Express & Star

Hospices working together to provide care 24/7

Staff at two hospices have celebrated the culmination of a partnership which has allowed for 24/7 care to be provided to children in the Black Country.

Staff gathered from both hospices to celebrate the partnership

Acorns Children's Hospital has teamed up with St Giles Hospice whilst refurbishment works are being carried out to the branch on Walstead Road in Walsall.

It saw children receive vital care from Acorns at the other charity's Whittington site for the last 10 months in a partnership which has now come to an end.

Katie Burbridge, director of clinical services and quality for St Giles Hospice, said: “It's been an absolute pleasure working with Acorns. Any form of change in an organisation has to be managed well and from the beginning of our partnership with Acorns it's been a real integrated service, where both teams have really embraced the collaborative working.

"It's been really positive from a palliative teamwork point of view. Hospice care has always been very separate, either caring for adults or children – never really do the two come together. This partnership has been a brilliant example of how children and adults can be nursed and cared for in the same environment.”

Acorns closed its Walsall-based site for 10 months in May 2022 to allow improvement works to commence. The charity was given access to three Inpatient Unit bedrooms at St Giles, based in Whittington, enabling Acorns to continue to deliver short breaks, emergency and end of life care for the over 230 families who use its hospice in the Black Country each year.

Emma Aspinall, director of care for Acorns Children's Hospice, added: “We are extremely grateful to St Giles Hospice for supporting Acorns to continue to give children and families ongoing access to in-house hospice care at their Whittington facility.

“The needs of the children and families have been at the heart of this project from the outset and this collaboration and sharing of resources has been a wonderful opportunity for our two charities to work together to fulfil that aim.

“It's been a real journey of fun, and adventure – a huge thank you to everyone at St Giles for not only for providing us with the space, but for making us feel so welcome. We’ll be delighted to continue the fantastic relationships we have formed with our friends and colleagues at St Giles.

"We are thrilled to reach this important point in the modernisation of Acorns in the Black Country and can’t wait to welcome families back to the hospice as soon as we are able.

“It's been quite the journey and it has been amazing to see the hospice evolve. It may look like a completely different building, but it will provide the same love, laughter, care and support families have come to enjoy and rely on at Acorns.”

The improvement works include upgrading the 10 children’s bedrooms, and a new purpose-built arts and crafts room. The project will see the Acorns in the Black Country become the first of Acorns hospices to have piped oxygen and suction devices built into the rooms, recognising the increasing complexities of children in the charity’s care.

There will also be a brand-new, purpose-built arts and crafts room, called Isabella’s Place, where children will enjoy the freedom of expression through art.

The Acorns team returning to their Walsall site leaves St Giles with some space at their Whittington Hospice to develop.

To find out more about both organisations visit and