New role will see Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People providing support to families across Northamptonshire
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Karen Parsons is a clinical nurse specialist in paediatric palliative care who is employed by Rainbows but works for the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS group and Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.
She is part of Rainbows’ Nurses in Hospitals team, as well as the larger palliative care team at its hospice in Leicestershire.
Working across Northampton General Hospital, Kettering General Hospital and Northamptonshire HealthCare Foundation Trust, Karen works with babies, children and young people with serious and terminal illnesses, who need the support of the Rainbows’ expert team as well as supporting referrals to the hospice.
With 26 years of experience in her field, Karen provides a different approach to care, a holistic one, which takes into account the child’s family and offers support to them too.
Karen is part of the ‘face of Rainbows’ in the hospitals but has a large expert multi-disciplinary team behind her at the hospice and across the NHS Trust.
From diagnosis to end of life, Karen is alongside the family on their journey, parallel planning, liaising with other teams and ensuring Rainbows’ services and therapies are offered not only at the hospice, but also in hospital and at home.
Another aspect of her role is identifying new families, reaching out to those who may not know about Rainbows, and making sure they are referred to them to access the support they need.
She can explain the wide range of services available from the charity and what can be offered at home or in hospital.
She is also an advocate for families and bridges the gap between services to ensure they are being cared for in their preferred place.
Karen told this newspaper: “It is about helping the families to find a way through the stress and emotions of caring for their child.
"I value the ethos of Rainbows and this role is all about very important choices for the families, ones they may not have known existed – whether that is hospice, hospital or home.
“I love the uniqueness of this role and recognise the gap for Northamptonshire in ensuring families know about Rainbows.
"I will provide holistic support for emotional, physical and spiritual needs of the whole family and I look forward to working within the community.”
For more information about Rainbows, the hospice in Loughborough and its wider work in the community, visit the website.