Together for Short Lives
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Core Care Pathway

The Core Care Pathway is designed to provide a framework for the care of any baby, child or young person with a life-threatening or life-limiting condition.

The pathway aims to ensure that families experience a coordinated approach to family-centered care throughout their child’s life. There should be clear and open communication and support to enable the family to build up and maintain access to an appropriate network of support, regardless of where they are cared for, whether in hospital, at home, or in a children’s hospice. A key feature of the Care Pathway approach is that there is parallel planning for achieving the best quality of life for the child, alongside planning for end-of-life care.

The pathway proposes a core framework for professionals working with children and young people to support the local development of an integrated care pathway for children diagnosed or recognised as having a life-threatening or life-limiting condition and following the child and family’s unique care journey. The pathway puts children and families at the centre of a planning process, with the aim of delivering integrated services in response to individual needs.

If a detailed care pathway or protocol has been devised for clinical care associated with a certain disease or condition, you can use this together with our core pathway, therefore ensuring the inclusion of all the additional elements needed for a comprehensive multi-agency pathway.

The pathway is guided by standards at each stage of the journey, underpinned by a series of goals. We have produced a Standards Framework, with an associated self-assessment audit tool relating to the standards and the goals in the Core Care Pathway. This will enable teams to map how their service currently performs and think about areas for development where the standards may not be fully met.

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