Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity speaks to Anna Jewitt, a Roald Dahl specialist children's nurse who has recently joined the marvellous Roald Dahl Nursing community.
We spoke to Anna Jewitt, our marvellous new SWAN (Syndromes Without a Name) Roald Dahl nurse at Great Ormand Street Hospital for children, about her new role, why it's needed and what she thinks families with children with undiagnosed conditions find the most difficult.
Q. Did you want to be a nurse when you were growing up? A. It was definitely my dream. When I was younger I also wanted to own a sweet shop with my sister that would also be a dolls hospital.
Q. What inspired you to become a specialist children’s nurse? A. Being able to respond to individual needs when caring for a seriously child and their family.
Q. What do you think an average day in the life of a Roald Dahl nurse will look like for you? A. I will be providing different support depending on the family, this might be seeing them in person or speaking over the phone.
Q. What are your aspirations for the future of your role? A. I’m looking forward to establishing my new position and I really want to make a difference to the families I support.
Q. Why do you think this role is needed? A. Children and their families have complex care needs and often they will see many different healthcare professionals from lots of different departments. The role can really help coordinate care and act as a bridge between these services.
Q. What appealed to you about this role? A. There is a really holistic element to the role. I also like the challenge of it being a new position and being able to shape it depending on what children and their families need.
Q. What do you think will be the biggest challenge in the role? A. The children not having a diagnosis, as sometimes it can be difficult to get them the care that they need and deserve.
Q. What do you think families with children with undiagnosed conditions find the most challenging and difficult? A. It can be incredibly scary and worrying not knowing what treatment your child should be receiving. There can also be great financial strain on families and it can be difficult to ensure that other siblings are also supported.
Q. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? A. I enjoy socialising with other nurses, as I find it can provide a great support network in an informal environment. I have also been teaching myself to sew and I like to run when I can.
Anna's role has been funded by the St James's Place Foundation for 2 years. Mike Wilson, CBE and Chairman of the St James's Place Foundation has said, "I am delighted that the St. James's Place Foundation has been able to help fund this vital post for 2 years, I am sure the results of Nurse Anna Jewitt's efforts will be hugely appreciated by all concerned."
Watch our video to see how Roald Dahl specialist children's nurses help children like Dominic.