Admissions Process

The purpose of our admissions process is to ensure that admissions to the service are dealt with in a professional, sensitive and timely manner with the welfare of the child as paramount.

It is the policy that the service will:

  • Support children with life-limiting conditions and their families by providing high quality family support, symptom management, end-of-life care, bereavement support and direct care (including short break stays in hospice or in the family home).
  • Referrals to the service will be considered for children with: Unpredictable/deteriorating health, including frequent unplanned hospital admissions or discussions around Advance Care Planning and Resuscitation status.
  • Support around symptoms that are difficult to manage i.e. pain, seizures, secretions.

Admissions can be made to the following programmes of care:

  • Family Support We offer family support programmes that allow them to be together as a family unit, to have fun together, to meet other families in similar circumstances, and support them along their journey.
  • Symptom Management Children with life-limiting conditions often have symptoms that can be troubling to children and their family, especially if the symptoms are poorly controlled. Families need support to manage changing symptoms throughout the course of a life-limiting condition.
  • End-of-Life Care Our Hospice Care team works wiht the child’s primary medical team, community services (community palliative care, primary care, and the Children’s Outreach Nurses) to ensure the family’s wishes for location of death are met where possible.
  • Bereavement Support Our aim is to assist families in their experience of loss during and after their child’s life. There are services to support the entire family including extended family.
  • Direct Care Planned and unplanned short breaks in the hospice or in the family home provides the support required to meet the child’s holistic care needs.


Families are given the opportunity to visit the service before they make a decision to proceed with the referral. Medical and Therapy reports are requested to determine if the child meets the criteria for admission.

All referrals are examined, documented and discussed at our Child and Family Review Meeting and decisions are agreed as to whether the child meets the criteria for admission. Members of the committee include the interdisciplinary team of our Hospice Care Team.

Two members of the team visit the family at home to:

  • Discuss key aspects of the service and to discuss the application and or admission process.
  • Explain the range and function of the service’s child protection and welfare policy and procedures to the child’s family.
  • Provide the child’s family with information on their rights and responsibilities.
  • Explain other relevant policies and procedures to the child’s family.
  • Assess the child and family needs and notify referring agency and /or family of outcome.

The service will maintain contact with all relevant persons with a bona fide interest in the welfare of the child to keep them informed of their progress throughout the admissions process.

Following assessment the team will:

  1. Agree admission date with family.
  2. The required details of the child and family will be entered in the service client register.


  1. Agree with all persons involved in the admission process that the child’s admission to the service will not proceed at this time.
  2. Inform family in writing of the outcome of referral/admission process and a service agreement will be included with a letter of offer.

Appeal Process

An appeal process is in place for referrals which do not meet admission criteria, where families can appeal decision if an application is refused. Referring agency or family are requested to write to the Chairperson of the Child and Family Committee requesting appeal.