Specialist health services for children and young people with SEND

Specialist services all have their own referral criteria that need to be met in order to have an assessment.

The general practitioner will refer to the service and they will look to see if you meet the criteria. Please contact your local service and ask for more information, as it differs slightly depending on where you are located.

Specialist childrens services

Specialist children's services provide a range of services dependent on which area you live in but they all have close links to both therapy and medical professionals. Even if they don’t all sit within the same building or service they work closely together to provide a holistic service. You will need a referral from your general practitioner doctor to access this service. 

Services include:

  • occupational therapy
  • paediatric consultants
  • physiotherapy
  • speech and language therapy
  • clinical psychology

Residents in the Craven area

People in Craven can find out about Children's therapy services, including occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy, on the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust children's therapies website.

This also includes information about neurodevelopmental assessment for children under 7 years. For enquires call 01535 292821 or email airedale.childrenstherapy@nhs.net

Information about other children's services at Airedale, including acute and community paediatricians is available on the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust children's services website.

For more information about the Trust and the other specialist services they provide, visit the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust website.

Healthy child team

This is a 0 to 19 North Yorkshire service and is provided by the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.

You can also find out more about our Healthy child service.

Children’s continuing care assessments

All children and young people have access to NHS services, but sometimes their health needs can be so complex they cannot be met by universal or specialist services alone. 

These needs can arise due to accident, disability or illness.

These services include services provided by general practitioner practices, hospitals or community services already commissioned by the local Integrated Care Board or NHS England. If additional health support is needed this is called Children's Continuing Care.

The service is nurse led and the process involves three stages: assessment, decision making and development of a package of care. The team uses the national framework for Children and Young People's Continuing Care.

Referrals can be made by any professional working with a child or young person and their family, for example, social worker, community nurse, general practitioner, hospital discharge planning nurse and an initial checklist is completed.

Consent is obtained by the referrer and checklist is considered alongside the Education, Health and Care Plan (if there is one) and reports from any specialists involved in the child’s care.

The continuing care nurse will make a decision based on all the information provided if an initial assessment should be undertaken to assess for eligibility for continuing care.

If a child is eligible a package of care is then arranged and the best way of managing it is discussed with the family, for example, personal health budget.

If a professional working with a family is considering making a referral they are encouraged to call the team on 0300 303 8674 or email: nyccg.childrenscontinuingcare@nhs.net.

The team is part of the multidisciplinary integrated team supporting children, young people and their families.

Specialist equipment

You may need specialist equipment in school to support their access to education. Some equipment is funded through school and some can be provided. If you think your child needs specialist equipment at school then speak to your special educational needs co-ordinator or your health professional and they will refer you to the right process.

Learning disability services

Children's learning disability team

The children’s learning disability team in Craven, is part of Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s community children’s service.

Who we are

The children’s learning disability team are a specialist team of learning disability nurses and healthcare support workers who aim to provide high quality, evidenced-based nursing support to children and young people with a learning disability aged 5 to 19 in the Craven area. Referrals from families or professionals and can be contacted on 01274 221203.

What we do

If a child meets our criteria on referral, the team carries out initial health assessments with the child and their parents/carers, as well as observations in other settings such as school and liaison with other professionals. This holistic assessment forms the basis of the child’s care plan, ensuring that the referral correctly reflects all the child’s needs and that they and their family are included in the planning of their care. Once developed, the care plan is then shared with families and other agencies to maintain consistency for the child and obtain optimum health outcomes. 

Our collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach is aimed at improving and optimising quality of life and reducing health inequalities. We offer advice, support and information to parents and carers on issues specific to learning disabilities and support the child or young person to live a fulfilling life as independently as possible. Our support can be either on a long or short-term basis as needed, working in the home, school, respite, and other community environments. 

We provide:

  • continence assessments, toilet training advice and other health promotion activities
  • support for transition, particularly to adult services, developing health action plans and hospital passports and acting as a link to liaison services
  • parent workshops on topics which are common reasons for referrals into our team

If your child has a diagnosis of a learning disability they will be eligible to be part of the transforming care programme. This is a programme designed to link health, education and social care at a high level to improve services for young people and their families.

If your child is 14 or over and has a diagnosis of a learning disability they are entitled a learning disability health check from your general practitioner. This health check should be completed every year.  It is designed to be a full review of your child’s needs so that any health need can be identified at the earliest opportunity and the right action taken. 

As your child enters adulthood your general practitioner will be your main point of contact which is very different to being in children’s services. However, having that relationship with your general practitioner can help to navigate the adult health world and access the right services at the right time.

The School Nursing Special Needs team at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust offers a special school nursing service to Brooklands school in Skipton. 

School Nursing Special Needs team

Who we are

The School Nursing Special Needs team includes a specialist school nurse), children’s nurses, learning disability nurses, mental health nurses, general nurses and healthcare support workers. They are supported by a clinical manager, team leader, administrator and team facilitator.

The team works with families across Bradford, Airedale and Craven supporting children aged 5-19 years old who attend special schools. The School Nursing Special Needs team can be contacted by phone on 01274 221203.

What we do

The School Nursing Special Needs team provides school nursing services within ten special schools and four social emotional and mental health schools across Bradford, Airedale and Craven, so children and young people with complex health, disabilities, social emotional mental health and SEND can safely attend specialist education settings. We work collaboratively to improve the quality of life and health outcomes of these children.

Initial health assessments - the school nursing team carries out initial health assessments with all children starting at a Special Needs School (usually reception or as a movement into area). This holistic assessment ensures that health needs are assessed, the child and family are included in the planning of care in school, and children and young people can safely access education.

Care plans - following the initial health assessment, care plans are developed by the team according to the child’s needs. These are provided to school prior to the child starting and updated annually, or sooner if there are any changes to health needs. The care plan supports school staff to meet the child’s immediate health requirements and promotes safe and evidenced-based care.

Training and assessment for schools - School Nursing Special Needs offer a wide range of theory with practical based competency assessment for schools, and theory-based training for two short breaks (respite) settings to ensure staff feel safe and competent in supporting and caring for the children attending their provision.

Weekly care team meetings - to ensure schools are feeling supported by the School Nursing Special Needs team, we also facilitate and attend weekly care team meetings, sharing good practice meetings (once a term with care team managers), school safeguarding meetings, enteral feeding club and medication club.

What we do in the Craven area

Hearing tests - offered to all children in reception class for early identification of hearing problems - parents/carers are informed by letter.

Heights and weight monitoring – in reception and year six and when requested by a consultant, paediatrician or dietitian due to a health need. School Nursing Special Needs supports specialist practitioners, including paediatricians, dieticians and children and adolescent mental health services in school with their clinics

Health promotion sessions - a variety of fun and informative health promotion sessions are delivered across the academic year to all schools. They include hand hygiene, healthy eating, sun safety and accident prevention.

Parent workshops - the team also offers advice for parents and runs parent workshops focused on toilet training advice and support for children with additional needs.

Transition - for children in year six to upper school, or upper school to adulthood, to ensure all relevant health information is shared and that the transition is well supported and as smooth as possible for the child. We collaborate education and adult services to achieve this.

Statutory responsibilities - School Nursing Special Needs has a statutory responsibility in Safeguarding and Education Health Care Plans. School Nursing Special Needs submit reports and attend meetings for all children with child protection plans whom we are supporting. As part of the Education Health Care Plan process, School Nursing Special Needs currently write reports for children in reception, Year six and Year 13, or any child where additional health needs arise.

Support service – we are committed to supporting all children and parents with their health concerns. We offer a duty service Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm where a team member is available to offer advice, support or signposting as necessary. We also accept referrals from parents and professionals and can offer support on a wide range of health needs.

Autism services

If you have just received a diagnosis of autism it can be a very daunting time. If your child is struggling with things in their daily life your general practitioner can help to either refer to one of the specialist services for an assessment and intervention or can signpost to one of the community services within the region. 

If you feel your child may have autism then go to your general practitioner and explain the situation to them. Your general practitioner can refer your child for an autism assessment to the relevant local provider, or can signpost to one of the community services within the region. Further information on the local providers can be found on the North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board website.

You may also be able to access the following services for advice, information and support which includes the Healthy Child Programme (health visitors and school nurses).

There are also charities which provide useful information and support around children’s behaviour issues:

The CAMHS Neurodevelopmental Team at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, assesses Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and young people. They assess children and young people referred in before their 18th birthday. For Autism, they accept referrals for children over the age of 7. For ADHD, they would expect the child to be in a school environment to be accepted. Further information can be found online - CAMHS Neurodevelopmental team - BDCT

The BANDS service at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, offers input for Adults 18 years + is currently composed of an Autism pathway and an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) pathway which operate differently with different criteria and ways to refer. Further information can be found online - Bradford/Airedale Neurodevelopmental Service (BANDS) - BDCT

Keyworker service

The NHS Long Term Plan includes a commitment that ‘by 2023/24 children and young people with a learning disability and/or who are autistic with the most complex needs will have a designated keyworker, implementing the recommendation made by Dame Christine Lenehan in the Council for Disabled Children review 'These are our children'.

Initially, keyworker support will be provided to children and young people with a learning disability and/or who are autistic who are inpatients in, or at risk of being admitted to, a mental health hospital. Keyworker support will then be extended to the most vulnerable children with a learning disability and/or who are autistic, including people who face multiple vulnerabilities such as looked after and adopted children, and children and young people in transition between services.’

Keyworkers will make sure that these children, young people and families get the right support at the right time. They will make sure that local systems are responsive to fully meeting the young people’s needs in a joined up way and that whenever it is possible to provide care and treatment in the community with the right support this becomes the norm.

A keyworker will work with children and young people with the most complex needs and their families and carers to make sure families are fully involved in their plans, feel listened to and informed, plans are personalised, and they have the support they need at the right time, in a co-ordinated way. Keyworking should help families experience a reduction in stress and uncertainty and an increase in stability. More information about children and young people keyworkers is available on the NHS website.

Humber, Coast and Vale Keyworker Service contact information

The Humber, Coast and Vale Keyworker Service supports children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both, with the most complex needs and are inpatients in, or at risk of being admitted to, a mental health inpatient unit.

You can contact them on email at hnf-tr.keyworkerenquiries@nhs.net

Alternatively, you can telephone 01482 205425.