Children and Young People's Continuing Care

What is continuing care?

Some children and young people (up to age 17), may have very complex health needs.

These may be the result of:

  • congenital conditions
  • long-term or life-limiting conditions
  • disability
  • serious illness or injury.

Children with such complex needs may need additional health support to that which is not routinely available from GP practices, hospitals or in the community.

This additional package of care is called continuing care. The Integrated Care Board (ICB), which is responsible for arranging for health services locally, has responsibility for assessing children and young people to see if they need a package of continuing care.

Who is eligible?

Any child or young person up to their 18th birthday who has a complex health need may be eligible.

When a young person reaches 18, the adult NHS Continuing Healthcare arrangements apply.

There are significant differences between children and young people’s continuing care and NHS Continuing Healthcare for adults. Although a child or young person may be in receipt of a package of continuing care, they may not be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare. The ICB will assess any young person in receipt of continuing care when they are aged 16-17, to see if they are likely to be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare when they turn 18.

How can you access continuing care?

A referral can be made by any health professional or carer who feels a continuing care package may be required.

When a child or young person is referred for an assessment, the ICB will first check if they are likely to need a full assessment.

A health assessor will then collect evidence of the child’s needs, drawing on the advice of health and care professionals. A national framework provides guidance, and a set of categories of needs to support decisions on whether or not a child has a continuing care need.

An important part of the assessment is to capture the preferences of the child or young person and their family. It is important that although these preferences are considered they are not guaranteed.

The assessment will look at the current care being provided but a decision on whether or not a child or young person has a continuing care need is based on the nature of their needs, rather that the care available, or whether or not they have a particular condition.

Who decides what happens next?

You will be informed whether or not the child/young person does or does not meet the continuing care criteria.

A decision is usually made 6-8 weeks from referral.

Depending on the decision, a package of care is then agreed; some of this care may be provided through existing services; some may need to be specially arranged.

The ICB will keep the package of care under regular review to ensure the developing child or young person’s needs continue to be supported.

A child or young person’s eligibility for continuing care may change as their needs change.

This information is covered by the Open Government Licence

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Health House
Wrawby Road
North Lincolnshire
DN20 8GS


Phone: 01652 251026 (answer machine facility available)

Last modified: April 19, 2024