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Shooting Star CHASE supports over 600 life-limited children, teenagers and their families living in western London, Surrey and West Sussex. Families receive our support free of charge, 365 days a year in their own homes and communities and at our children’s hospices.
In our catchment area (western London, Surrey and West Sussex) there are more than 1,000 families who have a child or teenager with a life-limiting condition. Our challenge is to make sure that every family who needs our help knows about us and the full range of services we have to offer.
Planned short breaks at Christopher’s, Shooting Star House or home; hospice at home; day care and special activities for the whole family; family support and therapies; symptom management and paediatric palliative care; emergency support for families in a crisis; care at the end of a child’s or teenager’s life and bereavement support for the whole family, for as long as they need us.
It costs £8.5 million a year - £23,000 a day.
Shooting Star CHASE receives no guaranteed Government funding therefore we rely heavily on public donations to maintain our vital service.
We are committed to providing care in whichever way each family needs us and this will differ very much depending on the individual family circumstances. We offer each family 12 nights a year for short breaks at our children’s hospices as well as care at home and in the community. In addition to the allocated 12 nights, families will be able to request to go on a short notice booking list, which will not count against this allocation but are offered as a bonus. We also have a priority list for contact at short notice for children or families going through a particularly difficult time. If there is an emergency or a child requires end of life care, this does not take away from the families ongoing support.
We have more than 100 staff in the Care Team, made up of paediatric nurses, nursery nurses, care assistants, therapists, social workers, counsellors and activities and education co-ordinators.
We have 12 GPs from different local practices, who provide round-the-clock, on-call cover.
We employ an in-house Consultant in Paediatric Palliative Care who we share with the Royal Marsden and who works at Christopher’s two days a week. We also work closely with the 'Symptom Control Team' at Great Ormond Street Hospital and a paediatric palliative consultant who attends Shooting Star House every week.
Referrals can come from anywhere (e.g. the family, GPs, hospitals, consultants, community nursing teams), provided it is with the knowledge and consent of the child's or teenager’s parent or main carer.
We assess the needs of referred children and teenagers and, after obtaining written consent from their families, look to find further information about their condition from the professionals they see regularly.
Each week we hold a multi-disciplinary referral panel, where we look at the information provided and decide together if the child or teenager fits our referral criteria.
If a child or teenager is refused, we will always reconsider a further referral if their condition changes or new information becomes available. Similarly, there is a regular review of each child currently supported by Shooting Star CHASE.
The referral process can take a minimum of two weeks. Once accepted, care can be arranged quickly. In an emergency, a child or young person could be referred in a matter of hours.
If a child lives closer to another hospice we would encourage them to apply to the one nearest their home for convenience.
However, the family have the right to decide and we would always be fully supportive of their decision. All children's hospice services work together and if a child who usually uses another hospice is coming to our area, they may contact us to see if we can help with their stay.
We are looking at ways to ensure the continuing care of our teenagers when they reach adulthood. A lot of work is underway with adult hospices and other healthcare providers on this important area of transition.