Session L: Delivering excellent children's palliative care in a pandemic

Scotland has a unique model of children’s palliative care, with Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) as the single national and specialist provider of hospice services to children.

Delivering high quality palliative and end of life care for children and young people presents unique challenges, but also unique opportunities. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a significant impact on children and families, with many choosing to shield earlier than required, and many services they relied on either changed or stopped completely.

This session will look at how CHAS, together with health and social care partners, established the world’s first virtual children’s hospice – 10 days after the first lockdown in 2020.

Delegates will hear from children, families and staff on how this incredible response helped them through an incredibly tough time.

CHAS developed its pandemic response based on feedback from children and families, NHS Boards and local authority partners. The presentation will outline how CHAS’ pandemic response re-imagined and re-designed children’s hospice care during the pandemic, including:

  • Re-configuring services to reduce planned respite at hospices to facilitate social-distancing and emergency care, but hugely expand home care;
  • Re-mobilising relationships by expanding partnership working with hospital teams, including step-down care and much closer working between CHAS and NHS staff to support end of life at home; and
  • Re-inventing services by establishing the world’s first Virtual Children’s Hospice, to meet the needs of isolated children and families.


Rami Okasha

Chief Executive, Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS)

Rami Okasha was appointed to the role of Chief Executive of Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) in September 2019, and formally took up the role February 2020.

Vice Chair

Sue Hogg

Director for Children and Families, Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS)

Sue Hogg provides strategic leadership to the clinical and care teams at the Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS).


Nicky Bridges

Associate Director for Outreach, Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS)

Nicky Bridges has recently been appointed Associate Director for Outreach at the Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS), where she will lead the development and integration of the CHAS at home nursing team, family support team, Diana Children’s Nurses and Hospital teams.