Since the 1950s, children, their families and campaigning organisations have argued that care for children and young people who are ill should, whenever possible, be provided outside hospital. There have been various attempts to develop ‘care closer to home’, but progress has been slow. The National Service Framework for Children emphasised again the need to provide care away from hospitals and suggested ways of achieving this.
This project will identify models of health care for children and young people who are ill that involve delivery of ‘care close to home’. It will explore how these models respond to different needs, e.g., age, condition, ethnicity, deprivation and explore the benefits, drawbacks and costs of shifting from hospital in-patient care to community-based models of care. The project will also establish evidence-based principles of good practice about establishing and running ‘close to home’ models of care.