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Palliative Care: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 15th January 2019.

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Photo of Steve Double Steve Double Conservative, St Austell and Newquay

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) clinical commissioning groups and (b) local authorities take account of demand for children's palliative care in planning and funding services.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Work undertaken by NHS England and system partners at a national level includes supporting sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) planning to address end of life care in all settings, providing key data on services and populations to support appropriate planning and funding of end of life care. STPs bring together National Health Service, local authorities and other partners to agree system-wide priorities, and to plan collectively.

NHS England is actively working to improve support to commissioners in funding and delivering children’s end of life care, and hospice care. In April 2017 NHS England made available a new specialist palliative care currency, one for adults and one for children, to support local areas in planning and delivering services, including hospice services. The currency can help local services better understand the complexity of palliative care and the investment needed to deliver it.

NHS England also commissioned Together for Short Lives to promote the adoption of important new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which sets out best practice on the care and treatment of children at the end of life.

NHS England has established an Expert Group to bring together knowledge and expertise in children’s end of life care to consider the development of commissioning models suitable for this vulnerable group of patients. NHS England has identified clinical commissioning groups to pilot the new models and work is expected for completion in spring 2019.

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