Childrens Hospice Week

Bringing expertise from leading London hospitals

direct to children’s homes!

Childrens Hospice Week

Bringing expertise from leading London hospitals

direct to children’s homes!

ellenor – bringing expertise from leading London hospitals direct to children’s homes  

You may know ellenor as a local Kent charity – but it might be a surprise to discover that much of the care it delivers to children in their own homes is via a joint working partnership model with leading London hospitals. The Children’s Services, explains how this novel approach makes life easier for children and their families

Bringing expertise from London hospitals direct to children in their own homes is an under-recognised service that forms the foundation of care provided by ellenor. Thanks to this partnership approach, many children under ellenor’s care in Kent can make fewer journeys and spend less time attending hospitals in London for their appointments.


What this means for children and their families, explains the Children’s Team at ellenor: “They can spend more time at home and have their routine monitoring done in the community. This helps them to maintain some form of normal life, such as going to school and seeing friends.”


ellenor works in partnership with local hospitals as well as four tertiary care hospitals in London: Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, the Royal Marsden Hospital, the Evelina Children’s Hospital and University College London Hospital. Although children will have to attend their main appointments with consultants at these hospitals, community care and monitoring allows families to reduce the time spent travelling to London for treatment that can be delivered at home.


We work closely with a variety of care providers to deliver chemotherapy, palliative care and end of life care to children 24 hours a day, for 365 days a year. We are able to care for your child and enable them to die at home, surrounded by their family.


This hand-in-hand care ensures ellenor can help meet the needs of those children – and their families – at a local level but with the benefit of leading expertise. For families, there is a cost saving at not having to travel to and from London. This also translates into a saving for the NHS too.


Where this partnership approach really makes a difference for children and their families is when they reach the end of their lives, says the Children’s Team. “It just gives the families more choice. We get very positive feedback from families where they have wanted their child to remain at home at end of life. It makes an enormous difference for those families who don't want to spend days and days in hospital at the end of life and want to be together as a family. As a children's hospice, palliative care generally is always about giving parents a choice about place of death. It’s so important.”


There are also benefits for ellenor staff too as this joint working approach facilitates staff development in improving skills and knowledge from world-leading experts.


For ellenor’s Children’s Team, the biggest difference a joint-working partnership offers is to ease the burden on families. It is not always easy to access wider support services from London centres but ellenor is able to offer a range of psychosocial support for the whole family which is delivered locally.


“The play therapy, music therapy and counselling (referred to as non-clinical services) we offer may be difficult to access within most hospitals or general community services. We provide care for the family’s emotional wellbeing and psychosocial needs, which is not always readily available through the NHS.”


For more information on the children’s services ellenor provides click here


Figure: Care pathway for children with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions (adapted from Together for Short Lives Core Care Pathway, available at:




Bonnie had been having treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia for the past year at her local hospital, the Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich, with specialised support from the Royal Marsden.

At just five years of age, there was a great deal of work in determining just how much Bonnie’s body could handle. Once the Royal Marsden settled on the right treatment regimen for her, ellenor took over the task of administering these in the comfort and familiarity of her own home, making the whole family’s life easier.


Not having to bundle Bonnie up and take her to London for treatment has allowed her to carry on being the chatty, cuddly, princess- and Roblox-playing girl that she’s always been, without having her life taken over by endless hospital trips.

ellenor nurses came in every day for six months, including weekends, to administer antibiotics to help her compromised immune system fight off infection. This has meant that a strong bond has developed between Bonnie and her family with their most regular nurse, Becky.


Although Becky visits just once a week now to do Bonnie’s blood tests, the family still value the fact that she is just a phone call away if they need her. And they appreciate the time it saves having everything done at home – while also having the security that the partnership between ellenor, the Royal Marsden and Queen’s ensures Bonnie gets the best care she can from all the experts.


Mum Louise says: “ellenor’s care has helped us feel that our family life is that little bit more normal”

We work in partnership with the following London hospitals:

  • Great Ormond Street Hospital

  • The Evelina Children’s Hospital

  • The Royal Marsden Hospital

  • University College London Hospital