Introduction A Children's Palliative Care Network was established in Yorkshire in 2005 after the appointment of a Consultant in Paediatric Palliative Medicine. A strategy group helped to share information and created on a local pathway of care. One difficulty was establishing links with the commissioning process. Another was that it was not certain that the network fulfilled the needs of the local providers or supported families effectively. A third was the change to Regional Boundaries so that four more PCT's and two other Children's Hospices were included in the network.
The possibility of funding from the DH grant to Children's Palliative Care allowed us to explore these issues.
Method A Doctor with a background in Palliative care was appointed to undertake a review of the network and contact GP's, nursing services and hospital services throughout the region.
Outcome There was overwhelming support for a network. This should be supportive and informative as well as organising and linking with commissioning. It is recognised that some formal administrative support is necessary for the success of the network. There needs to be rotation of members to enable succession planning.
An Action plan of achievable projects has been developed.
There need to be better links with other Children's networks, including the PICU, Neonatal and neurology networks.
Conclusion A strong network is an important aspect of ensuring equity of palliative care around the region. Implementing the recommendations of this report will help ensure its viability.
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