New centre is a lifeline
CHILDREN with multiple disabilities or illnesses are being given home-from- home care inside a newly-adapted centre.
The Starlight Complex Health Unit is now open inside Cromwell House, Cromwell Road, Grimsby.
It is designed to allow more children with complex health issues to enter the centre, where they can have fun and socialise with others their age.
In addition, while highly-trained staff are looking after the children for a day or night, parents have the chance to recuperate.
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However, before a child can be referred there, they have to have had an assessment of need carried out by a health service to identify their care package.
For Claire Earley, of Immingham, Cromwell House has been her lifeline for the past five years.
She takes her son Jack Markham, 13, once a week to the centre and can see just how much he enjoys it.
Jack has severe global development delay, epilepsy, is non-verbal, wheelchair-bound and tube fed among other things.
Claire, 40, said: "Jack was born this way and now needs constant care.
"The centre looks after him one day and night each week and also for a period when the rest of the family and I go away on holiday.
"While Jack is away, I am able to recharge my batteries and build my own strength back up for when he is back.
"He loves being at Cromwell House, playing, socialising and generally having great fun with others."
Claire has three other children but says Jack's needs require her constant attention and everyday tasks can prove to be very demanding.
She said: "Knowing that while Jack is away he is still receiving the best care possible is vital to me.
"I need to be able to relax and have time with the rest of the children.
"I am pleased the new Starlight Complex Health Unit can now cater for more children like Jack as it is such an important facility to have."
Care for children with complex health issues has been running at Cromwell House for a while now – this new unit just allows more children to benefit.
A telemedicine machine has also been introduced to the new unit – a device similar to a webcam.
If staff need assistance or advice from the hospital regarding a certain child, the telemedicine machine can link direct to their consultant who will be able to see and hear their patient through a screen.
Jo Whitlock, service manager of Cromwell House, said: "We have been working in partnership with North East Lincolnshire Council to enable us to reach out to more children with complex health needs.
"I am delighted that Councillor Mike Burton, Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, and his wife, Mayoress Audrey Burton, were able to officially open the Starlight Complex Health Unit. To add to our celebrations, Cromwell House has also received an outstanding report from Ofsted for the third year running."