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Palliative Care: Children

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 194164, tabled on 21 November 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has taken steps to encourage Clinical Commissioning Groups and local authorities to jointly commission (a) short breaks for respite and (b) other children’s palliative care services.

Answered on

28 November 2018

NHS England and the Department expects clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and local authorities to work collaboratively to commission appropriate respite and palliative care services for children with life-limiting conditions, to make the most efficient and effective use of health and social care funding.

NHS England’s ‘Choice Commitment for end of life care’ document recognises that children’s palliative care is particularly dependent on this good collaboration between clinical and non-clinical services across a variety of settings. NHS England has also provided support to CCGs in this area in the form of a joint NHS 10 Point Efficiency Plan with NHS Improvement.

NHS England is also working with colleagues across the National Health Service and local authorities to ensure the health and care needs of specific patient groups, including children’s palliative care services, are planned collaboratively where appropriate. This includes working with commissioners, clinicians, voluntary, community and social enterprises, local authorities and people with lived experience to refresh the children’s palliative and end of life care service specification and the commissioning pathway to reflect collective responsibilities across health and social care. Work will continue on this until spring 2019.