Could You Be Part Of The Special Team Caring For Local Sick children?

Could You Be Part Of The Special Team Caring For Local Sick children?

Chestnut Tree House provides specialist care for 300 children and young people with life-shortening conditions, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes across East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire. The hospice is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for children and families and the Community Team can be on call at any time of the day or night to provide care in the child’s home. Some of the children cared for by the hospice have such complex health needs that it can mean that two or three nurses or Care Support Workers are needed just to look after one sick child.

Providing this vital care involves a huge team of people –nurses, doctors carers and counsellors as well as administrative, housekeeping, catering and maintenance teams. The nursing team in particular are highly qualified with specialist experience in caring for children living with a life-shortening condition and, when the time comes, providing end of life care. They are also there whenever and wherever they are needed.

One such member of the team is Sarah Scales, a qualified children’s nurse who works on the Bank Team at Chestnut Tree House. Here she tells us about herself and her job. “I qualified nine years ago as a children’s nurse and my first job was at Chailey Heritage School in East Sussex looking after children and young people with complex needs. I also worked in Kent on medical and surgical wards, in Australia on an adolescent ward and as a bank nurse at Worthing Hospital before spending 18 months in the Community Team at Chestnut Tree House, which I really loved. For the last four years, I have worked at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in Brighton but I have kept my ties with Chestnut Tree House. I am the Complex Needs Link Nurse on my current ward at the Alex so I frequently come into contact with children and families who need the services of Chestnut Tree House and can help explain how the hospice can help them and allay any worries or fears they may have. Working at the hospital, I still get to see some of the children and families I looked after during my time at Chestnut Tree House so it’s good for them as they already know me and it’s nice for me to keep in touch with them.

Another way I stay in contact with Chestnut Tree House is by working on the Bank Team at the hospice. They call me in when they need extra staff to meet any increase in demand for their care services or to cover for holiday or sick leave. I am glad to help out especially as it means that I can keep up my skills working with children with complex needs. It’s also really flexible as I can often choose whether I do an early or a late shift and the shifts vary in hours too. Chestnut Tree House is a great place to work. I really enjoy having that one-to-one contact with the children, being able to spend time with them and meet their needs. The team at Chestnut Tree House are so friendly and I enjoy working with them. There are plenty of activities to do with the children as well from lovely walks in the fresh air in the beautiful grounds and gardens and messy play to arts and crafts and swimming in the hydrotherapy pool.

From a practical point of view, the hospice is easy to get to, there is free parking and the catering team ensure we are always well fed! Many people think that hospices – especially children’s hospices – can be sad places and are fearful of going there but it’s so upbeat and friendly. I would say to anybody thinking about working at Chestnut Tree House, go for it, you’ll be surprised – it really is a place for living life to the full!”

Chestnut Tree House Hospice LogoChestnut Tree House needs more Bank Nurses like Sarah as well as in-house Staff Nurses, Community Staff Nurses, Housekeeping and Bank Housekeeping staff. The hospice is holding drop-in interview sessions and tours on Wednesday 14 September 2016 between 10am and 6pm. To find out more, please contact the HR Department on 01903 706318 or email or visit

Chestnut Tree House is located at Dover Lane, just off the A27 between Worthing and Arundel.