Children with Complex Healthcare Needs service putting children "at the centre of everything"in CHO1

HSE MEDIA RELEASE: 27th April 2021

A quality improvement report highlighting the Service for Children with Complex Healthcare Needs in CHO1 area has described the service as putting the child “at the centre of everything.”  Published in BMJ Open Quality Journal, the report featured a survey which asked twenty families who had a child with Complex Healthcare Needs in CHO 1, and 23 stakeholders (members of senior management, Administrators, Case Managers, nurses and home care services) working with the health services, for their perspectives of the intervention.

Following significant concerns being raised by families on behalf of their children, CHO 1 decided that there was a need to develop a service that would have a specific remit for organising the overall management and governance of the care of these children in the community.  Following engagement with all the relevant service providers, the families and key decision makers both in CHO 1 and at national level, agreement was reached to progress the CHO 1 model and this led to the establishment of a bespoke model, with the sole focus of the team to provide the highest standard of care to these children and their families, and to enable families to remain central to decision-making.

The service was established in August 2017, with the appointment of a Service Manager and Case Managers and a comprehensive training and education programme was put in place to support care to the children and their families. In order to review progress a survey was agreed and developed and those who agreed to participate in the survey were sent information on the evaluation and a series of open-ended questions.

Some of the comments in the survey include; Parents described the service as “wrapping the families in a hug … it makes you feel safe”.

Parents identified that the service placed the needs of the child clearly at the centre and was very supportive in fighting for services for parents.

This was portrayed in feedback stating that the nurses and case managers in the service are “fighting in our corner” and that parents feel that their child “matters for the first time.” They stated that the service “puts the child at the centre of everything.”

The article stated that “Respondents reported enhanced standardisation of care and enhanced accountability of care within the service.

“This service for children with Complex Healthcare Needs was welcomed by all those who took part in the study.”

It also stated that:

“The model recognises the exceptional lives these children and families live, given the complexities and challenges they have to overcome on a daily basis.

“The team has built a specialist knowledge and skill set in supporting families and others involved in the care of the child as they are solely employed and dedicated to the provision of care to children with Complex Healthcare Needs.”

Mandy Doyle, General Manager Primary Care, former CCHN Service Manager said :

“The Children with Complex Healthcare Needs service in CHO1 is evidence of best practise and the provision of this bespoke service to children with complex health needs and their families has been of great benefit to the children and families and the teams supporting them. It was the vision and active participation of the families in the process which enabled the HSE to establish and develop the service to the standard it is now at. These children are exceptional and lead exceptional lives and the recognition of this by the HSE was instrumental in the success of this service. The HSE remain committed to continue to provide and improve on this service to children and families in the future.”

The report can be read in full here ;




Last updated on: 27 / 04 / 2021