First time visitors are often surprised to find that Brian House is a vibrant, noisy, happy place – and nothing like what they were expecting.

Yes, the children we care for are very fragile and have many periods of illness; but Brian House is about making the most of every day and packing all sorts of experiences and happiness into lives that can be all too short.

Brian House provides respite, palliative and end of life care for children and young people with life-limiting conditions. That means we care for youngsters both during the day and overnight, and we support their families at every step of what can be an unpredictable journey.

There’s no such thing as a ‘standard’ Brian House child – they may suffer from a range of complex conditions that impact on every aspect of their lives. We cater for them all, getting to know their likes and dislikes, understanding what their needs are and often forming close relationships with them and their families.

Like all children’s hospices, we work with many other local health care services, including the hospital, to take a joined up view of care, putting the needs of the family at the heart of everything we do.

We can provide:

  • Support for the entire family (including siblings, grandparents and the extended family)
  • Specialist short break care
  • 24 hour telephone support
  • Practical help, advice and information
  • Specialist therapies, including play and music therapy
  • 24 hour access if care is needed during a family emergency
  • Information, education and training to carers, where needed
  • End of life care
  • Pre and post- bereavement support and counselling for all the family

What is palliative care?

Children’s palliative care is an active and total approach to care, from the point of diagnosis or recognition, throughout the child’s life, and to death and beyond. It embraces physical, emotional, social and spiritual elements and focuses on improving the quality of life for the child and support for the whole family. Comfort, dignity and independence are all important aspects of the care we provide.

Palliative care focuses not on cure, but on making the most of every day. Some of the children cared for at Brian House face enormous challenges; but our staff and volunteers ensure that their time with us is fun, fulfilling and creates some very special memories for their families.

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