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Martinborough Nurse Trish is on the line for mums

May 7, 2024 May 2024 No Comments

Martinborough-based PlunketLine nurse Trish Higginson is one of scores of staffers round the country to celebrate 30 years of operation for the free-to-call healthline service.

Day, night, and in the wee hours, PlunketLine registered nurses are there to talk to anyone who has questions or concerns about caring for under-five’s. 

Chief Executive Fiona Kingsford says the service has logged about 2.5 million calls since it first lifted a receiver – around 300 calls every day.

Modernisation means the once after-hours telephone-based service now offers one-on-one video calls.

As well as answering all calls related to raising under-fives, Trish is part of a team offering online face-to-face specialist sleep support. Sleep or lack of is one of the top reasons people call the service. 

Around 850 specialist sleep support sessions have been done since it went on line last year.

“It’s so important for caregivers to look after themselves and reach out for support. If you’re not feeling your best, it’s really tough to care for a little one,” she said. 

Calls relating to maternal mental health increased rapidly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Latest data shows they remain high – up 70 percent from the onset of the pandemic.

“Sometimes people need someone to talk to, to figure things out. Having someone to listen and navigate where to go to for support can make all the difference,” she added. 

“Sometimes our nurses will call the GP or other support services on the mother’s behalf – take the load off, make it easier to access the support they need,” said Fiona.

PlunketLine: 0800 933 922. Calls are free from mobile phones.

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