At this time of year, we always start making plans for the next three years.
We start by looking at what is happening to children’s hospices across the country.
Changes in the treatment of children with life-shortening conditions means many are living longer, but often with more complex needs.
We look at local changes, for example the closing of some services and reduction in budgets, and we also look at what our stakeholders, such as the families, and the commissioners, require.
We then look at what we are doing now, what works well, different ways of doing things, and, as resources are limited, what we don’t need to do anymore.
My ultimate aim is to ensure we can meet the needs of the many families today, tomorrow and for years to come.
We are planning more beds, but also ensuring the environment we already have is up to our normal excellent standards.
We have to keep up a high level of training for the nurses to meet the needs of new medical interventions and the technological developments that they require.
Of course, to be able to do all of this, we need to make sure we have the funds available.
It currently costs well over £3m each year to provide all the care services at Chestnut Tree House and in the community. All our care is offered to families free of charge. Less than 8p in every pound is funded by central government, so we rely heavily on the generosity, help and support of the people of Sussex.
Chestnut Tree House, in Dover Lane, Arundel, cares for over 280 children and young adults from 0-25 years of age with progressive life-limiting conditions.
For more information on Chestnut Tree House visit the website www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk