Very Special Kids achieves hospital standards

Very Special Kids has achieved National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards Accreditation, earning the eight-bed children’s hospice the same stripes as the country’s largest hospitals.

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHSS) Accreditation, usually reserved for large government-funded health providers, was independently undertaken by Very Special Kids to ensure its services were of the same high standard as the organisations that refer patients for hospice care and family support.

Very Special Kids supports 900 families across Victoria that are caring for children with life-threatening conditions, by providing access to Very Special Kids Hospice for respite and end-of-life care, and psychosocial support for parents and siblings.

The organisation excelled in its engagement with families, resulting in the NSQHSS survey team recommending a Met with Merit (MM) rating.

Very Special Kids Acting CEO Kara Briggs said the organisation is proud to offer an exceptional level of care.

“When a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening condition, it is the beginning of a journey that is full of unique and unimaginably difficult challenges that impact the whole family,” she said.

“It’s essential that the care we provide is centred on a family’s needs and delivered with excellence.

“With NSQHSS accreditation, both families and health professionals can have additional confidence in the services we provide.”

Very Special Kids provides ongoing support that starts from the diagnosis of a child’s condition all the way to discharge or through bereavement.

The free-of-charge services include counselling, advocacy, sibling support, bereavement support, networking and peer activities, trained family volunteers and specialist care at Very Special Kids Hospice.

The organisation cares for children and families across Victoria through offices in Malvern, Brunswick, Ballarat, Hastings, Shepparton, Torquay, Traralgon and Warrnambool.

Being two-thirds self-funded, Very Special Kids relies on community support and fundraising to deliver its services.