Meet #TeamDevine: Julie Hughes, our Lead for Quality

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted some of the crucial work that goes on behind the scenes at our children’s hospice service, specifically continuing excellent standards of care as well as infection prevention and control.

Former community nurse Julie Hughes is our Lead for Quality and it has certainly been a demanding few weeks for her as she not only continues to make sure we have the right PPE for Alexander’s Care Team but also enough of it. She has also been working closely with our NHS colleagues to provide support and ensure we continue to comply with all the recommendations from Public Health England. Something that changes on quite a regular basis as more intelligence is gathered on Covid-19.


 “Having worked for many years as a community nurse, I miss the nursing part of my job but I really appreciate the diversity of my role in ensuring that we maintain excellent standards of care. It is so rewarding to hear from Alexander Devine families how much they value the specialist care we are able to provide.


 Covid-19 has had a considerable impact on my role as lead for infection, prevention and control. It is so critical that we have the correct equipment to ensure that all our nurses and carers, as well as all the children and families we care for, are kept safe. We are required to wear PPE to maintain safety and I am working with colleagues across the NHS and other hospices to make sure we have the equipment we need to support our families. As more is known about Covid-19, recommendations from Public Health England change so this means I need to update our practice guidance on a fairly regular basis to make sure we comply.


We’ve been so humbled by so many community initiatives that have supported us with sourcing PPE. Our thanks to Leighton Park School and Kris Greaves a tutor at Exmouth Community College who have been making face shields for us. We have also had some of our volunteers generously making masks and gowns with child-friendly patterns. Wearing protective equipment can be quite frightening for children so we are working hard to make sure we reassure them and make our PPE friendly!


We have always worked closely in partnerships with our NHS colleagues to provide the children and their families with seamless care. During these difficult times it is more important than ever that we support each other and reaching out regularly to our community nurse colleagues is vital.”


Need our help?

The word hospice should not seem scary and getting support from us doesn’t have to mean a child’s death is imminent. Helping to enrich the lives of the children and their families is at the heart of our service, our end of life and bereavement support is just a part of what we do.

Our children’s hospice service covers the whole of Berkshire and into surrounding counties. If you think your child may be eligible for our services, please do get in touch.

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Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service is the operating name of Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust. A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No. 5757493

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