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What does this service set out to do?
This service aims to support families where their children have multiple health needs that need to be addressed by a variety of health professionals, working in conjunction with parents, other professionals and sometimes voluntary services.
The intention is to have a joined up approach to early support so that health input, if required, is based on needs rather than formal diagnosis of any particular condition.
The service consists of nurses, doctors and assistants who all work closely with Speech and Language therapy, Occupational and Physiotherapy as well as preschool and school staff to best meet needs.
The Community Paediatric and Looked After Childrens Service will enable the children of St Helens (and parents/caregivers) to receive advice and support for their health needs, at the earliest possible time, to benefit them in later life.
Early intervention with children reduces the future likelihood of major intervention being necessary.
The philosophy of the service is to intervene at the earliest possible appropriate point.
What can the Community Paediatricians and Nurses do?
Community paediatricians are doctors specially trained in the assessment and diagnosis of a number of conditions in children.
They work closely with Nurses in the assessment and on going management, where this is required.
The conditions they work with are:
- Neurodevelopmental disorders: these are conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Developmental Co-ordination Difficulties (DCD)
- Neurodisability, such as Cerebral Palsy, muscle disorders and some of the other neurological conditions in children
- Chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome
- Learning Difficulty (SEN) to identify any health related aspects
- Safeguarding children and Looked After Children
- Significantly overweight or significantly underweight children.
Where we work
Many of the clinics will be at Lowe House.
There are also satellite clinics at Fingerpost Health Centre and Newton Clinic.
In addition some sessions are undertaken at special schools for children with complex and multiple difficulties.
The administrative base will be at:
Community Paediatric and Looked After Children’s Team
2nd Floor Court Building
Alexandra Business Park
Telephone: 01744 45 7215
Who can refer and what are the age ranges?
We can support children with developmental problems, neurodevelopmental difficulties or disability aged 0 – 16 or up to 19 if attending special schools.
Referrals are taken from health professionals and specialist teachers and educational specialists
Children may be referred from secondary children’s services at Alder Hey, St Helens or other hospitals.
How decisions are made about how we work with families?
What families can expect from the service:
- Expert assessment including in depth case history and medical evaluation
- Collation of information about the child or young person to inform diagnosis
- Liaison with other professionals, including Therapists and Education staff
- To be fully involved in the development of a management plan for their child that the family, nursery / school staff and others will implement
- Families can expect that they and important others, such as teaching staff, develop their own skills in using the appropriate strategies to support their child on a daily basis
- Those who work with the child have written information which is always copied to the family
- That Nurses and Community Paediatricians will contribute to Education, Health and Care plans where appropriate for children and young people with additional needs
- Families can expect signposting to other agencies and services where appropriate and when families consent to this beneficial support.
How will my child’s referral be managed?
Many of the referrals come to a central point and assessments are instigated by the most appropriate professionals to assess, according to the child’s need.
All children are seen before 18 weeks from referral. The service may offer follow up appointments if the child / young person has a need to be seen again by the nurses or doctors.
There is no cost for families to use this service.
Moving on – transitions and discharge:
Once the Nurse or Community Paediatrician has complete the health assessment and where support is being provided by other professionals and other agencies it may be that the role of the Community Paediatrician is complete.
A small number of children may need to continue to be involved with the service, such as when medication is being prescribed. In these cases a young person’s needs are continually reviewed and reassessed.
Where the service continues to be involved at transition points, such as moving from primary to secondary, this transition will be supported to be as seamless as possible by ensuring links are made with other services.
The service is not the best place to deal with acute conditions e.g. acute asthma attacks, infections or convulsions as these are best managed with your GP / hospital services.
The Community Paediatric Service is involved with early detection and intervention with children with additional/complex needs.
So when the child / young person or their parents / other professionals are self-sufficient with respect to knowledge about appropriate strategies the service will discharge the child to the care of these relevant others.
This is likely to be at the point where:
- Support is being provided by other professionals.
- Medical intervention is not required
The decision to discharge to the support of all others in the child’s life will always be discussed and agreed with the child or young person, their family and other relevant professionals.
How we communicate with service users and how you are involved in decision making/planning?
You can mainly expect to speak to staff, face to face in appointments and occasionally by appointment by phone, if clinically required. You can also expect to receive letters and reports.
We will contribute to Education, Health and Care plans and review for children and young people with additional needs.
We value what you say
We routinely ask for feedback after children and young people have had their Looked after Children’s health assessment.
Please complete the rate your health assessment questionnaire.
This may be a request for verbal feedback, or we will ask you to complete an anonymous feedback form.
Families are also requested to complete Talk to Us Forms at various stages of involvement.
Who you can contact for further information?
For general enquiries regarding Community Paediatrics, specific enquires about a child, or for questions about a referral please get in touch with your Health Visitor or School Nurse.
Other sources of information
General information about disabilities
St Helens Local Offer website