KissyPuppy reaches £10,000 target for Earl Mountbatten Hospice

Earl Mountbatten Hospice (EMH) are delighted to receive a cheque from the Sophie Rolf Fund, KissyPuppy, for the initial £10,000 target they set in March 2013. The money will enable EMH to take the first steps in making their facilities more accessible for children and young people with life-shortening conditions. Specifically, EMH are making arrangements to provide alternative accommodation for any child needing end-of-life care, if neither their own home nor the hospital is appropriate.

Aaron Rolf, Sophie’s father says: For those of you reading this who are new to our appeal, Sophie is a beautiful, happy, larger than life little girl who, a few months before her 5th birthday, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. KissyPuppy would like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who has supported us through the life-changing 12 month period since her diagnosis in June 2012. Unfortunately the prognosis is still poor but what this devastating process has highlighted to us are the limited healthcare options available for children with life-shortening conditions on the Isle of Wight.

Earl Mountbatten Hospice currently provides comprehensive palliative care to the Isle of Wight community, and has traditionally focussed on the needs of adults who are living with and dying from life-limiting illnesses. EMH is now working in partnership with the NHS, and with other interested organisations and families on the Island, to develop local services for children and young people.

Tina Harris, Chief Executive, EMH says: The support we have received from KissyPuppy is helping us to develop services which are much needed by local families facing the challenge of bringing up children with a progressive life-shortening condition. There are currently around 50 families on the Isle of Wight who are directly affected every day, with up to 5 children dying on the Island each year from a life-shortening condition. Hospice-based palliative and end of life care is currently only available to support these families if they are able to travel to Winchester, and in most cases this has not been at all practical. We are committed to improving the range and availability of local services for Island children .

Commenting on the partnership Rachael Hayes, Commissioner for Children’s Health Services said: We are working closely with Earl Mountbatten Hospice and others to create a joined up Island based service to help enhance childrens quality of life through the provision of care and support in their place of choice. We aim to meet the palliative care needs of Island children by listening to our families and broadening our current service.