A SOMERSET hospital has won funding for its first Roald Dahl Specialist Nurse, who will support children with epilepsy and their families.

Yeovil Hospital appointed epilepsy specialist nurse Emma Christie after a successful bid to Road Dahl's Marvellous Children Charity.

Emma will work alongside Dr Amna Ahmad, a consultant paediatrician, to support to around 80 families in Yeovil and the surrounding area.

The hospital trust's application was selected after around 35 NHS organisations bid for funding from the charity.

Speaking about her new role, Emma said: “I qualified as a nurse in 2006, working on the children’s ward then, more recently, as a community paediatric nurse.

“In that role, I have supported many families, including those with children who have epilepsy.

“Often, there are additional complex needs and epilepsy is not the only challenge these families face, so I am hugely excited by the opportunity here where I can focus on providing bespoke support to benefit these children and their families.

“It’s fantastic that the Roald Dahl Marvellous Children’s Charity saw there was a need in our community and, with the specialist training the charity provides alongside my own experience and that of the wider team, I will be able to shape the service to meet the needs of the families we care for.”

Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and Yeovil District NHS Foundation Trust have entered a five-year partnership and will share the cost between them.

The families that will benefit from Emma's appointment have previously been looked after by community paediatric nurses. 

Emma will now provide these families with a single contact with experience and knowledge to meet their complex needs.

Yeovil Hospital's Epilepsy Service offers care and specialist information for children and their families from diagnosis until they transition into adult services.

The service offers a holistic, multi-agency approach, which includes supporting and training families, liaising with schools, and discussing treatment options.

The bid will also provide epilepsy specialist nurses as Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton with access to training and support.

Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity was founded in the author's memory (originally as the Roald Dahl Foundation) shortly after his death in 1991. 

It was set up by his widow Felicity and the illustrator Sir Quentin Blake. 

The charity aims to continue his legacy as, during his life, he generously gave his time and money to help seriously ill children and their families.