Despite its frequent and increasing use, complex care needs is a term without an agreed definition (Teare, 2008). When referring to complex needs the term is generally one utilised by health and social welfare sectors to encompass children and adults with a combination of physical, intellectual, health, behavioural, emotional and welfare needs along a continuum of complexity which often challenges the social, educational and health structures available to support them resulting in gaps of provision.
- The concept of complex needs is not well defined.
- Policy and legislation set out to support those with complex needs.
- Service delivery tends to be fragmented rather than unified.
- The impact of complex needs is cumulative and compounded.
- Future service provision must take into account the multifaceted nature of complex disabilities.