Children’s Palliative Care Team (Lifeforce)

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The Life Force Team is a multi-disciplinary team. We provide care and support to families who have a child or young person with a life limiting or life-threatening condition. Our team consists of paediatric specialist nurses, respite nursery nurses, a play specialist/youth worker, and clinical psychologists We work closely with the Louise Dundas Palliative Care team at Great Ormond Street (GOSH) and alongside the local Community Children’s Nursing Teams.
Our aim is to provide enhanced support to families and ensure choice in place of care, especially at ‘end of life’. The team offers Nursing care and support, respite support, play therapy sessions and youth work and clinical psychology support. Life Force also provides parent and sibling bereavement support.
Our service is provided for those with an GP in Camden, Islington or Haringey. The team provides the following services for those that meet the inclusion criteria.

Respite Services

The respite nursery nurses are trained to care for children and young people with complex health needs and life threatening and life limiting conditions.
  • The team provides care and play for the young person in the home and community settings, allowing parents a short break
  • The staff work in partnership with the parents and carers to develop play and developmental plans and staff can undertake physiotherapy programmes to support the child’s development
  • The respite nursery nurses offer support and advice for families

Therapeutic Play and Youth Work

This service provides therapeutic play for the ill child or young person and their siblings, this helps them to develop coping mechanisms for the future.
Through this service, children and young people can be offered:

  • Specialist support with medical procedures such as Hickman lines and Portacaths
  • Help to develop distraction techniques, to prepare for the medical procedure and to deal with needle aversion
  • Assistance in preparing pre and post bereavement programmes for the ill child or young person and their siblings

Clinical Psychology Support

The clinical psychologists work with parents and families to:
  • Provide pre and post-bereavement support (this can be done in the family home, clinic or virtually and this is dependant the families preference)
  • Liaise with other professionals to ensure best quality of care, centred on the child/ young person and family’s individual needs
  • Provide clinical support to the Life Force Team members and where appropriate those involved in the care of the child at end of life
  • Provide pre-debrief support to professionals involved in a child/young persons care

Specialist Nursing Care

The clinical nurse specialists:
  • Provide specialist symptom care advice and support, when needed, to children/young people, their families, and other professionals
  • Work with professionals to optimise medical and medicine management for the individual child or young person
  • Co-ordination of care especially at end of life thus providing choice in place of death
  • Where appropriate act as a key worker for the child and family
  • Act as a resource for colleagues within the Palliative care

Paediatric Palliative Care Consultant

Through a service level agreement (SLA) with The Louis Dundas Centre for Palliative Care at Great Ormond Street (GOSH), Life Force have a dedicated paediatric palliative care consultant.
This role provides:
  • Specialist symptom care advice and support, where needed, to children, young people, families, and professionals
  • Visiting children or young person in their home or in hospital and providing specialist advice
  • Liaising with other healthcare professionals to provide the best possible care
  • Through the service level agreement, families can be provided with 24 hour telephone support where appropriate
Page last updated: 24 May 2021
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