Demelza House

Tue 21st January 2020 at 11.11 - 11.11

Senior Registered Nurse Alison Watson gives an account of her caring role at Demelza Hospice Care for Children which provides end of life care for sick children

Senior Registered Nurse Alison Watson

Demelza Hospice Care for Children: From the Inside


At a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of South Foreland members and guests were given a moving  account of her role at Demelza Hospice by Senior Registered Nurse Alison Watson.  Highly qualified and experienced in many areas of nursing, Alison has used her skills in the RAF, acute hospitals and, for the last eleven years, at Demelza Hospice Care for Children.


Here palliative and end of life care are given to children (from babies to 19 year olds) with conditions that are life limiting or life threatening.  In describing the care given to sick children and their families, Alison’s compassion and dedication were evident.  For some children premature death is inevitable, others have conditions that will progressively worsen or will cause severe disability.  Curative care is sometimes appropriate but may fail.


Alison soon dispelled the stereotype of Demelza Hospice being a sad, solemn and quiet institution.  In reality it is a place of noise, laughter and hope for the future, a place where families gain strength and support as they come to terms with their child’s condition.  The living area is tidy and colourful,  there are indoor and outdoor play facilities and activities such as Art Therapy and a Cinema Room, while the hydrotherapy pool gives much pleasure.  Improving the quality of life for these sick children and providing experiences that will leave positive memories for their families are central to the work of the Hospice.


As well as end of life care Demelza Hospice offers respite care which gives a break to parents, day care, step down care to aid the transition from hospital to home, symptom management and home visits.  End of life care is followed by post death and bereavement support in the Hop Garden Suite.  The Bereavement Team gives families practical and emotional support helping them to say goodbye, understand their loss and to begin to face the future.


Demelza Hospice Care for children is reliant on charitable funding for 88% of its income and so the Rotary Club of South Foreland is holding a Murder Mystery Evening at the Marina Hotel Dover on Friday 31st January to raise funds for this extremely important cause.

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