Health services for children and young people with SEN aged 5 to 25

On this page you can find out about the health support your child can get if he or she has special educational needs (SEN) or a disability.

What to do if your child has SEN or a disability and health needs

If you are worried about your child’s health, talk to your GP.
You can find your local GP services, using the NHS Choices website.
Developing a relationship with your GP is an important part of making sure your child is healthy.
If your child’s condition has already been diagnosed, then his or her health team will prepare an individual health plan. And your child’s school will work with that team to support your child.

What is an individual healthcare plan?

An individual healthcare plan sets out all the important information about your child’s health, and the actions/services needed to meet his or her individual needs.
Where your child has:
  • a statement or an EHC plan, the individual healthcare plan will be included in the EHC plan.
  • SEN, but does not have an EHC plan, then the support for these needs will go into an individual healthcare plan (which will form part of your child’s overall support plan if it affects you child’s learning)
  • significant healthcare needs he or she may qualify for continuing healthcare services such as 24-hour care, support and supervision, dialysis or suctioning.

Health staff in schools and colleges

When your child is at school or college, school nurses and specially trained teachers will work with your child’s health team and other professionals to support your child in school. Staff will help your child if he or she needs medication or specialist equipment during the day. And they will be trained to act should there be an emergency.

Health services for children with additional needs

If your child has additional needs, he or she may get extra support. The support your child gets will depend on how complex his or her needs are.
It could include:
  • advice and support from a child development centre or other specialist service
  • sessions with a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or speech and language therapist.
You might get these services at:
  • home
  • a child development centre or your GP
  • school
  • a group arranged by the NHS.
The NHS pays for these services.

Health services for children with complex health needs and/or disabilities

A small number of children and young people have more complex health needs or disabilities which mean they need a lot more support from the NHS.
The services your child may get include:
  • home carers
  • more intensive speech and language therapy or physiotherapy services
  • mental health services
  • access to specialist equipment which your child can use at home, for example ventilators, suctioning or tube feeding.
You might get these services:
  • at home
  • at a child development centre or your GP surgery
  • at a group arranged by the NHS
  • in hospital.
The NHS pays for these services.

NHS continuing care and NHS continuing healthcare

Some children and young people need a special package of care because of their disability, an accident or illness. This is called NHS continuing care for children under 18 and NHS continuing healthcare for adults. Newham Clinical Care Commissioning Group (CCG) is responsible for this care.
If you think your child might qualify for NHS continuing care, or your son or daughter might qualify for NHS continuing healthcare, write to:
NHS Continuing Healthcare Lead for Newham
North and East London Commissioning Support Unit
75–77 Worship Street
Or you can phone: 020 3688 1000

Missing school or college because of a medical condition

Missing school or college for long periods because of illness can affect a child or young person emotionally and socially, and returning can be difficult. If, because of a health condition, your child is absent for a long period, or is often absent for short periods, the school or college should support your child’s return so that he or she does not fall behind.
If your child needs to go to hospital for a time, you can find out more about the services available to help you on our Education in hospital page.

Personal health budgets

If your child – or you are a young person who – qualifies for NHS continuing care or continuing healthcare, you can ask for a personal health budget. If your get your budget via a direct payment then the NHS will pay you the money to buy the health services your child, or son or daughter needs. It gives you more choice and control over the support you get.
Newham CCG can tell you more about personal health budgets.

Information, advice and support

Local Healthwatch offers advice and guidance to parents and carers about available health services.

Complaining about health services

A complaint is one way for an organisation to learn lessons from its mistakes and to prevent them from happening again.
To find out how to complain, go to the Complaints page on Newham CCG’s website.
Try to make your complaint as soon as possible and ideally within a year of the event.

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