THE region’s hospices for children and young adults in Sutton Scotney has reopened after it temporarily suspended respite care during the coronavirus pandemic.

Naomi House & Jacksplace offered six staffed beds to Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, with adults from neighbouring hospitals admitted to Jacksplace to be cared for by the charity’s nursing and care team.

Now with the country passing the Covid-19 peak and the NHS less likely to be overwhelmed, Naomi House has decided to reopen to provide funded respite care for the region’s life-limited children.

Initially, the charity will offer emergency respite to families, taking in the South’s most medically vulnerable children to assist families in times of crisis.

Jacksplace will close temporarily to allow extensive maintenance work to take place.

Mark Smith, chief executive of Naomi House & Jacksplace, said: “We can be extremely proud of the part we have played in helping the NHS cope during the Covid-19 crisis but now, as all signs point to the peak having been passed, we can turn our attention back to our core mission and supporting life limited children from across the south. While this isn’t business as usual and it may be some time until we open fully for planned respite, it is an important step towards once again providing the full and comprehensive service that local families so desperately need.”

Naomi House & Jacksplace cares for more than 500 families across the south, and the charity’s family support team have stayed connected with them throughout lockdown. They have delivered a raft of virtual services, from social work and bereavement counselling to sibling support and play therapy.