Brian House frequently asked questions

What is Brian House Children’s Hospice?

Brian House provides care for children who have life threatening or life limiting illnesses. Brian House Children’s Hospice opened in 1996 and is available to children with a life threatening or life-limiting condition. It is a fully equipped hospice, not a holiday centre, and caters just for children and young people living on the Fylde Coast. It is the only children’s hospice in the area.

Why is a children’s hospice needed?

For most children care in their own home is best. However respite care, given at appropriate intervals, enables families to have time for themselves; to have a break from the 24 hour demands of caring for a child with multiple complex needs and to have time for other family members. We hope this also allows brothers and sisters time to have their parents’ sole attention for a while. Respite care gives youngsters the stimulus of fresh company, provided by other children and the staff, for them to explore and enjoy the facilities of Brian House Children’s Hospice.

Do children have to have cancer to attend Brian House?

No. Most children who attend Brian House do not have a cancer-related illness. Children with many different types of life threatening or life-limiting illnesses come here. There’s really no such thing as a ‘typical’ Brian House child.

How many children can come to Brian House?

At any one time Brian House can accommodate four children as in-patients, plus an additional four as day patients, with one emergency bed. Some come for day care, some for overnight stays. We try and work out what’s best for each family.

Do children at Brian House receive any teaching facilities?

During term time, if a child is of school age, arrangements are made to attend their normal education away from Brian House, often returning each afternoon when school has finished.

What other help can Brian House give?

Brian House is available when a sudden and unexpected family emergency arises, by helping to accommodate a child during the day and overnight. Parents and carers can talk to Brian House staff at any time for advice or for support.

How is a child referred?

Referrals are accepted from all Health Care Professionals or members of the family with parents/carers’ permission.

Can parents stay with their children?

Fully self-contained facilities are available for families to stay with us – we find parents often stay on first admission to reassure mum and for her to teach the staff to care for her child as she does. Also, if mum is breast feeding her baby, or when a child is dying, we can arrange for them to stay close by at all times. We have a comfortable upstairs apartment for families at Brian House.

Does Brian House have special equipment for the children?

Yes it most certainly does! Equipment is available to extend a child’s sensory perception in touch, vision and sound. We have many facilities to enhance the lives of our patients. We have a team of skilled nurses specially trained in palliative care medicine, a Playworker and Health Care Assistants. We offer music therapy, crafts, computers, books and lots of opportunities to play outside. We arrange days out using our specially fitted minibus. We believe in making the most of every day!