AN AWARD-winning nurse from Helensburgh has been given a key role in a new service helping children with life-shortening conditions.

Caroline Porter, who works at Robin House in Balloch, is to join a new partnership between the Royal Hospital for Children (RHC) in Glasgow and Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) which runs Robin House.

The partnership will provide a new supportive and palliative care team to families across Scotland whose child is being looked after in the RHC.

Caroline, who is a CHAS Diana Children’s Nurse – named in honour of Diana Princess of Wales – is also a Queen’s Nurse, a prestigious title awarded by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland.

Caroline will work closely with two specialist nurses who will be employed by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), but funded by CHAS, and with a consultant in paediatric palliative medicine.

They will share specialist knowledge and improve care for children who are likely to die young, and provide support to their families.

Kevin Hill, director of women and children’s services at NHSGGC, said: “I am delighted that the RHC is working in collaboration with CHAS to provide improved end-of-life care for children and support to families at what is a sad and hugely emotional time.”

Maria McGill, chief executive at CHAS, said: “Cross-collaboration and knowledge-sharing in healthcare is a must for all concerned, the families most of all.

“We want to ensure that staff in the hospital are as confident as possible in their crucial role of supporting children who are approaching or require end-of-life care.

“This new team will promote knowledge and skills to be shared across medical and nursing teams.

“The added capacity will build even stronger links between the children’s hospital and other CHAS services, like Robin House, for the benefit of all who need us.”

The partnership will start with the recruitment of a consultant in paediatric palliative medicine, two clinical nurse specialists and a team administrator.

Recruitment for these posts has begun and will continue until the full team is in post by the autumn. Caroline is not the first nurse from Helensburgh to receive the Queen’s Nurse accolade – the title was awarded last November to Lesley Wylie, manager of the Erskine charity’s dementia specialist home in Bishopton.

She is responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the home of 40 residents.