Commissioning palliative care for children and young people

In response to an FOI request that I sent to NEW Devon CCG, they stated:
‘Yes [we do jointly commission children’s palliative care with our local authority], Northern Eastern and Western Devon CCG in partnership with Devon County Council jointly commission Integrated Children’s services that include Palliative care. There are Joint Agency panels where health and social make joint care package decisions with either the Plymouth or Devon Local Authority.’

Please could you advise which services these are in relation to my original questions?

Furthermore, one of my questions is about whether the local authority commissions short breaks that can be accessed by children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. Does the local authority not commission these?

Devon County Council have considered the information from NEW Devon CCG and can confirm the following information:

DCC and the CCG commission a short breaks service through The Virgin Care Limited contract which is available to children and young people aged between 0 and 18 years. The service is not solely for children and young people with life-limiting and life- threatening conditions but it is available for them to access if appropriate and there is an assessed need. The contract covers four residential short breaks units, Meadowpark, Welland, Barnes and Hillcrest.

The other joint commissioning between DCC and the CCG which can be for children and young people with life limiting and life-threatening conditions is through the commissioning of individual packages for children. Packages are discussed and decisions made at Joint Agency Panels in a multi-disciplinary team approach and any agreed package may be led by the CCG or DCC depending on the individual assessment of need. These packages will be bespoke to the individual child.

As well as the residential short breaks provision within the Virgin Care Ltd Contract DCC does commission a wide range of services, including advice and support, Saturday/holiday clubs, enabling services, family based care, day care etc and also supports families through the use of direct payments and personal budgets. All of these options are open to disabled children and their families but we don’t capture data in a way that can identify those within the group you are specifically seeking information about. Therefore Devon County Council does not hold any information with regard to the groups that you have identified in your request. It was for this reason that, in our first response, we suggested that you contact NEW Devon CCG.

Devon does not commission or support through a small grant any provider that solely provides services/support for children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions other than those identified above in the Virgin Care Limited contract.

We therefore still cannot provide any information, for the purposes of a response to your original questions under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as we have not recorded the necessary data, as explained above. The context and further information above is provided by way of advice and assistance.