Development of a managed clinical network for children's palliative care - a qualitative evaluation


Development of a managed clinical network for children's palliative care - a qualitative evaluation


Papworth A; Fraser L; Taylor J


BMC Palliative Care




Children’s palliative care; Managed clinical network


BACKGROUND: Consistent evidence suggests that children's palliative care is not equitable and managed clinical networks (MCNs) have been recommended as a solution. This study explored the perspectives of health professionals involved in the development of a children's palliative care MCN, with an aim to identify barriers and enablers of successful implementation. METHODS: Thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews and focus groups with 45 healthcare staff with a role in developing the MCN or in the delivery of children's palliative care (September 2019-March 2020). RESULTS: The study explored health professionals' perceptions of the MCN features that had helped to formalise governance processes, establish training and networking opportunities, standardise practice, and improve collaboration between organisations. These include the funded MCN co-ordinator, committed individuals who lead the MCN, and a governance structure that fosters collaboration. However, the MCN's development was impeded by cross-cutting barriers including limited funding for the MCN and children's palliative care more generally, no shared technology, lack of standards and evidence base for children's palliative care, and shortage of palliative care staff. These barriers impacted on the MCN's ability to improve and evaluate palliative care provision and affected member engagement. Competing organisational priorities and differences between NHS and non-NHS members also impeded progress. Training provision was well received, although barriers to access were identified. CONCLUSIONS: Key features of children's palliative care can act as barriers to developing a managed clinical network. Managing expectations and raising awareness, providing accessible and relevant training, and sharing early achievements through ongoing evaluation can help to sustain member engagement, which is crucial to a network's success.


Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

March 2021 List



Papworth A; Fraser L; Taylor J, “Development of a managed clinical network for children's palliative care - a qualitative evaluation,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 17, 2022,

Social Bookmarking