One of the bigger difficulties that families face is the insularity. Insularity, that takes place not only between islands but from the Mainland.
The welcome flats service is aimed to compensate for the problems that insularity means for the families. Son Espases University Hospital is the designated hospital for the whole Balearic region.
All families in Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera with children affected by cancer have an obligation to move to Mallorca in order to receive the necessary treatment. This means a double impact: moving to another place and the illness diagnosis.
The health service takes in to consideration the presence of one of the parents in the hospital room, but it cannot provide them with a place to live or to normalize their situation during the long term periods of treatment. ASPANOB, being conscious of this situation, has a welcome flat service near the Son Espases University Hospital, which is totally free for the families during the whole treatment. In the same way, it can be used during the monitoring and control phase.
Furthermore, it must be highlighted that, whenever possible, this resource is offered to children with no oncological illnesses, such as cases of premature newborns, politraumatisms, kidney illness, anorexia and traffic accidents.
Certain treatments cannot be carried out in Son Espases Hospital and must go to a Mainland hospital. In the case of the Balearic Islands, it is the one in Barcelona. For that reason, and following the same guidelines as the families facing this problem in Mallorca, ASPANOB has a flat in Barcelona, opposite the Valle de Hebrón residence, to offer the welcome flat service. And, from 2006, another flat has been added in order to double the service capacity. The objectives of this service are the same as the ones for the Palma de Mallorca service: stabilize the situation of displaced families, help the family to cope and adapt to the new situation and reduce the stress of transference and temporary desertion from the habitual residence.
As in Mallorca, requests have been received from non oncological families to whom we have given support, such as kidney illnesses, burns and cardiopathys.