Continuing care for children and young people

NHS continuing care is for children and young people if they have care needs caused by: 

  • Disability 
  • Accident 
  • Illness 

These needs cannot be met by existing universal or specialist services alone. 

To be eligible for NHS continuing care, the child or young person must be assessed by a team of healthcare professionals (a multidisciplinary team). 

The team will look at all the care needs and relate them to:

  • What help is needed 
  • How complex the needs are 
  • How intense the needs can be 
  • How unpredictable they are. This includes any risks to health, if the right care is not provided at the right time

For most people, there is an initial checklist assessment. This is used to decide if the child or young person needs a full assessment. Depending on the outcome of the checklist, the child or young person will either be told: 

  • They do not meet the criteria for a full assessment of NHS continuing care. Therefore, they are not eligible 
  • They will be referred for a full assessment of eligibility 

The assessment will consider needs under the following headings:

  • Breathing
  • Nutrition (food and drink)
  • Continence
  • Skin (including wounds and ulcers)
  • Mobility
  • Communication
  • Psychological and emotional needs
  • Cognition (understanding)
  • Behaviour
  • Drug therapies and medication
  • Altered states of consciousness
  • Other significant care needs 

These needs are given a weighting marked: 

  • Priority 
  • Severe 
  • High 
  • Moderate
  • Low 
  • No needs 

Depending on the situation, different options could be suitable. This could include support in the child or young person's own home, and the option of a personal health budget

Read further guidance on the website Children and young people's continuing care national framework.

Referral information

A health professional can contact the continuing care team. The team will ask the professional to complete a pre-assessment checklist and gain consent from the parent/carer to refer.

Norfolk services that support children with continuing care:

Norfolk services that support young adults with continuing healthcare:

  • Continuing Healthcare - Adults

Transition planning

NHS guidance on transition health planning to adult continuing healthcare. This guide has been produced to ensure that there is no gap in a young person’s support when moving to NHS adult continuing healthcare.

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