Q & A
These are some of the common questions we are asked about the work we do at The Donna Louise and the services we provide.
Q: What does The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice do?
A: The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice provides care and support services for children with shortened life expectancy or those who, due to illness or injury have a life-threatening or life-limiting condition.
Q: What do you offer?
A: The range of services include:
Day care in the family home or at The Donna Louise House, or both
- Overnight stays at The Donna Louise House
- Community support
- 24 hour telephone support & advice
Counselling & emotional support, including bereavement support
- End of life care in the family home of hospice
- Specialist play and music activities
- Youth Club activities
- Parent and carers support groups
- Sibling activities and support
Q: What ages of children do you look after?
A: We care for children and young people between the ages of 0 and 19 years.
Q: Do you only look after children with Oncology illnesses?
A: No, we offer care and support to children with a life-limited or threatening condition, which may be as a result of illness or injury, or children who have a shortened life expectancy. This includes children with conditions such as Metabolic, Epilepsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Heart Conditions, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Cerebral Palsy and associated problems, benign brain tumours (Neurofibromatosis).
Q: What makes what you provide special for children?
A: Every child is recognised as an individual with their own needs, likes and dislikes, strengths and abilities. Our specialist staff are able to see beyond their illness and disabilities to see the young person inside and everything they do centres around making the most of the time that the children spend with us.
Q: Who provides the care?
A: Our care staff are trained and qualified, and include: children’s nurses, learning disabilities nurses (with experience of working with children), care support staff, play & music specialists and counsellors.
Q: Do they only offer care in the Hospice?
A: We work out in the community and in families own homes providing flexible care and support to meet their particular needs.
Q: How are families referred?
A: Anyone can refer a child to us. A family friend, a family member or a professional or of course you can refer yourself. We do ask that the family have given their permission to be referred. We will accept referrals at all stages of a child’s condition.
We are happy to receive referrals by telephone, letter, fax or e-mail.
Q: Is The Donna Louise open every day?
A: We are currently open every day, but this is reliant on having sufficient resources and responding to when families need respite. We are always open 24/7 when end of life care is needed.
Q: How many families are you giving support to?
A: We are offering support to over 180 families in Staffordshire and Cheshire. In addition, we are also supporting nearly 70 bereaved families.
Q: How much does it cost each year to keep your services going?
A: We need £2.5 million to provide a full 24/7 service.
Q: Does the Government and Local Authorities give you this money?
A: Over the past two years we have received around 15% of our income from the Government. The recent Health Reforms may open up other opportunities such as Contracted Packages.
Q: What is a Contracted Package?
A: With our level of skills and expertise, we are able to provide care and support to children and families with care packages, which are funded by their local Health and/or Social Care Authority. These care packages may include transitional care for children with long-term ventilation needs as well as helping to ensure that children can be provided care in their local area instead of having to travel a long distances to access services.
Q: Where do you get the rest of the money from?
A: As a registered charity, we rely on the generosity of the people and companies in Staffordshire and Cheshire for donations.