The Hidden Costs of Having a Child in Hospital in Northern Ireland

Nicola Doherty, Victoria Simms

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

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In total, 269 caregivers who had a child (<18 years-old) who had experienced inpatient care in the previous 18 months responded to the survey. Caregivers reported substantial financial burdens associated with inpatient care of their child, including transport and food costs and loss of earnings for their family. Caregivers also indicated that there were substantial negative impacts
on their physical and mental health. Overall, caregivers reported relying on positive coping strategies to deal with the stress and strain of having a child who experienced inpatient care.

However, caregivers provided many suggestions for improvement for their family’s experience. These suggestions included the provision of free car parking, access to basic equipment to make food and beverages, access to showering facilities, ensuring that equipment in hospital wards was suitable for children with complex needs and increasing provision for comfortable and safe sleeping for caregivers. In addition, caregivers highlighted the need for timely financial and psychological support, not just for themselves, but also for their children.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jun 2023


  • children
  • health
  • hospital


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