Acorns works in close partnership with professionals to provide specialist care for life limited and life threatened children.

Acorns provides a holistic range of services for children who are life limited and life threatened. The services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days each year. Family members are also supported through a variety of services and support groups that promote well-being and resilience and reduce the need for crisis intervention.

Information for professionals booklet


Acorns delivers care that meets individual needs. Services are allocated on a needs-led basis. There is no obligation for families to access services within a time frame, indeed some families choose to have only occasional contact with Acorns, secure in the knowledge that the service can be accessed at any point should their child deteriorate or their family circumstances change.

Acorns is registered with and regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

What does Acorns provide?

Each Acorns hospice is able to provide short breaks, emergency support and end of life care to life limited and life threatened children, from newborn up to 18 years.

All nursing and medical needs are met through a team of experienced children’s nurses and medical support. We work with other health professionals to provide palliative care and psychosocial support for children and families.

As a children’s hospice, Acorns provides nursing care and medical support at the end of life. This includes symptom management for the child in addition to support for family members and carers before, during and after death. The facility of cold bedrooms (special bedrooms) enables children to remain at the hospice after death allowing family members to leave their child in safe and familiar surroundings and to spend time saying goodbye in an informal and supportive environment.

Outreach Nurses at each hospice are responsible for identifying and supporting opportunities to support children and their families outside of the hospice. They coordinate and support hospice nurses and HCAs to deliver clinical care in the wider community, including family homes. This is supplemented with offering increased home support (befriending, home care, complementary therapy, etc.) via a team of trained and supported volunteers.

Acorns is unable to accept new referrals beyond 18 years of age.

Additional contracted services 

 A maximum of two beds will be available to statutory agencies across the hospices at any one time. The contracts will provide either a step-down service to children and young people who meet the Acorns admission criteria or offer additional social support on contracts negotiated on an individual basis. This service will enable an earlier discharge from hospital to home and/or the specialist care provision and could be available to statutory agencies on a full cost recovery basis.

Visit an Acorns hospice 

If you are a professional service provider with an interest in paediatric palliative care or are professionally interested in what we do at Acorns, then you can arrange a visit to one of our hospices.  Our three hospices are:

  • Acorns in Birmingham. 103 Oak Tree Lane, Selly Oak, B29 6HZ. Tel: 0121 248 4850
  • Acorns in the Black Country. Walstead Road, Walsall, WS5 4LZ. Tel: 01922 422 500
  • Acorns for the Three Counties. 350 Bath Road, Worcester, WR5 3EZ. Tel: 01905 767 676

 There are various ways to arrange a visit to one of our hospices. Each hospice holds a visitor’s afternoon 10 times a year where any member of the public can visit for a talk and a tour. If your interest is more specific you can phone and talk to one of the managers about arranging a professional visit where you can discuss the interest and any professional issues you may have.

Nursing: Contact the Head Nurse at the hospice you wish to visit.

Social Work/Community support: Contact the Family Team Manager at the hospice you wish to visit.

Medical: Contact the Head of Care at the hospice you wish to visit.

All other professionals: Contact the Head of Care at the hospice you would like to visit.

Professionals Days 

Acorns occasionally hold an ‘invite only’ Professional Open Day where there is a presentation of our services followed by a tour.  If you or your team would be interested in being invited to one of these events please contact the Head of Care at the relevant hospice. 

Sharing hospice best practice

We are committed to ensuring children and families receive the best possible care and support throughout their palliative care journey.

We are always willing to share policies and practice where appropriate and to contribute to work groups, committees and initiatives across the West Midlands. Nationally we actively participate in Together for Short Lives and Hospice UK, supporting work ranging from siblings, diversity and benchmarking to user involvement, infection control and quality groups.

We also regularly contribute to regional and national conferences and to publications. Staff contribute to various education programmes working with local universities. Staff can also occasionally act as a ‘guest speaker’ to talk about Acorns services or broader palliative care issues.

Student placements

We support student placements for students studying for relevant professional qualifications. Student nursing placements, as well as physiotherapy and social work placements are offered on a regular basis in liaison with local education providers. There is also scope for other professionals such as art therapists to undertake placements if we are able to meet the supervision requirements.

To discuss this further please contact your local hospice (details above).

Work experience

Unfortunately we are unable to offer work experience placements at Acorns hospices for schools and colleges. However, if young people over 16 are able to commit time over a longer period they are welcome to apply to become volunteers. Find out more about becoming a care volunteer at one of our hospices.

Find out more about how we work with healthcare professionals: