The chief executive of one of the South East's biggest children's hospices says a shortage of specialist nurses is jeopardising core services, including end-of-life care.

Ryan Campbell, Chief Executive Officer at Demelza Hospice in Sittingbourne, was responding to a report, by the children's charity Together for Short Lives, warning of a 'crisis' in the recruitment of palliative care nurses trained in pain-relief.

Mr Campbell says care at its hospice in Sittingbourne has not been affected so far but he fears for the future.

Ryan Campbell, CEO, Demelza Hospice


palliative care nurses are needed in England, but there are just over 500

The charity Together for Short Lives says a government investment of £1.3 billion a year in recruitment and training is needed to reverse the crisis.

There simply aren't enough specialist community children's nurses and specialist consultants who are available on hand to provide that care. Also, the shortage means that children's hospices simply aren't able to provide the level of short breaks respite that children and their families rely upon."

James Cooper, Together for Short Lives
Credit: ITV News Meridian