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P-128 Outcomes from an independently commissioned review of Acorns Care Services
  1. Emma Aspinall
  1. Acorns Children’s Hospice, Birmingham, UK


Background Acorns recognised that children’s hospice care needs to evolve. In July 2020 we commissioned NCB to undertake an independent strategic review of our care service. We were presented with the final report and recommendations in Feb 2021.


  • To align future service and demand based on projected needs and local and national commissioning intentions.

  • To sustainably and effectively resource and deliver services.

  • To inform our Strategic Plan 2021 -2024.

Methods Jul. – Oct. Reviewed data/academic studies to estimate demand.

Sept. – Dec. Focus groups and stakeholder engagements.

Dec. – Jan. 2021. Sets of challenge panels with staff and service users to test recommendations.

Results The review made a strong case for evolution and change, acknowledging that children are living longer with life-limiting conditions resulting in greater clinical complexity in the conditions of many children. There were nine recommendations:

  1. Strengthen the Family Teams’ offer.

  2. Jointly fund clinical posts.

  3. Consider access pilots.

  4. Develop an ‘Acorns Care’ tier of support for children receiving less intensive clinical input.

  5. Review a clinical development strategy across the three hospices.

  6. Monitoring bed occupancy and demonstration of value to commissioners.

  7. Work with other providers to develop a shared vision for children’s palliative care.

  8. Establish inclusive staff working groups to support areas of change.

  9. Key characteristics: Responsive, efficient, integrated, transparent, united.

Conclusions The Review provided a platform for change, as we emerge from the global pandemic there is appetite from our stakeholders for our specialist services to meet priorities for the future. Our change management programme is ensuring the views of the children and families remains central.

How innovative or of interest is the abstract?We hope that sharing our learning will benefit colleagues from across children’s hospices by seeing a different optic into our specialist sector.

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