Harvey and family
The Hext family know first hand how a Tesco funded CLIC Sargent nurse can help.
Ken Hull took up his post at Bristol Children’s Hospital (BCH) in November last year as the first of our Tesco funded CLIC Sargent nurses.
Ken said: “As a CLIC Sargent nurse, my role is to help coordinate the care that children and their families need when they leave hospital. I help bridge the gap between hospital and home, and provide a voice for the family.
“Families are so pleased to get home but they can be anxious about leaving the security of the hospital. As their nurse, I can provide clinical knowledge and help reduce unnecessary trips to hospital by helping with blood tests and drug administration at home. I am there to answer any questions they may have. But I also liaise with their doctors, inpatient wards, community services teams and even the child’s school on their behalf.
“I get the chance to know the whole family and understand the individual challenges they face. It’s my job to provide support for all the wider issues that come up when a child is undergoing treatment for cancer.”
The Hext family have first-hand experience of how a CLIC Sargent nurse can help. In June 2010, four-year-old Harvey (pictured above with mum Sarah) was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (a tumour that develops in specialised nerve cells) and is currently undergoing intensive chemotherapy.
Ken said: “Harvey has a twin brother, Spencer, and the boys have Down Syndrome. Until now they have rarely been apart. At the moment Harvey is often in hospital and Spencer has just started to attend school. Seeing Spencer leave for school was hard for Harvey so it was very important for the Hexts that Harvey goes too, and spends time with his friends.
“So I have met with the staff at the school to go through his diagnosis and treatment and give them the confidence to manage the practicalities, like Harvey’s central line - which is the tube in his chest used to give treatment and take blood. He now goes to school for three mornings a week which is great.”
Harvey’s mum Sarah said: “Having a child diagnosed with cancer takes over your life. Harvey was diagnosed at the start of the summer holidays. I have three children and the other two had to take a step back.
“Ken comes to the house to take Harvey’s bloods and help with chemo, so we don’t have to go to hospital. It means I can still pick up the kids from school which is a really big thing for us as a family. In the holidays Ken went to my sister’s house to see Harvey so I could take my other children out for a day, which was really important.
“Having someone who understands the schedule and the affect it has on the family is such a help. Ken is so personable. Being able to ask him medical questions so he can explain rather than calling the hospital is so much less stressful.
“I just want to say thank you to all the staff at Tesco. Having a nurse like Ken makes all the difference and it would be fantastic if families in similar situations can all benefit from one.”