Providing a seamless service for children with life-limiting illness: Experiences and recommendations of professional staff at the Diana Princess of Wales Children's Community Service

Lesley Danvers, Dawn Freshwater, Francine Cheater, Andrew Wilson

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23 Citations (Scopus)


The Diana Children's Community Teams (DCCTs), a new nurse-led service funded by the Department of Health, were established to provide care in the community as an alternative to hospital for children with life-threatening/life-limiting illnesses and their families. This paper presents selected findings highlighting the professionals' experiences which formed part of the evaluation of the Diana, Princess of Wales Children's Community Service in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The Diana Service in Leicestershire attempts to encompass both parental empowerment and interagency collaboration. By working in partnership with the children and their families, the team provides an integrated and multiprofessional community-based service. This paper particularly concentrates on the perceptions and recommendations from the Diana team itself. Three independently managed Community Nursing Services existed in Leicestershire prior to the Diana teams; a Paediatric Macmillan Service, a Children's Community Nursing Service and a Respite Service. The Leicestershire DCCT integrated the three nursing services into a single team. This team has moved away from a traditional uniprofessional service structure by encompassing a wider team of multiprofessionals, including a cultural link worker, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, a play specialist and a team of trained counsellors, working in partnership to provide a quality service for families. * The evaluation, which used a longitudinal multimethod process analysis based on an action research framework, suggests that children with complex and life-limiting illnesses and their families benefit greatly from an effective seamless service. This paper recommends a framework of care that may be relevant to other teams of children's community services across the country. This service has been judged by the impact it has had on the families who use it and the professionals employed within it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-359
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2003


  • Catastrophic Illness
  • Child
  • Child Health Services
  • Communication
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Community Networks
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Disabled Children
  • England
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Staff Development

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