MP highlights respite needs for families with sick children at debate

Bournemouth Echo: MP highlights respite needs for families with sick children at debate MP highlights respite needs for families with sick children at debate

THE need for respite care for children and their families was highlighted by MP Annette Brooke in a Westminster Hall debate on hospice and palliative care.

The MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole spoke of the work of children’s hospice Julia's House, of which she is a long-standing supporter and patron.

“For families with a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness, sleep deprivation, exhaustion and anxiety about the child’s health can take a heavy toll on family relationships,” she said.

Julia's House and Bournemouth University are now researching the extent to which frequent respite care helps couples with a seriously ill child stay together.

Their three-year study will end in autumn 2015, with interim results available next autumn.

Mrs Brooke commended the initiative to Jane Ellison, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, and said: “Many children diagnosed with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition will live into their teenage years or beyond, and it is important to make that time as happy as possible. The effect on parents of sleep deprivation and anxiety is enormous.”

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