Hospice to Hospice transition within Palliative Care – a pilot study

Louise Smith and Andy Curtis

Louise Smith

Louise Smith qualified as a RN (child) in 1998, studying at John Moore’s University, and has since completed a BSc in professional Practice with Chester University. Her early career was spent gaining experience on different children’s wards within Alder Hey Children’s hospital, where she then joined the oncology team and spent over a decade caring for children and young adults with oncological conditions. She then followed a natural progression into Palliative care, supporting children with life limiting/life threatening conditions at end of life.

Louise joined Claire House Children’s Hospice in 2013 and developed into the role of Palliative Care nurse specialist in 2016 within the Rapid Response team. She began to specialise in caring for the older teenagers and young adult patients, and developed the role of Clinical lead for Young Adults in 2017.

Louise is passionate about advanced care planning for this distinctive age group and ensuring they are able to have open honest conversations, and are given a voice that is heard. She is also committed to collaborative working alongside adult Palliative care colleagues, therefore promoting choices in services and places of care for her patients.

Andy Curtis

Andy Curtis, qualified as a learning disability nurse (RNLD) in 2012 at Edgehill University, after working for various charities as a support worker and play worker. He spent two years in the NHS mental health services supporting adults with learning disabilities. In 2014 he joined Claire House Children’s Hospice and spent three years working in the care team, developing his knowledge and skills in palliative care. In 2017 he took on a brand new role within the hospice as Transitions Co-ordinator, he now leads on all aspects of transition together with Louise and also supports the new social offer for young adults at Claire House. Andy is on a mission to support the young adults and their families to have as much choice and control of their lives and to encourage aspirational thinking as all young people should have the same opportunities.