National Service Framework for Children

High quality palliative care services should be available for all children and young people who need them. A network of agencies, including the NHS, children’s hospices, the voluntary sector and social care and education services, provides palliative care services. Co-ordination and close liaison between agencies, is therefore essential. Palliative care services were given the necessary importance in NSF. It should guarantee that every child who deserves palliative care should get it. Committed individuals who choose the area of practice in this field and statutoy support from government will ensure that every child shall get the required palliative care, health care and hospice services.
In this context primary care trusts can implement framework in place whereby they can guarantee that every child in the area will receive the individualised palliative care that is necessary. It was also impotant to get a general uplift of funding for the hospice movement. …
There is a problem in engaging with multiple PCTs, but the two mechanisms can help resolve it. First, in many areas within a strategic health authority, the PCTs they are used to commissioning specialist services that cross many boundaries will often appoint one PCT as the lead negotiator.
Secondly, the Government can introduce a director of children’s services who can have a duty to examine services for children across an entire local authority area. One of those duties is to co-operate with PCTs in developing plans for children’s services. It applies vice-versa, as PCTs have a duty to co-operate with the director of children’s services. If such a director believes that there are gaps in the palliative care provision in the local area, he may instruct PCTs to deal with the gap in their local delivery plans. That could lead to increased support for a local hospice movement and the PCT could even decide that the most practical person to lead the negotiations with the local hospice movement is the new director.
The children’s hospice movement should succeed, but it just cannot happen with only with centrally designed solutions. Children’s palliative care needs go far beyond centrally imposed solutions. A primary care trust could not be expected to ensure a proper balance of provision or full availability of home care in the area if it were told that, irrespective of what it needs, it must fund an arbitrary proportion of hospice costs even though it had no strategic role in planning those hospices or commissioning their services.
If we insist on more money into the hospice movement, there will be less left for other forms of children’s palliative care.
The national service framework for children, young people and maternity