During Baby Loss Awareness Week we would like to shine a light on the important work of one of our Diana Children’s Nurses (DCNs), Judith Watson, who provides dedicated, specialist care to babies requiring palliative care.
Judith Watson is based primarily in the neonatal unit and maternity services at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, working in partnership with the NHS to support vulnerable infants and their families.
Judith, who has over 20 years experience in specialist paediatric care, explains what makes her current job so rewarding.
“Being a DCN is an exceptionally special role. One of the most remarkable aspects is the opportunity to connect with families and build meaningful relationships with them. It is incredibly moving to witness the strength and resilience of families facing the most challenging and vulnerable situations. DCNs play a pivotal role in providing family-centred care, and it's heart-warming to see CHAS's unwavering support for this approach.
“What makes this role even more unique is the deep appreciation shown by the families we work with. It is a privilege to be part of their lives and to provide care and support during critical times, particularly for babies with life-shortening conditions.
“At the hospital I often meet families during their visits to scans and appointments with midwives or obstetricians. From the moment of antenatal diagnosis through delivery and postnatal care, I am there to support them.
“Although I am mainly based in Edinburgh my responsibilities cover the Southeast of Scotland, so there are times when I may visit other Neonatal Units or provide support to families in the community or Hospice. On occasion, I might also assist a baby and their family at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh or work in partnership with the RHCYP’s Paediatric Palliative Care Team.
“The difference I make in the lives of babies, children, and young people, as well as their families, is deeply meaningful. I possess a unique understanding of the challenges and uncertainties that families face during their difficult journey. I take pride in acting as an advocate for them during exceptionally trying times, alleviating any additional stressors so they can focus on their baby and create precious memories together.
“Providing continuity of care is another fundamental aspect of my role and I remain in contact with many families I have supported.
“Collaboration and partnership are key components of my work. By working closely with families, the NHS, and CHAS, I ensure that families have choices and access to the support and care they need. It is such a privilege to contribute to the wellbeing of these families and I learn so much from families and the strength they find in their darkest hours.”