WellChild Nurse Esther Bennington with Karen Corness and her daughter Hannah Forster aged 15.

WellChild Parent Trainer Nurse, Esther Bennington, will provide support to parents of seriously ill children through Edge Hill’s Better at Home suite.

WellChild is the national charity for sick children, and through this unique post, Esther will be based at Alder Hey supporting families of seriously ill children and young people. As the WellChild Parent Trainer Nurse she will use the University’s Better at Home suite, uniquely designed to look and feel like a home, to teach parents how to provide essential medical care for their children once they leave hospital.

The first of its kind in the United Kingdom, the Better at Home training suite located in the University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care building provides a safe and supportive place for families to learn and practice skills for providing essential medical and nursing care to their children, in an environment which looks and feels like home.

“I am extremely excited about being in this role,” said Esther. “Families with children who have exceptional health needs often have to learn many health skills, my role supports these skills delivering bespoke, flexible, training to match parent’s needs.  I can do this in a variety of settings; on the ward, at home, in school, community centres and at the Better at Home suite at Edge Hill University.

“The Better at Home suite is a fantastic and innovative resource for families of children with complex health needs where families can be supported to provide safe, confident and competent care for their child at home.”

The WellChild Nurses’ programme was established to address a clear gap in the provision of care and support for children with long-term serious illness and complex conditions. In addition to keeping families together and benefitting a child’s development, it is often more cost efficient to care for a child at home than in hospital.

Linda Partridge, WellChild’s Director of Programmes, said:

“We have worked to make sure that the essential service now provided by WellChild Children’s Nurses in regions of the UK have a long-reaching impact. Our target is for every seriously ill child or young person to have access to a WellChild Children’s Nurse, and I am delighted that we have now been able to introduce this new Parent Trainer post in Merseyside. We’re particularly excited that this role is the first of its kind to focus on providing education for parents of children with long-term serious illness and complex conditions.”

WellChild is funding the new post through grants from The Steven Gerrard Foundation and The Oglesby Charitable Trust among others.

Click here for more information about Edge Hill’s Better at Home Suite.