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Roald Dahl charity gives £100,000 for Newham's disabled children

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 August 2019

Clinicians and service users celebrate getting the new transition care community nurse specialist as they mark international youth day on August 12. Picture: ELFT.

Clinicians and service users celebrate getting the new transition care community nurse specialist as they mark international youth day on August 12. Picture: ELFT.

ELFT

Newham is getting a new nurse to help SEN children and their families adapt as they move into adult services, courtesy of Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity.

It's donating £100,000 over the next two years to fund the role at the East London Foundation Trust. ELFT provides community and mental health care in Newham.

The nurse will make sure that children with special educational needs (SEN) don't fall into what one clinician at ELFT called a "black hole" between child and adult care.

Michelle Johnson is trustee of the Roald Dahl charity and chief nurse at Whittington Health NHS Trust.

"Transition care has reached a critical point in the NHS, with many children and young people reporting a poor experience and at risk of falling through a transition gap in care," she said.

"Roald Dahl specialist transition nurses can dramatically improve the quality of care that young people receive as they prepare and experience transition."

She added that more jobs for these nurses will be added in 2020.

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While this is the first transition nurse working in the community, there are dozens of other nurses from the charity working across the country.

There are 75 in total and each one cares for around 300 children, though many of them have hundreds more.

As well as helping as children get close to adulthood, the specialist nurses support children and families affected by conditions that the charity says are under-served. These include epilepsy, acquired brain injury and rare diseases.

There is currently a nurse at Newham Hospital who also helps children and families adapt to adult services, but they only support people who attend the hospital.

By working in the community, Newham's new nurse can reach residents where they live and in the area at large.

A spokesman for ELFT said the nurse in the community and the one at Newham Hospital would be working closely together.

Sophie Dzinwinksi is head of programmes for the Roald Dahl charity and commented on Newham's new nurse.

"This is very special, because it's in the community," she said. "It's going to be supporting the young people and the families where they are: in homes, in schools, in hospitals, wherever they are."

Applications for the role are open and can be found at jobs.nhs.uk.

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