nurses needed to ‘make every day count’ for local families


25 May 2016

Additional nurses are needed at the only children’s hospice for Essex so more care can be given to families, it has been revealed during Children’s Hospice Week (23rd-29th May 2016).

Between 2014 and 2015, there was a 17% increase in the demand for the specialist care which is only available at Little Havens Hospice in Thundersley, which looks after life-limited babies, children, young people and their families from across Essex.

This is coupled with national research for Together for Short Lives (2014) that up to 10% of nurse vacancies within the children’s hospice sector are vacant at any one time.

No child is refused care if they meet the criteria to be cared for at Little Havens, but this has had a knock-on effect to existing families who have had less short breaks. There is also a growing need in the community for children with more complex conditions to be cared for, such as those who require parenteral nutrition (are fed directly into the blood stream) and children who are tracheo-vented.  

Two Nursing Recruitment Days are taking place on Friday 8th July between 5pm and 8pm  and Sunday 10th July between 10am and 2pm at Little Havens Hospice in Thundersley to try and attract more qualified Band 5/6 nurses to this area of care.

To find out more about the Nursing Recruitment Day please call 01702 426241 or email Fred Heale

Director of Care Helen Forster says,

“In recent years we have seen the number of children requiring our care rise and their medical needs are becoming increasingly complex. Therefore the need for highly qualified nurses who can help bring the service forward is growing.  

“It is challenging to entice people into the hospice sector. We’re not sure if this is because of the misconceptions of hospice care being all about the last few hours of someone’s life.

“It couldn’t be further from the truth. As a nurse, you are given time to care for each patient in the way they choose to be cared for.

“Our focus is on ‘Making every day count’ - giving as much choice as possible about how our children are cared for and treating them as an individual. Many have a range of conditions which, when they were diagnosed, meant they weren’t expected to live into adulthood. Fortunately advances in research and medicine mean these children are now living longer, however this adds to the complexities of the care they need.

“We have been made aware that some nurses have been concerned about losing benefits if they switch from the NHS to a charity employer. However, we’re delighted to say that at Havens Hospices, salaries for nursing staff are matched to the NHS through Agenda for Change and NHS pensions can also continue.

“There is also a strong emphasis on training and development here at the charity to ensure the fitness to practice and Continuing Professional Development for our nurses are in line with the NMC Code of Professional Standards.” 

As well as taking a look around the hospice on the Nursing Recruitment Days, there will be the chance to speak to other nurses about the realities of caring for children with life-limiting illnesses.

Current vacancies include full and part-time Band 5/6 paediatric nurses for Little Havens Hospice, and flexible working is considered. 

To find out more about our Nursing vacancies please visit our website

Contact us today on 01702 220350 or email us