Supporting families through planned respite, step-down and end-of-life care is our core work. We deliver this through our five-bed 'in-patient' facility, we call The White House, a locally-listed, former family home located in protected woodland.

Care services are managed by a team of nurses with specialist experience in paediatrics, palliative care and learning disabilities. The team is supported by experienced Healthcare Support Workers.

We have a service level agreement with the Specialist Paediatric Palliative Care Team from Great Ormond Street Hospital who regularly visit our children in-house. They also provide symptom management advice for children at end-of-life. General medical cover is provided 24 hours a day by a local GP practice. 

Respite and short breaks

Parent feedback highlights that respite care is essential to help them to cope with the constant demands of looking after a seriously-ill child and be able to maintain positive mental health and family relationships.

Respite can involve day as well as overnight short break stays. We are open 24 hours a day; 365 days of the year and our busiest periods are during the school holidays when families need the most support. We also help organise school transport as the majority of our children go to school.

We also take children for crisis care for social or health reasons.

Respite and short breaks offer:

  • Our children the opportunity to enjoy social interaction and leisure facilities not available at home;
  • Our families specialist help in the care of their child;
  • Opportunities for siblings to have fun and receive support in their own right.

Sometimes short breaks can offer the whole family an opportunity to be together and supported in the care of their child or it may offer care solely for the child or young person.

Step-down care 

Step-down care offers families additional support when children leave hospital following a change in condition, diagnosis or medication. They can move to The White House as an interim measure before returning home.

While in our care, families can stay in our family flat and receive training and guidance from our nurses in how to care for their child or practice using new equipment. This gives them the confidence to return home with the skills and knowledge to look after them. At the same time this service supports our partners is acute hospital settings to utilise in-demand beds for other sick children and young people.

When it was first suggested to me that Georgia came to a hospice I thought the worst. It was quite scary as it had only ever been me or my parents who had looked after her for 11 years. However, after her first overnight stay I have never looked back. The nurses are lovely and I know Georgia is in safe hands.

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

Clinical Nurse Manager
020 8506 5513 (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.