Double WellChild celebration at Childrens Hospital


There was a double celebration at Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children on Thursday 22nd February to officially mark the appointment of WellChild Nurse, Ruth Harte, and belatedly present the Paediatric Respiratory Team with a WellChild Award which they could not collect in October due to Storm Ophelia.

The first WellChild Nurse in Northern Ireland, Ruth Harte, has begun her role as WellChild Community Paediatric Respiratory Nurse Specialist based at RBHSC. The post has been created in response to a rise in the number of children and young people living with serious or exceptional health needs in Northern Ireland and the growing complexity of their needs, making it increasingly difficult for these families to be together at home.

Ruth joins the other specialist healthcare professionals in the Regional Respiratory Team and will work alongside them and colleagues in District General Hospitals to provide expert advice, and practical and emotional support for children with exceptional health needs and their families. Ruth’s job is to ensure the process of getting these children home from hospital is as smooth as possible and that they are well supported once home to avoid unnecessary readmissions.

As well as advocating for the families and coordinating the wide range of professionals and services supporting these children, Ruth will focus on training staff, parents and carers looking after them at home.

The Paediatric Respiratory/Airway team at the RBHSC, which works to improve quality of life of families whose children have complex respiratory/airway conditions in Northern Ireland, was picked from 100s of nominations from across the UK to win the Health Team Awards category.  By working together this dedicated multi-professional team coordinates inpatient and outpatient care for families in a timely way, providing specialist support in clinics and at the other end of the phone to help reassure parents and troubleshoot issues swiftly to prevent unnecessary trips to hospital wherever possible.

WellChild is now calling on people in the province to put forward their nominations for the 2018 WellChild Awards.

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