The NHS define children diagnosed with an illness, disability or sensory impairment and need a lot of additional support daily as having “complex needs”. A child might have complex needs from birth or after an illness or injury.
Your child’s medical needs
Your child’s medical and healthcare needs are the responsibility of your local NHS health services. This includes any medical equipment, such as special beds, bed equipment, hoists, and aids to help with incontinence, mobility or hearing. It’s usually provided free. If your child needs regular healthcare treatment at home, your family may be supported by community children’s nurses. They can also help with any treatment you need to carry out for your child, such as giving oxygen or injections.
Your child may receive a continuing care package if they have needs arising from disability, an accident or illness that can’t be met by existing universal or specialist services alone.
Children who have a continuing care package have the right to a personal health budget so that their families and carers can have more control over their care. Ypu can find out more about personal health budgets here
Daily living with a disabled child
Cambridgeshire County Council is responsible for providing any non-medical care services your child is assessed as needing. This could include equipment for daily living, home care, access to play schemes, and respite care so you can have a break. To access services, you’ll need to ask for your child to have a needs assessment. Your needs, and the rest of your family’s, can be considered during your child’s assessment.
If the assessment doesn’t address your needs as a carer, you can ask for your own carer’s assessment.
Time away from your child can often be beneficial for you both. Being overwhelmed and exhausted by your caring responsibilities can affect your health. If family and friends can’t always step in, respite care may be possible. Your GP or social worker can discuss all the options and organise the care. Alternatively, you could pay for respite care privately.
Find out more about carers’ breaks and respite care.
And you can always join our Tii Hubs. These are open to all parent carers.