There are a number of health professionals who may become involved with you and your family, and it can be difficult to know who they all are, what they do and how you can access their services.
We have provided links here to the relevant information on NHS websites, to help you understand who the professionals are. In most cases the websites tell you about the services, where they are based and most importantly what the referral route is to getting the support and help they offer.
You and your family may also have education professionals and services who become involved and you can find out more about them here: Professionals and services your child may meet on their SEND journey.
Starting Well Service - Public Health Nursing
The Starting Well Service in Worcestershire brings together teams of staff who provide help and support to children, young people and families. The service provides support to expectant mums, new born babies, school aged children and teenagers and work to encourage development and progress.
Staff within the Starting Well service are trained to help overcome emotional, mental and physical issues. There is a telephone advisory service for parents who have children under the age of 5 seeking advice on their child’s health and development. There are other online resources such as CHAT Health, young people can access for advice and support.
We work very closely with our partner agencies to enrich the mix of skills and strengthen our position as the ‘provider of choice’. Working within the ‘Starting Well Service are Health Visitors, School Health Nurses, Specialist Looked after Children's Nurses, Nursery Nurses, Health Care Support Workers and Breast feeding Support.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS)
The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) provides assessment and treatment for children and families where the young person is experiencing significant mental health difficulties
Children’s doctors - Community Paediatric
Community Paediatricians are doctors experienced in child health who see children outside hospital. They see children for a wide variety of reasons, including those with long-term disability (e.g. Cerebral Palsy, learning disability), children with developmental delay, those with neurodevelopmental conditions (e,g, ADHD and Autism), children who are being fostered or adopted and children with sensory impairments such as visual difficulties or hearing loss. They try to run clinics locally, rather than in hospital, to make them as convenient as possible for families.
Child Development Centres (CDC)
There are three Child Development Centres (CDC) across the county (Redditch, Kidderminster and Worcester City) that provide services to children with additional needs.
The Child Development Centres (CDC) themselves are resource buildings containing a number of rooms used by clinicians working with children for clinics and groups. One of the core services running out of these buildings are the Child Development Centre groups, run by Specialist Nursery Nurses with support, intervention and supervision from other professionals such as Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists.
Child Development Teams (CDT)
The Child Development Team (CDT) is a group of professionals from health and care, working with pre-school children with additional needs and is led by the health service. Representatives from these professional groups meet to briefly discuss the referred children to identify their needs and develop a coordinated plan and identify services which may be appropriate for them.
Children's Diabetes Services
It is recommended that a child or young person with diabetes is looked after by a specialist team of professionals in paediatric diabetes.
Your child will be seen in clinic at either Worcestershire Royal, the Alexandra Hospital or Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre every three months for review by your Consultant, paediatric diabetes specialist nurse and dietician. The team psychologist may also be present during clinic appointments.
Community Dental Services
Worcestershire Community Dental Services is part of Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and provide NHS dental care for patients who need additional support.
Community Children's Nursing Team (Orchard Service)
Orchard Service is a Children’s Community Nursing and Palliative Care Team that covers Worcestershire. The child must be under a Worcestershire GP to be able to access the service. They are a mixed team consisting of nurses, a clinical psychologist, a social worker, a play specialist and carers. The team provides care to patients with a long term complex health need and their families. This can include end of life care in a child’s home.
Designated Clinical Officer (DCO)
The DCO helps the needs of the child to be better understood, the DCO supports joined up working between Health Services, Education and Local Authorities for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Some children will have problems eating and chewing and therefore may not get the nutrition they need. A dietician will advise about special diets, supplements and food in general.
The EEG (Electroencephalography) service offers departmental recordings of routine, sleep and overnight ambulatory EEG to adults and children. A mobile service is offered to visit clients with learning disabilities and challenging behaviours at home or in school or day centres if a visit to hospital is too stressful.
Eye tests for children
Routine eye tests are offered to newborn babies and children to identify any problems early on in their development.
Although serious vision problems during childhood are rare, early testing ensures any issues are picked up and managed as early as possible. This website provides lots of information about what tests are available and what to look out for.
You should speak to your GP or health visitor if you have any concerns about your child's vision at any stage.
Learning Disability Psychiatry
This assessment and treatment service is for children with severe learning disabilities and complex behavioural or psychiatric disorders who are not suitable for the generic CAMHS service.
A neurologist or neurosurgeon is a doctor who specialises in impairments of the brain and nervous system.
NHS Continuing Care
Children and young people may receive a continuing care package if they have needs arising from disability, accident or illness that can't be met by existing universal or specialist services alone.
Ophthalmology is the treatment of disorders of the eye and vision by specialist doctors and surgeons.
The Healthy Child Programme (DH 2009) supports that all reception aged children should have their hearing tested. Healthcare Support Workers in School Health across Worcestershire are now required to undertake a screen of children’s hearing, in reception year, throughout all state maintained schools in Worcestershire. The main reason for screening children’s hearing at this age is to ensure that all children have satisfactory hearing for learning in school.
Does my child need a hearing test?
If you're wondering if your child needs a hearing test (before the universal screening in reception year at school), there is useful information on Worcestershire's Acute Trust website which list the concerns you may have or should be aware of.
Paediatric Audiology - Paediatric testing
Within audiology they can provide diagnostic paediatric assessments carried out by fully qualified audiologists in sound proof rooms.
They have a variety of paediatric tests at their disposal depending on the child's chronological and developmental age.
Paediatric Clinical Psychologists
Paediatric Clinical Psychologists have training in child development and understanding how people think, feel and behave. They specialise in working with children, young people and families around coping, adjustment and living with a medical condition and/or its treatment.
Paediatric Occupational Therapy
Paediatric Occupational Therapy offer services for children and young people who may be experiencing difficulties or have a disability that impacts on daily life. This could involve self-care, play and school skills such as writing and organisation.
Paediatric Physiotherapists work with children and young people and are specialist practitioners who have the right skills and specific knowledge to deliver appropriate care and education to encourage family involvement. Paediatric Physiotherapists specialise in the treatment of children and have detailed knowledge of a number of factors. A Physiotherapist is trained to provide assessment and treatment in overcoming movement and physical difficulties such as problems of balance, coordination, sitting, standing and walking.
Special School Nursing
The overall aim of the Special School Nurse is to facilitate on-going care and management of children with disabilities. This is done by establishing the health needs of individual children in the special school and supporting parents and educational staff to meet these needs to promote best outcomes for children.
Special School Nurses work within the special school setting to support the health and development of children with special needs. The team provides Health Education to promote healthy lifestyles and support teaching staff with children’s medical needs and administration of medication.
This is a general NHS Health and Care Trust website, aimed at young people, please note it is not specifically for children and young people with SEND.
Speech and Language Therapy (SALT)
The Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service provides evidence based services that anticipate and respond to the needs of children and young people who experience speech, language, communication or swallowing difficulties in Worcestershire and beyond.
Umbrella Pathway - Autism assessment
The Umbrella Pathway is a diagnostic pathway that provides assessment and diagnosis of children and young people who present with neuro-developmental disorders due to Autism Spectrum Conditions. It is a multi-professional team that consists of Community Paediatricians, Clinical Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Specialist Autism/Complex Communication Needs Teachers. Some or all of these professionals may be involved in each assessment process.
The purpose of the Umbrella Pathway is to assess whether a child or young person has Autism or not. Part of the assessment process through the multi-professional team is to signpost to other appropriate services for help and support both during the assessment and following the assessment.
Universal Neonatal Screening
The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) aims to identify any hearing impairment in newborn babies. NHSP offers all parents in England the opportunity to have their baby's hearing tested shortly after birth.