to more families at an earlier stage of their journey

WellChild Nurse Diane

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