St Margaret’s Complex of Children’s Services originally opened in 1999 as Yorkshire House Street Children Project, to save the street children of Bucharest from physical, sexual abuse and exploitation. Today that role is fulfilled by St. Macrina’s Street Children’s Early Intervention Education Programme. The education aspect is delivered by CID Ro’s St Helena’s Education and Welfare initiative, which helps youngsters at risk turn their back on a future on the street and to find a new life through the special tuition they need to graduate to high school.
As part of a Millennium initiative a hospice wing opened at St. Margaret’s providing palliative and respite care for up to 15 children with chronic neurological disorders and multiple handicaps, who would otherwise barely survive in the general children’s wards of Bucharest’s overcrowded state hospitals.
Today, St Margaret’s Hospice is regarded as a “Beacon of Excellence”. Children in its infant and junior wards, with multiple handicaps, are cared for by a superb highly trained team of dedicated qualified Romanian nurses; maternal carers and therapists lead by Dr Mirella Iancu, one the most experienced Child Medicine and Paediatric Consultants in Romania.
The Hospice specialises in the care of infants and children who are terminally or incurably ill as result of accident, infection or the most severe birth defects, genetic disabilities or disorders. The aim is to offer the best in tender loving care to children who are in the main abandoned by both their families and other care professionals as beyond help; to allow them to maximise their abilities and potential and to allow them to be the best that they can be, for as long as time allows.
The St Margaret’s Complex of Children’s Services also houses one of the St Nicholas Child Development Centres, which provides complex individually tailored therapy programmes as part of the hospice programme.
The staff of this Complex and “Centre of Excellence” and its beacon projects share their expertise and experience in joint training initiatives, with other NGOS, organisations and local authority child care and assessment centres. Another essential element of the complex’s services, are the community based multi disciplinary palliative nursing care and therapy teams which support children and families in projects for children living with HIV AIDS or those who are, handicapped and housebound as result of genetics, infection, or are incurably and terminally ill.
St Margaret’s provides contracted care for children from across Bucharest and the adjacent Rural Counties and currently has an emergency waiting list for patients urgently in need of immediate admission and the hospice unique quality care provision. To partially address this demand for care four additional beds will be introduced in 2014.
The Hospice remains highly dependent on donation income support from the UK to provide both its hospice services and to offer the education, professional training and welfare services it shares with other NGOs and state services to improve the quality of paediatric care across Romania.
The St Margaret’s Complex also houses the adminstation for Children in Distress,Copii in Dificultate(CIDRo),PositivPlus and Help Hope and Hospice.