Acorns is a specialist, trusted and quality service provider to the NHS and Local Authorities. We are quality and performance managed, evidenced through our annual quality accounts and we are registered with and regulated by the Care Quality Commission. We have Good and Outstanding inspection outcomes across our three hospices, located in Birmingham, the Black Country and the Three Counties.

Acorns care

Our care and support offer is holistic, designed to meet current and future health and social care challenges by promoting wellbeing and independence surrounding the clinical care we provide. We have a comprehensive understanding of the needs of the children and families we support and ensure that our services are integrated into key health and social work partnerships. As a result, we are able to break down barriers of how that care is provided and lessen duplication in provision, working in close partnership to support NHSE/I.

Our care is provided 24/7, 365 days of the year by fully qualified and trained staff.

Acorns works in collaboration with all of our statutory partners across the region. These relationships are both formal, where we hold commissioning relationships with them, but also informal where we share knowledge and information that mutually benefits our joint objectives to provide quality care and support to life limited and life threatened babies, children and young people across our region.

It costs around £11 million pounds a year to provide our services from our three hospices. Without the vital financial contributions made by NHSE/I from the Children’s Hospice Grant and from our Integrated Care Boards and Local Authority partners, we would not be able to sustain this level of highly valued and specialised care and support.

ICB partners

We hold NHS contracts with our seven regional ICB partners within the Integrated Care Systems across the West Midlands and Gloucestershire. We deeply value these partnerships and are keen to sustain them and develop them further in the future. Find out more about our core services.

  1. NHS Birmingham and Solihull
  2. NHS Coventry and Warwickshire
  3. NHS Black Country
  4. NHS Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  5. NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
  6. NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire
  7. NHS Gloucestershire

Our partners

In addition to our core service offer, Acorns provides fully commissioned paid for care and support. This supports our statutory partners to address individual circumstances of families who require their support, often in unexpected or crisis situations.

We can assist our health colleagues in providing a “bridging” service between hospital and home, or our social care colleagues in providing the specialist support required for a child with complex needs.  If you would like to hear more about this service please contact our Statutory Partnerships Manager on

Acorns is the largest children’s hospice charity in England. We have a responsibility to continually advance and improve the care of life limited and life threatened babies, children and young people to help shape and develop children’s paediatric palliative care and share our knowledge and learning with our partners. We continue to work strategically with the children’s hospice sector partner Together for Short Lives (TFSL) and in collaboration with them Acorns provided evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Review Group (APPG) and continue to work with NHSE to implement its findings. 

Read the APPG report here.

NHS England 

Acorns are working in partnership with the NHSE to develop and improve children’s and young people’s paediatric palliative care services. We are key stakeholders in the NHSE strategic National CYP Palliative Care and End of Life Project Governance Group, in addition to regional and national NHSE Palliative and End of Life Networks.

We continue to consult with and share the work from these groups with our statutory partners. This work has assisted in delivering increased funding from NHSE to ICBs to increase the level of commissioned support for this vital service area. We continue to deliver our organisational strategy to align with the National Ambitions Framework for Palliative and End of Life Care.

Acorns also currently receives funding from NHSE Children’s Hospice Grant that contributes to the cost of delivering our services. At present the future of this national funding stream for Children’s Hospices is uncertain, posing a significant risk to the future services provided by the sector.


Acorns is a member of the West Midlands Paediatric Palliative Care Network (WMPPCN) who collect data about palliative care needs and provision in the West Midlands region. This includes the collection of the Paediatric Palliative Care Minimum Dataset and addressing gaps identified.

The WMPPCN informs commissioning strategy for the development of paediatric palliative care services with reference to regional data and national best practice standards. This is delivered via membership of the Regional Commissioning Group.

The network facilitates commissioner and provider cooperation, chaired by a paediatric palliative care consultant, to improve care pathways across statutory and voluntary sectors and aims to raise public and professional awareness of paediatric palliative care.

Acorns works in close partnership with Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital to deliver palliative care and support advancement of patient centred care through collaborative working. We have two paediatric palliative care consultants working across BCH and Acorns providing support and advice to clinical staff where needed.

We have shared posts for nursing staff working across the hospice, hospital and the community to create care without boundaries and are working to increase this provision. This will enable more discharges from hospital and cater for the needs and wishes of our children and families more effectively. 

If you would like any further information regarding statutory partnerships or to discuss the services we can support your organisation with please get in touch at