Partner spotlight: Pan Thames Paediatric Long Term Ventilation Programme

We're shining a light on some of our partner organisations and the work they do in their communities.



We're shining a light on some of our partner organisations and the work they do in their communities. This month, we spoke to Emma Lear, a welfare advisor at the Pan Thames Paediatric Long Term Ventilation Programme.

Tell us your name and your role at your organisation  

Hello! My name is Emma Lear. I work as a welfare advisor at the Pan Thames Paediatric Long Term Ventilation Programme. The programme is a collaboration between the South Thames Paediatric Network (STPN) and the North Thames Paediatric Network (NTPN), respectively hosted by Evelina London Hospital (Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust), and Great Ormond Street Hospital. 

What does your organisation do and who uses your services?  

The NTPN and STPN work on healthcare quality and service improvements for children and young people across a wide region. Our services are utilised by NHS professionals including consultants, nurses and healthcare professionals. 

I specifically support professionals dealing with children who use ventilators, offering assistance with issues like rehousing, equipment funding and welfare benefits applications. I also raise awareness of welfare rights matters to health and social care professionals through webinar sessions, so that they can support their patients. 

Which Turn2us tools does your organisation use and how do they help you in your work? 

Turn2us has developed brilliant tools to support with our work. We use the Benefits Calculator and Grants Search tool regularly and have embedded these on to our website which patients can be signposted to. These tools are in our Winter Welfare Hub, which was sent alongside clinical guidance to healthcare professionals, to assist them in supporting a respiratory patient population - who are at higher risk during the winter. 

Can you share an example of a time a service user accessed extra income by using our tools and what did it mean for them? 

A family who were homeless used the Benefits Calculator to help them to maximise their income. This enabled them to afford a suitable private rented property in their area of preference – which they had previously thought wouldn’t be possible.

The calculations demonstrating what their income would be when the benefits were awarded were accepted by the landlord as evidence of affordability. The landlord was content that whilst the family didn’t immediately meet the income criteria of affordability for the property, they soon would.

The Grants Search tool also helped them to find charitable assistance towards furnishing their new home. These were a big worry for the family before using Turn2us tools, as they couldn’t foresee how they could afford the rent or furnishings on a new home. 

If Turn2us didn't exist, what would that mean for those you support? 

It would be much more challenging to find charitable grants to support our families. Our patient population often require support with multiple needs rather than just one thing. For example, a family may need support with some of the additional costs relating to a long stay in hospital e.g. travel and food. Closer to discharge from hospital, they may require support with the costs of furnishing a home, or having suitable flooring installed. 

Having a range of appropriate grant providers all in the same place, using a quick and easy tool is brilliant. The features of the tool, such as showing average timescales is really helpful, and is much less time consuming than calling up charities to see whether they would be able to make a decision before the date an item is needed; this is essential to know when some items are required to facilitate discharge home from hospital. 

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