Neonatal Palliative Care-alice's Journey


Neonatal Palliative Care-alice's Journey


Rodger E; Halkett C; Murdoch E



Palliative Medicine




Palliative Therapy; Bereavement; Bereavement Support; Child; Doctor Patient Relation; Holistic Care; Human; Infant; Infant Newborn; Medical Staff; Memory; Newborn; Newborn Intensive Care; Nursing Staff; Palliative Care; Patient Referral; Pilot Projects; Sibling; Terminal Care


Background: CHAS and NHS Lothian undertook a pilot project to review how joint working could enhance neonatal palliative care services' for families and staff. This case illustrates how collaborative working can enhance families' choices and experiences for their baby's end of life care. Aim: CHAS staff would work jointly with neonatal unit staff to deliver individualised, high quality palliative, end of life and bereavement care for babies', siblings and their families. Approach: When the neonatal team agreed that Alice had palliative care needs, a referral was made to CHAS.AA CHAS Family Support team member and the South East and Tayside (SEAT) Diana Children's Nurse agreed to work with the family and staff. Emotional and family support was provided and end of life wishes and choices were explored. The family were helped to capture memories and plans were made to help the family achieve their wish of taking Alice home to die. Outcomes: When neonatal intensive care was no longer in Alice's best interest, CHAS were able to offer choice and holistic care to the whole family. Alice's wider family were involved in memory making activities which provided them all with precious keepsakes and positive memories. With collaborative working between CHAS, NHS nursing staff, medical staff and the neonatal transport team, the family's wishes for end of life care which included taking Alice home to die were achieved. A Ongoing bereavement support for the family is available from CHAS. Conclusion: Collaborative working provides the opportunity for enhanced end of life care and support. With the support from CHAS, Alice was taken home to die and spent the last hour of her life in the loving care of her family for her first and last time in her own home.


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Citation List Month

May 2017 List


Rodger E; Halkett C; Murdoch E, “Neonatal Palliative Care-alice's Journey,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 28, 2024,