A nurse who supports children with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions has spoken of the rewards of her job.
Community nurse Fiona Fairley joined the Charlie House charity at the end of last year and through her role helps families.
The link between Fiona and the families supported by Charlie House is essential – she ensures there’s a familiar face through every step of their journey.
Staff at the charity are busy fundraising for its £8 million Big Build Appeal to create a specialist support centre for children and their parents in Aberdeen.
It will feature eight bedrooms and accompanying family accommodation, as well as a range of different facilities, and will be built at Woodend Hospital.
The nurse, who is employed by NHS Grampian, with the position funded by Charlie House, spoke out about her role during Children’s Hospice Week, a time of the year dedicated to raising awareness and funds for palliative care services for children across the UK.
She said: “Every day is really different. One of the biggest things I do is home visits to kids and families out in the community, all over the north-east.
“A lot of them are admitted to hospital, I’ll visit them wherever they are.
“It’s so rewarding when you realise, especially with a child with a newly diagnosed condition, what a support you can be for them.
“It’s nice when you see you can actually make a difference to that family.
“I think they like having someone there who knows them.”
“The children can have feeding tubes and be using other medical equipment they’ve never had before.
“I can teach them how to use them to help them get home from hospital quicker.
“I help make that discharge process a bit easier, especially for the first time they’re going home because there’s so much involved, and I’ll go and see them at home, to see how they’re getting on.
”The community nurse is on hand to help children move through the different stages of their treatment, helping babies with neonatal care and making sure children with life-limiting conditions have the best quality of life.”
Leigh Ryrie, children and family support manager at Charlie House, said: “Having Fiona as a key part of our team is a vital link between Charlie House and Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.
“Many of the families we support can spend extended periods of time in the hospital so to still be able to have that link with Charlie House when they are admitted is comforting and familiar to the families.”