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22nd Nov 2016
Specialist children’s nurse Anne Sweeney has been honoured for her dedicated work caring for seriously ill children.
In May 1993 Anne became the first-ever Roald Dahl nurse: her post at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool was created and initially funded by Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity (then known as the Roald Dahl Foundation), which provides specialist children’s nurses and family support for seriously ill children across the UK.
The charity today held a special presentation ceremony for Anne – who is due to retire soon – at the end of its annual nurses’ conference, which took place at the Institute in the Park at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Anne, 64, who is from Wavertree, Liverpool has been nursing for a total of 46 years now and during that time, has worked in many different areas of the NHS. Anne is very proud to have been the first Roald Dahl Nurse, a post which was also the first paediatric epilepsy nurse specialist in the UK. She was presented with special gifts by Liccy Dahl – Roald Dahl’s widow, Martin Goodwin – the Chair of Trustees and Jane Miles – the charity’s CEO.
Today there are currently 52 Roald Dahl specialist children’s nurses caring for over 10,000 seriously ill children across the UK at any one time. Anne herself has cared for many thousands of children.
Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity was set up 25 years ago by Roald Dahl’s widow, Liccy Dahl. The charity’s earliest days were remembered at today’s conference by Dr Richard Appleton, Consultant and Honorary Professor in Paediatric Neurology, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, who worked with Liccy Dahl to create the first Roald Dahl nurse post which was the beginning of the Roald Dahl Nurses’ Programme. He paid the following tribute to Anne: “Anne’s appointment transformed the care that I, and Alder Hey, were able to provide for children with epilepsy and their families. This was at an individual level but also in the wider community, local and regional, by increasing professionals’ and the public’s awareness and understanding of epilepsy. Crucially, we opened the door and presented the country with a new perspective on the real meaning of holistic (total) epilepsy care.”
Anne Sweeney says: “I have nursed for 46 years and for 23 of them have had the privilege of being a Roald Dahl Children’s epilepsy nurse at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Mine was the first children’s epilepsy specialist nurse post in the UK, it would not have been possible without the support of the Roald Dahl Foundation. Children and their families who receive a diagnosis of epilepsy now have contact with a specialist nurse, they are provided with information, advice, contact when needed, also epilepsy training on recognition and management of seizures for all those involved with the child, this gives the family more confidence to allow the child to live as normal a life as possible. I wish Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity continued success.”
Alder Hey Children's Charity