Chorley charity to inspire Spain's first children's hospice

By Tim Aldred

24 Jun 2024

Cudeca Hospice Meets Derian House Childrens Hospice

An established charity in Chorley is providing inspiration for Spain’s first-ever children’s hospice.

The paediatric palliative care team from Cudeca adult hospice, in Malaga, is looking to build the first facility of its kind in Spain and travelled to the UK for a week-long fact-finding mission.

Their aim was to gain inspiration and best practice to take back home for their project which will see seriously ill children in Spain getting the very best care. Whereas the UK is home to 54 children’s hospices, in Spain, there are none.

Derian House was the last stop on the team’s tour of four children’s hospices.

Paediatrician Ana Devesa del Valle, social worker Lorena Vanzini, psychologist Juan del Campo Contreras, nurse Elisa Romero Montero, and physiotherapist Carolina Martín Bermúdez, took a tour of the hospice and chatted to children and staff.

Ana Devesa del Valle said: “We visited Derian House and it was an amazing experience for the whole team. We had the opportunity to look at the facilities and meet the wonderful professionals who work there and who, thanks to their training and experience, offer quality care to children, young people and their families.

“One of the things that caught our attention, and which is still to be developed in Spain, was the respite offer that Derian House provides for the child and their family.

“On the one hand, the family is provided with time off to rest and disconnect from care. On the other hand, the child can be cared for in the hospice with a wide range of activities, therapies, excursions and the possibility to meet other children and make friends.

“We were very impressed by the swimming pool and the multi-sensory area, as well as the cinema room. And we loved the outdoor areas - necessary to relax and connect with the environment and nature.

“We were really impressed by the hospice’s end-of-life care. And the Sunflower Rooms, which give families more time to say goodbye. Not just that, but at Derian House, all the professionals remember every child who ever used the hospice.

“After our visit to Derian House, we returned to Spain with many ideas to implement in our hospice and also with new colleagues and friends to lean on and continue learning with. Derian House is an inspiration to us, a wonderful, child and family-centered model of pediatric palliative care."

Earlier this month, Derian House also hosted biomedical scientist Chiek Sivhour and urologist Dr Han Oudam from Cambodia.

Catherine Randall, chief nurse at Derian House, said: “It was an honour to be able to show our colleagues from Spain and Cambodia the work we do here at Derian House. We hope they have taken some valuable learning from their visit.

“We think it is incredible that the team at Cudeca hospice hope to open Spain’s first children’s hospice in Malaga. It's wonderful to see the spirit of compassion and care extending across borders, and we look forward to supporting their mission to provide comfort and care to children and their families."

Derian House Children’s Hospice, based in Chorley, Lancashire, cares for more than 400 babies, children, young people and their families from across the North West, helping them to make the most of every moment.

Care is free to families at Derian House, but it will cost £6m to run the hospice this year. the charity relies on kind-hearted supporters to raise 70p in every £1.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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