Meet Katie, a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Paediatric Palliative Care
Katie is employed by Rainbows but is based in the Children’s Hospital at Leicester Royal Infirmary. She is part of a small team alongside the new Paediatric Palliative Care Consultant - Veronica and the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Neonatal Palliative Care – Gemma, as well as part of the larger palliative care team at our hospice.
Katie has been a nurse for seven years, specialising in oncology and haematology before joining our team in April 2021. Katie has also spent time shadowing World Health Organisation staff providing education on palliative care at a hospice in Indonesia.
She works with children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses, who are known to us, extending the support they can access during their hospital stay. She provides a different approach to care, a holistic one, which takes into account the child’s family and offers support to them too. Katie is part of the ‘face of Rainbows’ in the hospital but has a large expert multi-disciplinary team behind her at the hospice.
From diagnosis to end of life, Katie and the palliative care team are alongside the child and their family on their journey, parallel planning, liaising with other teams and ensuring Rainbows’ services and therapies are offered not only at the hospice, but also in hospital and at home.
Another aspect of her role is identifying new families, reaching out to those who may not know about our charity, and making sure they are referred to our hospice to access the support they need. She can explain the wide range of services available from us and what can be offered at home or in hospital.
As part of the palliative care service at UHL, Katie is able to support families from diagnosis of a life-limiting or life-threatening diagnosis throughout their journey, ensuring they have access to specialist palliative care and advocating for families that this happens in their place of choice. This also involves supporting the teams around the child or young person and bridges the gap between services to ensure families are being cared for in their preferred place.
Katie said: “It is about helping the families to find a way through the stress and emotions of caring for a child who is life limited. I can offer them choices they may not know exist and support them with decision making around their child’s care.”
The service has already been very well received at the hospital and is already making a difference to children and young people with palliative care needs and their families and the hospital staff who are caring for them.