What is Continuing Care?
NHS Continuing Care is provided to a small group of children and young people up to the age of 18 who need a tailored package of community support.
All children receiving continuing care have a range of complex health needs that need a high level of medical care and intervention to keep them healthy and thriving at home or in their community placement. Many children receiving continuing care need to have frequent stays in hospital and have a limited life expectancy.
Continuing care is part of a system that tries to support children with the most complex health needs to live in the community rather than in a hospital setting.
How is "Continuing Care" different from “Continuing Health Care"?
- Firstly Continuing Care is for children and young people up to the age of 18 years. Continuing Health Care is for adults.
- Secondly the assessment criterion is different, so proportionally many more adults receive continuing health care than children receive continuing care.
What happens if your child needs continuing care?
If your child receives a continuing care package at the age of 16, then a plan will be made to have them assessed under the adult framework, so that their care can continue into young adulthood. If it is thought that a child may have continuing care needs, a multi-disciplinary meeting is held with you, to explore what health needs your child has that cannot be met within local existent services. The meeting will be attended by your child clinical team, including paediatricians, specialist and community nurses, your child’s social worker, your child’s school and any other concerned parties. An evidence based case will then be presented to Continuing Care Forum, who will consider the evidence and make a decision on whether your child meets the criteria for a continuing care package of support. If successful, then your child’s community nurse, and social worker (where appropriate) will meet with you to agree a package of support for your child’s care.
The process of arranging continuing care is led by your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for managing local health services. The CCG will commission the package of care for your child, but in most cases the costs of the package of support is funded between the CCG and the local authority Children’s Services Department.
If you think your child should be assessed for continuing care, talk to your child’s social worker, children’s community nursing team, or specialist nurse within your child’s hospital.
For further information please view the download document on the right of this page.