The Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) helps Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to meet its statutory responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and agrees the health services within an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.
If your child has a health or developmental condition that is impacting on their everyday life, this is often referred to as an additional need. This may have been present from birth or these may have become more obvious as your child has grown up.
Your child's additional needs could be developmental, physical, learning, behavioural or sensory. Their needs might be easily met with a regular plan of care or a creative approach to their management. Some additional needs may continue throughout life and as a family there will be times you may require support from a number of services.
All children should have access to the right services, at the right time, to make sure they can reach their full potential. We work together with other agencies to ensure that the right professionals are involved at the right time to meet the needs of you and your child.
As an NHS organisation we have a duty to notify the Local Authority if we become aware a child or young person may have a special educational need.
Health organisations have responsibilities to work in partnership with education settings and local authorities, to support children and young people 0-25 years who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
To better support children and young people with SEND, their parents, carers and families, all local authorities have developed a Local Offer. The Local Offer brings together useful information across education, health and social care. It details information, advice and guidance and a range of local service providers who support children and young people with SEND, including our services provided by the Trust.
To find out more about our Local Offer’s, visit the Worcestershire County Council SEND Local Offer and the Herefordshire County Council SEND Local Offer webpages.
Further information and resources
- Health services for children and young people with SEND (Worcestershire)
- Health services for children and young people with SEND (Herefordshire)
- SEN information, support and advice – Starting Well Partnership (Worcestershire)
- Information for children and families – WISH (Herefordshire)
- NHS England - Special educational needs and disability (SEND)
- Guidance for health services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
About the service
For further advice or information please contact: Louise Adams, Designated Clinical Officer on: WHCNHS.dcoworcestershire.nhs.net
The Designated Clinical Officer:
- Provides a contact for the CCG or health providers so that appropriate notification can be given to the local authority of children under 5 years who they think may have SEN or a disability.
- Supports joined up working between health services and local authorities for children, young people and adult services (0-25 years).
- Promotes communication of advice to local authorities, schools and colleges regarding the health needs of children and young people who may have SEND
- Supports schools with their duties under the ‘Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions’ guidance.
- Has a lead role in ensuring that there is an awareness and understanding of the SEND Reforms by local Health providers of services.
- Supports the requirement for local health services that are already involved in meeting the health and medical needs of a child or young person with SEND to contribute to an assessment of all their needs. This is usually given by means of a report to support the application and preparation of an Education Health and Care Plan. The advice should include details of the support and/or care that a child requires to meet the outcomes agreed by the child or young person, their parents or carers, and the health provider.
The DCO is not routinely involved in assessments or planning for individuals, except in the course of their usual clinical practice, but would be responsible for ensuring that assessment, planning and health support is carried out by health providers.