The gift of time
Alongside his role as Staff Nurse at Acorns in the Black Country, Neil is our neonatal lead, caring for babies under 28 days old.
I’ve worked at the hospice for 15 years now and I feel very privileged to be in this job. We call ourselves the Acorns family because there’s a lot of love and warmth at the hospice, and we make you part of our family when you stay.
We’re what a lot of families have been searching for but they don’t know exists. So, when they first step through the door it’s like they’ve found what they’ve been missing.
One of the most special things about Acorns is that we have time. When I used to work at a hospital my job was very busy. But at Acorns I have time to work closely with the families and not only provide care, but I have time to create memories for them as well.
Time is a very precious thing. It is particularly precious when your child is at the end of their life. At Acorns, we provide end of life care for families who need us, and that includes neonatal babies (those under 28 days old).
When you’ve got a poorly baby, most of the decisions are taken away from you, so we try to give parents choices. What do you want those final moments to be like, who do you want there, where do you want to be, and how do you want it to feel? At the hospice, you’ve got the Acorns family and we can do anything for you.
For parents to be able to decide what they want, I think it gives them a huge sense of relief. For them to know when they will have the last cuddle and to know that it will be private and peaceful, it’s precious.
Compared to a hospital surrounded by beeps and buzzes, at Acorns, you are in a homely environment. You’ve got beautiful surroundings and lots of caring people who can give you as much time as you need. Time to chat or not to chat, and whatever you want to do, you can do it in a comforting place.
To be able to give parents that last cuddle and the opportunity to hold their baby at the end, it really is a gift. A gift of time that they wouldn’t get anywhere else.
As I said, I feel very privileged to do my job. If I can help at that most precious moment, I know I have made a difference.
Staff Nurse and Neonatal Lead
Acorns in the Black Country