Sarah Fox Children’s Convalescent Hospital in Athlone has established the first paediatric palliative care service within an intermediate care facility in South Africa, which was made possible by funding from the Children’s Hospital Trust. This programme was initiated in January 2013 for children requiring ongoing treatment upon discharge from a specialised hospital, such as the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
Unlike hospice care with its focus on end-of-life care, palliative medicine and care covers the full journey of a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness because it offers treatment and care as patients progress from diagnosis, to disease progression and finally to end-of-life and the family’s bereavement.
Palliative care training was conducted for all the Sarah Fox caregivers, nurses and allied health practitioners, as well as professionals from other institutions, totalling 57 people trained to date.
The services of this unit will improve palliative care for children at an intermediate level of the public healthcare service in the Cape Metro and the core multidisciplinary team includes a palliative care consultant, a medical officer, nursing staff, a social worker and an occupational therapist, complemented by volunteer aroma and music therapists.
This Sarah Fox programme is aligned with the Children’s Hospital Trust’s expanded reach to fund paediatric healthcare outside the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. If you would like to make a donation to fundraising initiatives, please contact email@example.com