An Ordinary Life

The Foundation has recently been awarded a three year grant by the Department of Health’s Third Sector Investment Programme (2011-12: Innovation, Excellence and Service Development Fund) to run a project that improves the quality of life or care for children dependent on medical technology.

We are delighted because this is an area we have wanted to do some work in for a long time. It has taken us nearly five years to get funding but what with the move to get more people using personal health budgets, and SEN Green Paper proposing the use of the single ‘Education, Health and Care Plan’ we believe the time is right.

Technology dependent children need 24-hour, long term care. They are often living with severe learning and physical disabilities, perhaps as a result of premature birth, chromosome abnormalities or acquired brain injury. These children have multiple disabilities and medical needs so are often in hospital for long periods of time. While their medical needs are often well attended to, their social, emotional and developmental needs are often not prioritised.

We have called the project, An Ordinary Life, because many children and young people dependent on medical technology are unable to do ordinary things like going to the local leisure centre or visiting friends or family.

The aim of the project is replicate the proven model known as ‘person-centred planning’ and apply it to technology-dependent children. An Ordinary Life will apply a person-centred planning approach in order to put the child at the heart of their own care and for the family as a whole to be supported to develop a personalised, holistic package of support which will improve their quality of life.