Lucy joins Ipswich Hospital

Lucy Broom, a Roald Dahl Nurse Specialist, has started at Ipswich Hospital this month to provide much-needed care and support for children with medical complexity (CMC) in the region.  The new role has been created by Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, working in partnership with East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT).

Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity provides specialist nurses and support for seriously ill children. ESNEFT estimates that there are almost 80 children with medical complexity already in its care who will now benefit from the specialist expertise of the new Roald Dahl Nurse.

Children with medical complexity are inevitably seen by multiple medical professionals to manage their lifelong and complex conditions, which can result in fragmented, inconsistent care.  The new Roald Dahl Nurse in Ipswich will support local children with expert clinical knowledge, referrals, and co-ordination of care both at home and in hospital to ensure the best possible outcome. They will work closely with GP surgeries, social care and schools across the region.

One of these children is 2-year-old Ada from Ipswich who has been diagnosed with progressive brain disease Aicardi-Goutières, which causes developmental regression and affects the immune system, as well as complex neurological movement disorder Dystonia.  She is under the care of multiple consultants in different hospitals and is fed through a jejunal tube.

Ada’s mum Helen said, “We’ve missed months of our son and older daughter’s life because we’ve been in hospital.  A lot of that time we could have been back at home. A Roald Dahl Nurse there to co-ordinate and be that point of contact would make life so much easier.  The nurses are the lynchpin between all the different people you have to speak to.”

Roald Dahl Nurse Lucy Broom said, “I’m honoured to become Ipswich’s first Roald Dahl Nurse.  It’s a really exciting, holistic role. The families of children with complex illnesses are often under a lot of pressure.  I hope to make a difference by taking care of and supporting them all.”

Consultant paediatrician Dr Lauren Filby said: “ESNEFT is thrilled to be able to support this role and enhance the services already in place for our youngest patients.  Their care will be transformed by the presence and expertise of a Roald Dahl Nurse Specialist for CMC. Their dedicated ability to coordinate, liaise, support and educate teams about the unique needs of these children will be life-changing for them and their families.”

Louise Griew, Chief Executive of the Charity, said: “Roald Dahl Nurse Specialists have a huge impact on patients’ lives, so we are delighted our new Ipswich nurse will be able to help so many seriously ill children in the region.  There is so much more to do, though, and we need the public’s help to do it. As well as establishing Roald Dahl Nurses the charity also provides support services for the families, so if people would like to donate, they can be assured that all donations go directly to our vital work, so every penny literally counts for these children.”

There are over 120 Roald Dahl Nurse Specialists who care for 33,000 seriously ill children in the UK. With a growing need for specialist children’s care, the charity is appealing to the public to fund a Roald Dahl Nurse today.

Visit to donate.