All children and young people have access to NHS services but sometimes their health needs can be so complex they cannot be met by universal or specialist services alone. These needs can arise due to accident, disability or illness.
These services include services provided by; general practitioner practices, hospitals, community services already commissioned by the local clinical commissioning group or NHS England. If additional health support is needed this is called Children's Continuing Care.
The service is nurse led and the process involves three stages: assessment, decision making and development of a package of care. The team uses the national framework for Children and Young People's Continuing Care.
Referrals can be made by any professional working with a child or young person and their family, for example, social worker, community nurse, general practitioner, hospital discharge planning nurse and an initial checklist is completed.
Consent is obtained by the referrer and checklist is considered alongside the Education, Health and Care Plan (if there is one) and reports from any specialists involved in the child’s care.
The continuing care nurse will make a decision based on all the information provided if an initial assessment should be undertaken to assess for eligibility for continuing care.
If a child is eligible a package of care is then arranged and the best way of managing it is discussed with the family, for example, personal health budget.
If a professional working with a family is considering making a referral they are encouraged to call or email the team to discuss 0300 3038674 or email email@example.com The team is part of the multidisciplinary integrated team supporting children, young people and their families.