Claire House was rated as ‘OUTSTANDING’ by the CQC in 2019, who highlighted that children ‘receive outstanding care from exceptional staff who are compassionate, understanding, enabling and who have distinctive skills in this aspect of care’ (CQC 2019).

Claire House is a 24 hour, seven days a week service and offers a range of services that can support children and families in a number of ways based on the individual child and family’s needs. This can be provided at Claire House Wirral, our Liverpool site, at hospital or at home and can be for the child, young person or for family members.

The whole team at Claire House Children’s Hospice work together to help children and young people live their lives to the fullest, helping them create wonderful memories with their friends and family and bring back a sense of normality to their lives however short that time may be. Claire House can also offer support to the wider family, including siblings and grandparents.

Respite care

Being a full-time carer is a very demanding role. Respite care breaks are an opportunity for parents and guardians to take a holiday or simply spend some time looking after their own needs or those of other siblings, safe in the knowledge that their loved one is receiving the very bestcare.

Symptom management and step down care

Many of the children and young people accessing Claire House services may experience some difficult symptoms throughout their lives, whether that be pain, nausea, respiratory difficulties, seizures, spasms and will require assessment and management.

The Rapid Response team are able to work in partnership with the child’s consultant and other professionals involved to assess symptoms, implement any symptom management plans and review how effective they are.

Step down care (help leaving hospital) following prolonged hospital admission or major surgery (e.g. spinal rods) can also be arranged to support parents prior to going home.

In addition to conventional medical and pharmacological approaches, with agreement from the child/young person’s consultant we can offer complementary therapies i.e. reflexology, aromatherapy, reiki etc. to aid symptom management.


Claire House provides activities and support to children and young people and their families.

We run a number of groups and activities to support the whole family. These can introduce families to Claire House and to other families who also use our services.

Day care

We provide day-care to families at their home, Claire house Liverpool or Wirral and we are able to access the community. This will be allocated and we do offer reduced spaces during School holidays and weekends. Family are welcome to stay during these sessions if they wish. If not, all care plans and medical information including health protocols, medication and feed regimes are completed prior to any sessions and we must be kept up to date.

Claire House Liverpool has a large day-care room with space to enjoy sensory play, music, stories and crafts. As well as lots of games and space to stretch out on the beanbags. There are changing facilities within the day-care room. There is also a large beautiful garden area. We also plan allocated dates for stay and plays and social groups. These groups provide a gentle introduction to all hospice services.

Advanced care planning

Sometimes families worry about what might happen if their child suddenly or unexpectedly becomes unwell. Talking through what might happen can help reduce some of these worries and concerns and having such discussions documented in an advanced care plan, often reduces how often these difficult conversations are needed.

Rapid Response

Hospice to Home

The Rapid Response team brings all of the services offered at the hospice into the family home in order to offer choice to children/young people and their families.

The team are based at Claire House and a satellite base in Liverpool.

They visit children and young people from across Merseyside, Wirral, Cheshire and parts of North Wales.

The services offered are:

Family support

The family support team led by Catherine Livesey consists of counsellors (staff and volunteers), a music therapist and sibling event volunteers, who provide activities and support to children/young people and their families. The team offer several services which include the following:

Integrated Therapies

From music therapy and hydrotherapy through to reiki and Indian head massage, as part of Claire House’s complete and total approach to care, we offer a wide range of alternative and complementary therapies for our children and young people and their families.

Young Adult Service

The young adult team work with teenagers, young adults and their families to offer support, care and advice. The team provides a palliative care service for young adults, support with transitioning from children’s to adult services, and a social group for young adults to meet others with shared experiences.

The support we offer has been designed to have a real focus on quality of life, creating sustainable support networks, and building resilience and confidence.

End of life care

End of life care is the priority for Claire House and we will endeavor to respond to all referrals or requests for end of life care at the hospice or at home. The care team have the skills and expertise to support and manage complex symptom management as well as the significant emotional and practical support each family needs. The team will pull out all the stops to make opportunities to create final memories and experiences for families. At the hospice the family can stay with their child throughout as needed with support at hand for the whole family.

We have two dedicated ‘Butterfly bedrooms’ where a child can stay as an alternative to a funeral home after they have died. The care team are available to provide emotional and practical support to help families in these early days of bereavement and in arranging the funeral.

Bereavement Support

Following a child or young person’s death, the team will continue to support the family. Should the family wish for their child to be transferred to the Butterfly Suite at Claire House where a child can stay as an alternative to a funeral home, we will help to arrange this. Should the family wish to stay at home with their child, we are able to work with local funeral directors to enable this wherever possible.

Helping families at this difficult time will be very individual and can range from practical support such as registering the child’s death and funeral planning to emotional such as collecting mementoes and supporting siblings through memory boxes.

Following a child’s funeral, we will continue to maintain contact with the family through cards, telephone contact and home visits and will refer to the counselling and/or complementary therapy service where appropriate.

Medical and clinical support

Several of the experienced senior nurses are also non-medical prescribers (NMP’s) and provide the majority of the prescribing and symptom management support for the hospice and community teams.

We also have dedicated specialist pharmacist support (palliative care and children) who provide advice and support to the care team in relation to medicines management at the hospice.

Medical support is provided by a local GP practice, who visit daily for medical support and review. The lead doctor Dr. Andy Powell, has a specialist interest in palliative care and has a long-standing relationship with Claire House. Medical services at home will be provided by the child’s own GP.

We will also work closely with the Alder Hey Specialist Palliative Care Team (SPCT), and the child’s own consultant team, neonatal and other paediatric consultants to provide symptom management and end of life care.

Who we work with

At Claire House we will work closely with the full range of health, social care and other professionals involved in any child’s care as well as education and other voluntary sector providers. We have a specific relationship with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, including the specialist palliative care team (SPCT).


Claire House is committed to the protection of children and young people in accordance with Local Safeguarding Board advice and guidelines and the principles contained within the Government documents ‘Every Child Matters’, ‘Working Together’ and ‘No Secrets’. We work very closely with the Local Safeguarding Health Board to ensure our policies and standards meet recognised national guidelines and are robust and current. All staff and volunteers at Claire House complete robust regular safeguarding training and will have an enhanced three yearly Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. All staff, volunteers and Trustees also have training in our code of ‘Safer Working Practice’.

Safeguarding and protecting children, young people and vulnerable young adults from harm is a very high priority for staff at Claire House, which we take very seriously. We emphasise that it is everyone’s business to recognise those who may be vulnerable and need support or intervention.


At Claire House we take our Data Protection responsibilities very seriously, with regard to the personal data that is shared with us. We promise to keep this safe and secure and only use it for the purposes for which it was collected and not do anything that would not be reasonably expected or is not allowed under legislation.

You can read our Patients & Families Privacy Notice here