Our parents tell us that the feeling of constantly being ‘on-duty’ for their seriously ill child can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Many families recall trying to cope as best as they can by themselves and often only accepting respite care months or even years after diagnosis, after becoming in desperate need of a break.

The children supported by Haven House require around the clock care and often can’t be looked after by family or friends because of the extreme complexity of their condition. 

Respite care at Haven House is a lifeline for families, giving parents some much needed space and time, helping them to recharge and the chance to have a short break from providing full-time medical care to their child. Parents take comfort in knowing their child is receiving one-to-one, 24/7 care from our specially trained nurses and healthcare support workers. Our team help shoulder some of the weight our families carry, making their everyday lives that little bit more manageable and allowing parents to be parents and not just carers.

Having a child with such a rare and complex condition is extremely challenging and affects the whole family. Respite days have given us a chance to reconnect and have kept us together as a family.”

What is respite care?

Respite care is short breaks for children parents, carers and family members and can be delivered at Haven House or in a family’s home. By looking after a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness for a short period, we can give families some rest time that is so vital for their mental and physical wellbeing. For a child, a short  break can be an exciting opportunity to have fun and make memories. 

Nurse Maya said: “A parent recently described respite to me as ‘a chance to catch their breath’ – it means so much to me to provide even just a brief window of calm for such remarkable and resilient families.”
Dates are booked in advance and a care plan is made for every child so that we know their clinical needs, usual routines and all their likes and dislikes. Our nursing care is wrapped around the child and their family. Haven House is here to support and respond to both planned breaks and urgent respite requirements. Families tell us this valuable support enables them to do things they may not ordinarily have the opportunity to do – resting, focusing on siblings, shopping and holidays.

In our last Family Survey, respite care was not only our most utilised service but also the most important to families. 76% of parents and carers said that having a rest was what they valued most about Haven House. 

Read more about respite care here.

To discuss a referral to The White House services please contact:

Clinical Nurse Manager
020 8506 5524 (Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm)
07872 198285 (out-of-hours mobile)

For more information about our referral criteria please visit our Refer a Child section.