Who do we help

At Claire House, we provide care for over 200 babies, children and young people and support over 200 bereaved families.

We have two sites. The Wirral hospice was extended in 2007 to provide purpose-built facilities for young adults. We also offer day-care, counselling and complementary therapies from our site in Liverpool.  Claire House has been supporting families and providing care for children and young people across Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales since it opened in 1998.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Child/young person is aged 0-25 years 
  • New referrals for young people aged 18 and over are accepted for end of life care only
  • An infant under 18 months old with an uncertain prognosis
  • The child/young person usually lives in the Claire House catchment area
  • Child/young person has a recognised life-limiting/life threatening condition in one of the categories below
  • Before birth from any week of pregnancy with an uncertain prognosis.

Like most Children’s hospices, our eligibility criteria are based on the four broad groups of children who may require palliative care developed by Together for Short Lives. The groups are described below:
1. Life threatening conditions for which a cure may be feasible but can fail.

Access to palliative care services may be necessary when treatment fails or during an acute crisis.

Examples: cancer, irreversible organ failures of the heart, liver, kidney.

2. Conditions where premature death is inevitable.

There may be long periods of intensive treatment aimed at prolonging life allowing participation in normal activities.

Examples: cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

3. Progressive conditions without curative treatment options.

Treatment is exclusively palliative and may commonly extend over many years.

Examples: Battens disease, mucopolysaccharidoses.

4. Irreversible but non-progressive conditions causing severe disability leading to susceptibility to health complications and likelihood of premature death.

Examples: severe cerebral palsy, multiple disabilities and complex health care needs such as following a brain or spinal cord injury, where there is a high risk of an unpredictable life-threatening event or episode.

The suitability of hospice care for children who fall into the fourth group must meet additional criteria and would take into account the medical information provided and an assessment of each child’s needs.

Catchment area

Catchment area

Enquiries and referrals

Anyone can make a referral to Claire House including parents and extended family, health and social care professionals. If you would like to make a referral you can complete the referral form online.

Online referral form

If you have any questions about making a referral please contact the Referral Team on 0151 541 4772 or email Clairehouse.referrals@nhs.net

For each referral we will gain parental consent to gather additional information from health and social care professionals. This will help us to decide if a child or young person is eligible for support from Claire House. All referrals are considered by our multi professional referral panel that meets monthly. Service provision will be based on the individual needs and wishes of each child and family.

What to expect next?

What to expect when your referral has been accepted?

The referrals team will complete a holistic needs assessment to get to know your child and family, this assessment enables families to tell their story. We wish to get to know a family’s wishes, hopes and fears and how we can best support you as a family.  The team will look holistically and ask about day to day needs to discuss with you and the team how to best meet your child’s current needs, which can be reviewed when required.

Once your child has been accepted, a member of the referrals team will contact you to let you know.

Every child and family will then be allocated an offer of care and the care coordination team will contact you to discuss further.

If your referral was respite for your child at the hospice, the referrals team will work with you and keep you updated along the way. They will invite you to the hospice for a first visit and to have a look around, you are welcome to ask any questions and meet members of the team. The referrals team will arrange to meet with you to develop a detailed care plan for your child’s care when he/she comes into the hospice, this could take place at the Hospice, our Liverpool site or at your home.

The team will discuss bookings, teams and CH services with you. Parents are asked to stay with their child during their first stay but it is up to you whether you stay for any future visits.

You are welcome to explore, ask any questions, provide feedback and discuss a plan for future stays.

All families are entitled to emergency respite. Reasons to request emergency respite can include family bereavement, parent/carer exhaustion, parent/carer illness, step down from hospital after a prolonged stay or following major surgery, breakdown of care package and significant building work at home.

What to expect if your referral has not been accepted?

If your child does not meet Claire House eligibility criteria you will receive a telephone call to inform you and discuss the decision.

We will also endeavour to signpost you to other services which may be able to offer help/support for you and your child.

We also encourage you to contact us again if circumstances change in the future as we would certainly re-assess the situation.

Should you wish to appeal then please write to:

Mrs J Sutherland-Oakes

Director of Care

Claire House Children’s Hospice

Clatterbridge Road



CH63 4JD

All parents are encouraged to contact Claire House if they have any questions or anything they wish to discuss.