Eligibility Criteria

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.

Our criteria is as follows:

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 (Cheshire, Merseyside and part of North Wales)

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


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 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.