Since it’s foundation in 1970, Children in Hospital Ireland has worked collaboratively with health professionals and policy makers to promote the welfare of all sick children by drawing attention to their special needs for emotional security.
Prior to the establishment of the organisation, the delivery of hospital care for children was very bleak with parents being excluded from being with their child. Even when “visiting hours” existed, parents were encouraged not to visit because their children would be “upset” after the visit.
However, during the 1970s, Children in Hospital Ireland (then known as the Association for the Welfare of Children in Hospital Ireland – AWCHI) worked tirelessly to have this regime changed. A pilot project in the National Children’s Hospital, Harcourt St, scrutinised by Dr Mervyn Taylor, demonstrated that hospitalised children did better and had fewer re-admissions if their parents were able to stay with them in the hospital.
Since that time, Children in Hospital Ireland has continued to work constructively with all health professionals and with policy makers and has campaigned for the development of quality, family-centred care for sick and hospitalised children.
Extensive expertise and experience has been amassed by the organisation and is now available to policy makers and planners in the Department of Health and Children and the Health Services Executive. The organisation provides practical information and good practice guidance to personnel in hospitals around the country.
Children in Hospital Ireland periodically conducts specific research projects, compiles reports and makes recommendations based on the findings.