The Queen opens Sweden's first children's hospice

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The Queen greets senior physician Ann Edner and care dog Livia. Photo: Fredrik Persson/Scanpix.

On Thursday 9 September, The Queen opened Lilla Erstagården, Sweden's first children's hospice.
Lilla Erstagården enhances healthcare for children and young people by providing advanced care during the final stages of life in a home-like environment, supporting children and their families, and ensuring that life continues in the way that child and his or her family would want and can cope with.

Stefan Nilsson, Director of Ersta Diakoni, was the first to speak at the opening ceremony, followed by the hospice's manager, Georg Engel. Both emphasised how pleased they were that Lilla Erstagården is now open, and that the aim is that families should feel as at home as possible, so the care provided should not be noticed.

The Queen is the patron of Ersta Diakoni. In her speech, she said: "Today, most seriously ill children are cared for at home during their final days, and that is how things should remain. But for some children who cannot be cared for at home, a hospice environment is a better alternative than a hospital — both for the children and for their families."