Tŷ Hafan, the hospice for children in Wales, is delighted to welcome Dr Megumi Baba, a Consultant in Transitional and Paediatric Palliative Medicine, to the team.
The need for paediatric palliative care has never been greater as figures show there are approximately 1,000 children and young people needing palliative care in Wales.
Jointly employed by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Tŷ Hafan, Dr Baba will provide specialist medical support to children and young people in the care of Tŷ Hafan together with an All-Wales role supporting families whose children will need care into adulthood.
The innovative new position, based at the hospice in Sully, was created following recommendations made by Professor Marcus Longley in a Tŷ Hafan commissioned report looking at the future palliative care needs for children and young people in Wales.
Dr Baba’s appointment will also help to fulfil three of the seven recommendations, supported by the Welsh Government, for improved paediatric palliative care set out in September 2015 by the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care.
Carol Killa, Director of care at Tŷ Hafan, said: “We are delighted that Dr Baba has joined Tŷ Hafan. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise in paediatric palliative care and will support Tŷ Hafan’s vision for every child in Wales who may die in childhood to live a fulfilling family life.
“Dr Baba’s post is a testimony to the care that families, children’s hospices and the NHS deliver together to improve the life chances of children with life-limiting conditions. By working in partnership with the University Health Board, we are pleased to have implemented three of the report’s recommendations and I’m confident that Tŷ Hafan will continue to go from strength-to-strength as a result.”
Dr Baba joins Tŷ Hafan from Children's Hospice South West in Bristol where she was a Medical Director and Consultant.
She said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be working as part of the team at Tŷ Hafan in providing the holistic and dedicated care to life-limited children and their families.
Despite people’s general perception of hospices, Tŷ Hafan is where much living happens. I am delighted to be able to share with the team my passion for helping life-limited children and their families make the most of their precious time together. The welcome I have received from the staff has been overwhelming. I am looking forward to working with them to provide the best service possible.
“Transition from children to adult services in health and social care poses many challenges. Palliative care is no exception and we are seeing an increasing demand for a better service as more and more life-limited children are surviving into adulthood thanks to the advances in medicine and technology. I would like to build on the work of Tŷ Hafan, All Wales Paediatric Palliative Care Network Transition Action Group and my predecessor, Dr Lidstone, to meet the needs of young people with life-limiting conditions and build a stronger working relationship with adult service providers to make the transition process as smooth and effective as possible.”
Rosemarie Whittle, Head of Operations and Delivery Community Child Health for Cardiff and Vale UHB, said: “I am delighted to be working in partnership with Tŷ Hafan and welcome Dr Baba to the team. She will be able to support professionals and children, young people and their families with their care whether that is in Tŷ Hafan, the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales or at home.”
Dr Sian Moynihan, a Consultant Community Paediatrician and Clinical Director for Community Child Health at the health board, said: “Dr Baba is a welcome new member of the Community Child Health Directorate, Tŷ Hafan and All Wales Paediatric Palliative Care Network. Dr Baba’s role will continue to develop the good work started by Dr Victoria Lidstone and build on an incredibly complex but also exciting area of work in need of much support and development. Key areas of focus will be supporting implementation of the All Wales PAC (Paediatric Advance Care) Plan and developing a similar document for young adults as they transition from paediatric services.”
Since 1999, Tŷ Hafan has supported 681 life-limited children and their families from across Wales. Tŷ Hafan takes it support into the family home and is there to help families through every step of their unimaginable journey. To continue to offer its unique service to families, it relies on the public’s generosity, its corporate sponsors and volunteers.