Complex care at home for children and young people

Children and young people with a diagnosis of long-term illness, disabilities or life-limiting conditions are described as having “complex needs”. This can be from birth, from an injury or accident or even something as simple as an illness.

Those with complex care needs often require additional support daily, overnight or during periods of illness. This is because children and young people with complex care needs often have weaker immune systems or health needs that cause them to become extremely poorly from everyday illnesses.

A lot of the time, these children, young people and their families are supported via complex care at home or in the community. This is designed to reduce hospital admissions and keep families together in the home environment.

What is complex care at home?

Complex care at home is a solution that enables people with care needs to continue living at home and in their local communities. It’s the preferred way of delivering care for children and young people with health needs and has become an alternative to hospital and care homes.

A trained healthcare assistant or a nurse will visit your home to deliver care and support such as treatment, medication and symptom management. They can also support your child or young person with personal care such as washing and dressing and can even help to prepare meals.

But care at home is not just at home. Your care team can also support your child or young person to access the community. This can include going to school or enjoying activities, to lead a more fulfilling life.

As well as supporting individuals to grow their independence and fulfil their potential, complex care at home also provides parents and advocates with essential respite, advice and support.

Key benefits of complex care at home

Health experts and funding bodies believe care at home produces better outcomes for children and young people because it offers families more benefits than alternative support options.

Flexible support

There isn’t a one size fits all approach to care at home. Your child or young person can receive as little, or as much help as needed. Care and support plans are tailored to specific needs, interests and home environments, incorporating your family dynamics and schedules, so it works for everyone in the home.

Home comforts

Complex care at home allows children and young people to receive care they would otherwise receive in a hospital setting, but in the safety and familiarity of the home environment. This means they’re in surroundings they recognise, with people they love. This limits family separation and offers an improved quality of life.

Reduces hospital admissions

Because of the nature of complex care needs, complex care at home is usually provided by experienced nurses or nurse-led healthcare assistants. Their knowledge, proactive approach to care delivery and risk management reduces hospital admissions, visits to GPs and other healthcare services, compared to when families manage complex care needs alone.

Accessing complex care at home

The local authority you belong to has a duty of care to provide support where required and appropriate. Most people with healthcare needs receive care free of charge, however you may need to contribute if the care service you choose exceeds the funding you’re granted.  

If you think your child may qualify for complex care at home because of their needs, but haven’t already secured help, here’s the process you need to complete to secure the support you need.

Step 1 – Contact a professional

Step 2 – Needs assessment

Step 3 – Funding your care

Step 4 – Choosing a provider

Looking for complex care at home?

Searching for complex care at home for your child or young person with complex care needs? Speak to our Children’s Complex Care team! Our specialist team delivers care for a variety of complex health needs in Greater London and surrounding counties.

Visit the Children’s Complex Care website page for more information or make an enquiry today!

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