14 July 2016

New Head of Children’s Services

Rennie Grove has recruited a new lead for its Children’s Services in North West HertsAndrea Lambert and the Chilterns area of Bucks.  Andrea Lambert joined the organisation in June and brings with her a wealth of experience in community nursing and caring for children with complex healthcare needs. 

Andrea said: “Palliative care has been a common thread in all the jobs I’ve had to date, but it was one aspect of a much larger remit and this role offers me the opportunity to concentrate wholly on palliative care – something I feel very passionate about.”

Andrea says that one of the biggest challenges facing the Pepper Children’s Nurses at Rennie Grove is making sure the team continues to meet the needs of such a diverse population.  The six-strong nursing team covers a large geographical area and many of their patients have rare conditions requiring life-saving interventions as well as palliative care towards end of life.  In addition to offering respite for parents, accompanying families to hospital appointments and providing specialist nursing care during the day on a scheduled basis, the Pepper Nurses are on call overnight to provide a 24-hour responsive service. 

“The fact that a Pepper Nurse can get to a patient’s home at any time of the day or night offers huge peace of mind to parents,” said Andrea.  “It can make all the difference between a child being able to stay at home or having to go into a hospice or hospital,” she added.

One of Andrea’s priorities in her new role is a review of children’s services.  “Our aim is to work collaboratively so that we can pool resources where possible and also address any gaps in the service that our review identifies.  We want all children in our area with life-limiting conditions and their families to be able to access the care they need when they need it.”

Andrea qualified as a registered nurse in 1985 and went on to specialise as a children’s nurse in 1991, before embarking on a 20-year career with Oxfordshire’s Children’s Community Nursing services.  Seconded to manage the team, she oversaw more than 40 nursing posts in the Oxfordshire community, including Children’s Community Nurses, nurses based at specialist schools and respite nurses.  She also worked in the county’s Children’s Continuing Care service, establishing and monitoring care packages for children with exceptional healthcare needs.