Who do we help

Who do we help

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.

The hospice was extended in 2007 to provide purpose built facilities for young adults. We are currently providing care for over 200 babies, children and young people and supporting more than 200 bereaved families.


Eligibility Criteria

  • Child/young person is aged 0-18 years 
  • Referrals for end of life care up to the age of 23
  • An infant under 12 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.

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 would be considered on an individual basis 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

Alternatively you can download a referral form and return it by post to: Referral Team, Claire House Children’s Hospice, Clatterbridge Road, Bebington. Wirral CH63 4JD

If you have any questions about making a referral please contact the Referral Team on 0151 541 4772 or email claire.mole@clairehouse.org.uk or hayley.mcnicholas@clairehouse.org.uk.

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 fortnightly. Service provision will be based on the individual needs and wishes of each child and family.

What to expect next?

What to expect next?

What to expect when your referral has been accepted?

Once your child has been accepted, a member of the care team will contact you to let you know. This will also be confirmed in writing to you and the professionals involved in your child’s care.

Every child and family will then be allocated to a team: if you have been accepted into our hospice to home or family support teams then a member of the team will contact you to make arrangements to arrange your care and support plan.

If your referral was respite for your child at the hospice we will inform you how many nights’ respite you have been allocated for the next 12 months. This is based on each child and the family’s individual needs. A member of the team will contact and invite you to the hospice for a first visit and to have a look around. Arrangements will then be made to develop with you a detailed care plan for your child’s care when he/she comes into the hospice.

The respite co-ordinator will contact you after your first visit to arrange for you to come in for a first stay. 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.

Following your first visit to Claire House, you will receive a respite request form to allow you to book respite for the next six months. The respite co-ordinator will work closely with you to book your child in for future stays.

All families are entitled to emergency respite which can be used in addition to your usual respite allocation.  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. The decision will be confirmed in writing to you and the professionals involved in your child’s care.

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.