Children and young people under 18 with very complex health needs as a result of illness, disability or accident, may be eligible for a package of care and support from the NHS called NHS Children’s Continuing Care.
The NHS body responsible for decision-making on Children’s Continuing Care is the child’s Clinical Commissioning Group. A child or young person can be referred by a health professional or carer for an assessment. Sometimes a screening checklist assessment takes place to determine whether a full assessment is needed.
The full assessment should consider the preferences of the child or young person and their family and include a holistic assessment of their needs. It should also consider reports and risk assessments from a multidisciplinary team, or evidence collected during an Education, Health and Care Plan assessment. In addition, a health assessor should visit the child to carry out a Decision Support Tool assessment of their health needs across ten care domains such as eFpersating and drinking, mobility and challenging behaviour.
A decision on eligibility is then made by a multi-agency forum or panel. The decision should be made within 6 weeks of the start of the full assessment. A package of care is then developed and put in place.
As the parent or carer of an ill or disabled child or young person, you may need advice and assistance throughout this process particularly if your child is found ineligible for Children’s Continuing Care or you are unhappy with the package of care that is proposed.
Professional Deputies for children and young people may also need advice on whether their client is receiving all of the publicly funded care to which they are entitled. Many children eligible for Children’s Continuing Care may also have an Education, Health and Care Plan as they have Special Educational Needs, or may have social care needs. Local Authorities and CCGs are supposed to work closely together to ensure that a child’s needs are met, but sometimes this does not happen in practice.
Our specialist team of Community Care and Education Law Solicitors can advise you on a range of issues and problems with Children’s Continuing Care including: