A series of discharge planning meetings are needed to assess the child/young person's needs. The meetings should be child & family centred. The aim should be to have the first discharge meeting as soon as possible to plan for the child's discharge from hospital.
Assessment and Planning Anticipatory planning for acute readmission to hospital should take place in case the child needs to go into hospital unexpectedly. This should be included in the initial discharge plan.
Transition Transition is a challenging process because of the different methods of delivery of service in the paediatric and adult services. Parents and the young person can find the moving to different services and the building of new relationships with a range of different professionals daunting.
Support for Parents/Carers It is recognised that parents and siblings require appropriate emotional support at the time that the complexity and vulnerability of their child's situation is recognised. Both parents should be involved, if possible, in discussions and decision making. Appropriate verbal and written information should be provided. Access to a source of information for further questions should be available.
Continuing Care Packages Deciding on how best to meet the needs of children with exceptional healthcare needs and who should provide the necessary services and funding requires effective integrated working based around a robust joint assessment process.
Breaking News Breaking difficult news is an essential part of the pathway for the children with exceptional healthcare needs because it is often a recurrent feature in the lives of these children and their families and this process might be revisited at a number of stages in their lives.
Financial Support There are many different sources of financial support available to children with exceptional healthcare needs and their families. Perhaps most important is Disability Living Allowance (DLA) as a lot of other funding is dependent on this benefit.
Training Parents/Carers and Health Care Support Staff Training parents and carers to feel confident in dealing with the technical aspects of the care for their child is an essential step in preparing the home support plan. Healthcare support staff need to be appropriately trained to allow timely discharge of children with exceptional healthcare needs.
Equipment Provision/Housing Adaptations To support timely discharge of a child with exceptional healthcare needs, any equipment needed for the child needs to be ordered well in advance. Waiting for the child to be fit for discharge before ordering equipment will cause delay in the discharge from hospital.