(2) what steps his Department is taking to provide packages which co-ordinate health, social care and education to meet the needs of children with long-term complex health needs and their families; and if he will make it his policy to improve co-ordination between hospital and community services;
(3) if he will increase the funding his Department provides for community children's nurses to work specifically with children with long-term complex health needs; and if he will make a statement.
Both the Child Health Strategy, ‘Healthy Lives, Brighter Future’, published recently a copy of which has been placed in the Library, and the ‘National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services’, published in 2004, have reiterated our policy of providing coordinated support, as close to home as possible, for children with complex health needs and their families. A copy of the framework has already been placed in the Library. The Children's Continuing Care Framework, which we hope to launch at the end of May, will provide local partners with the tools to provide tailor made packages of care, involving health, social care and education components. We are taking forward a discrete project looking at the benefits and opportunities arising from investment in community children's nursing services.