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Children with complex support needs in healthcare settings for prolonged periods: their numbers, characteristics and experiences

Stalker, K. and Carpenter, J. and Phillips, R. and Connors, C. and MacDonald, C. and Eyres, J. and Noyes, J. and Chaplin, S. and Place, M. (2003) Children with complex support needs in healthcare settings for prolonged periods: their numbers, characteristics and experiences. [Report]

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Abstract

This report details the findings of research conducted in England and Scotland to identify how many children with complex support needs are spending longer than one month in healthcare settings in Scotland and England, how and why they are in hospital, why they have not been discharged home or to appropriate alternative community-based facilities, and how well the hospital or healthcare setting is meeting their emotional, social and educational needs. It finds that many of these children could and should be discharged but are not, for a variety of reasons: primarily the lack of appropriate resources in the community and poor discharge planning processes, coupled with the inability of their families to manage their care and supervision without intensive support. Hospitals and healthcare settings in many cases are not meeting their needs and these children are being denied the protection offered by UK legislation governing children's rights and welfare.