THE father of young boy with a disability is shining a light on parents providing high levels of care for sick children ahead of Father’s Day this weekend.
Rick Bolton, 41, from Chorley, dad to five-year-old Isaac who has cerebal palsy and needs 24 hour care, wants other parents of children with complex health needs to join the #NOTANURSE_BUT campaign.
The campaign will gather data through a questionnaire so charity WellChild can find how best to support families under ‘tremendous strain’.
Both Rick and his wife Lynsey work full-time whilst juggling the care of Isaac and two other children.
Rick said: “With the number of people involved in managing the things Isaac needs, including staff across four different hospitals, we, as his parents, have to be the ones to keep the wheels moving and provide the link between different professionals.
“We are also the voice of a little boy who can’t speak to try to make sure that the support he gets is right for him.
“However as parents our voice often goes unheard and, particularly as a Dad, I often find myself excluded from the system.
“Health and social care professionals need to consider Dads as well as Mums.
“Similarly when you are a Dad to a child with exceptional needs you need to understand that services are for you too and to talk about the things that matter to you.”
Linda Partridge, WellChild’s director of programmes, encouraged families to go online to fill in the questionnaire.
She said: “These families are not adequately recognised for their professional and personal expertise and the immense practical, emotional and financial strain placed on them remains unseen.”
For more information, visit www.wellchild.org.uk.