DSI attends Children in Hospital Ireland seminar

Our Head of Member Support Services Team Nicola Hart attended a Children in Hospital Ireland seminar recently on behalf of Down Syndrome Ireland.

Children in Hospital Ireland, which has over 450 volunteers nationwide and an enormous extended community of friends, families, extended families, parents and guardians, works in conjunction with hospital play specialists and/or ward staff to facilitate play for sick children in 14 hospitals throughout Ireland.

The two key areas of discussion at the recent seminar were the financial impact of having a sick child and the National Healthcare Charter for Children.

CHI research found that families can spend over €100 per day on non-medical costs associated with having a child in a hospital with most of the costs being transport, parking, food, accommodation and additional childcare or babysitting costs for siblings.

We know that families who have a child with a disability often face reduced income as they need to reduce their working hours, and this is yet another additional cost of disability which is often overlooked.

The National Healthcare Charter for children is a Statement of Commitment by health services on healthcare, rights, expectations and responsibilities. It was developed in partnership with children, parents and healthcare workers. The charter outlines 10 principles on how children’s rights and wellbeing should be upheld in healthcare settings.

This charter, promoting a family-centred patient-focused approach to care was signed off by the HSE in 2014 and was revised in 2017. Every parent should be aware of the charter and use it as a starting point to advocate for the rights of their child and their family while the child is in hospital.

There will be further meetings with CHI on these issues and more.

We’ll keep members informed of any developments so watch this space!

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