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Health Services

For children and young people with SEND and their families, the City of York Council and NHS provides healthcare to meet their specific individual health needs.  The offer includes GP support, though therapy services, to specialist healthcare, mental health support and equipment. These services are provided free at the point of delivery, and reflect core NHS principles of meeting clinical need, collaboration between healthcare professionals and families, and working with other agencies such as education and social care.

In the vast majority of cases, healthcare support is provided though the broad range of services routinely commissioned through the NHS, such as physiotherapy, or paediatric care.  For the small number of children and young people, with most complex needs, the NHS may also provide direct funding to meet needs, through continuing care, continuing healthcare or personal health budgets. There are eligibility criteria for these services.


Healthy Child Service

York's Healthy Child Service (HCS) delivers information, advice and support for children and parents of children aged 0 - 19 years old. The Healthy Child Service incorporates York's Health Visiting Service and School Nurse Service. We work with families, young people and children to help them achieve the best possible start in life and reach their full potential.

Contact 01904 555475

These pages outline the support the NHS can offer within the City of York.  Queries about health provision should always be taken up with your GP, therapist, specialist or other healthcare professional.


Children's Inpatients

If your child or young person needs to go into hospital, you will have the advice and support of your specialist and the hospital team working with them.  Please follow the link to York Hospital website for further information.


Children's Outpatients

Many children and young people need care at an outpatients clinic for a wide range of conditions, for example for diabetes, or cystic fibrosis.  Your GP will have referred you to the clinic and you will be under the care of one or more of the paediatricians and support staff.  Please refer to the York Hospital website.


Children's Therapy Services

The Children’s Therapy team at York Hospital work with children, young people and their families across a broad range of needs for physiotherapy, speech language and communication needs, occupational health and dietetics.  Please follow the link to the Therapy Services webpages for information about their work, and how to refer.


Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

PALS offers impartial advice and assistance to patients, their relatives, friends and carers.  We can listen to feedback (positive or negative), help you get answers to your questions and liaise on your behalf to help resolve any concerns about our Trust services.


Community Team for People with Learning Disabilities

The team provide a range of specialist advice, support and interventions to people with learning disabilities across York, Selby Easingwold and Tadcaster. They can provide support with housing and the support you may need to live in your home, your health, your mental health, equipment, being independent, communication and carers. The team are made up of physiotherapist, care managers, occupational therapists, psychologists, community nurses, psychiatrists and speech and language therapists.

To see the Community Team's Leaflet, click here


Assistant Designated Medical Officer and Designated Clinical Officer

Each Clinical Commissioning Group should provide a Designated Medical Officer (DMO) or Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) for SEND. The DCO/DMO plays a key role in implementing and embedding the SEND reforms and in supporting joined up working between health services, local authorities and other SEND partners.

Vale of York CCG have opted for a hybrid model of Associate DCO (ADCO) and a DMO for special educational needs and disability (SEND). Louise Wootton is the ADCO and Dr Sally Smith, who is a consultant paediatrician at York Hospital, is the DMO. The purpose of these roles is to support health colleagues across the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the local health providers to ensure children and young people 0-25 with SEND have the right health support to achieve the best outcomes they possibly can. The DCO role is a key element in supporting the Health Service in its implementation of the Children’s and Families Act 2014.

The DCO/DMO role is varied and includes:
•    Oversight from a health perspective of education, health and care panels to discuss which children go forward for assessments and then if required have a formal plan (EHCP)
•    Supporting health professionals to contribute to the Education, Health and Care Plan process
•    Working with others in the local area to improve the quality of Education, Health and Care Plans.
•    Supporting the SEND team at the local authority with questions and queries
•    Promoting links between the SEND team, education professionals, social care and health services
•    Supporting the commissioners and senior leadership team with regards to meeting and assuring the SEND health requirements
•    Working alongside commissioners and stakeholders across health , education and social care  and in joint partnership with children and young people, parents and carers to identify , contribute and deliver on  strategic work programmes that improve our local systems  
•    Ensuring we can evidence a good local offer of health services and clear health journeys for those age 0-25 with SEND
If you would like more information, please email

Keyworker Service

What is the Humber, Coast and Vale Keyworker Service?
•    The new Keyworker service is being developed as a response to the NHS England long term plan commitment that by 2023/24 children and young people with a learning disability, autism, or both, with the most complex needs will have a designated Keyworker.
•    The Keyworking function is an important response to ensuring children, young people and families get the right support at the right time, and that local systems are responsive to meeting their needs in a holistic and joined up way.  
•    The initial phase of this work 2021-2023 is focused on “children and young people who are inpatients or at risk of being admitted to hospital”.

What will a Keyworker do?
•    Act as the main point of contact for children and young people and their family.
•    Build and maintain positive, trusting, and appropriate relationships with children and young people and their families / carers during the supportive period aimed at avoiding admission or facilitating discharge and strengthening links with relevant services.
•    Work on behalf of children and young people and their family/carers towards unblocking challenges and barriers.
•    Ensure all children/young people have a clear personalised plan to promote their development.
•    To ensure that Care Education and Treatment Review recommendations/ actions are completed in a timely manner and that there are updates to the Dynamic Support Register to reflect this.
•    The Keyworker will ensure continuity of care for the child/young person, and work across systems and services to ensure they respond and react to child/young person’s needs as required.

Why and how can a Keyworker help?
•    Many children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both, struggle to get the help they need from the system.
•    The system processes supporting children, young people and families can be complex and not joined-up or adaptable.
•    Keyworking is an opportunity to address these issues and improve outcomes for children, young people, and families.
•    Keyworkers are central to ensuring that children, young people, and their families can navigate the complexities of the system.
•    A core role for Keyworkers is to facilitate the co-production of this personalised approach.

Who can have a Keyworker?
The criteria for access to a Keyworker is as follows
•    A diagnosis of a learning disability, autism or both.
•    0-25 years of age, although our primary focus is under 18.
•    Potential risk of inpatient admission or are currently in hospital.
•    The child/young person is on the Dynamic Support Register (DSR). Priority Referrals are with those at Red & Amber and at crisis point. Those at Green currently do not receive an allocated Keyworker, however, may receive signposting or consultation.
•    Reside in the geographical area of Humber Coast and Vale which includes Hull, East Riding, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, York, and North Yorkshire.

Accessing the Keyworker Service
Enquiries are welcomed from young people and their families alongside queries from professionals.

The Lead Professional involved in the child or young person’s care can make a referral by completing the referral form and consent form this will be available on the Local Offer.

Our service will be flexible to meet individual needs:
•    We can arrange for an interpreter if you or your family need one.
•    Let us know if you want or need information in a certain way and we will try and do this.
Our service is confidential. We will discuss with you who we share your information with. If we are concerned about the safety of a child/ young person we have a duty to report this. The Keyworker service is committed to working with the Safeguarding Children’s Board. Guidelines and the Principles of the Children Act 1989 (updated 2004).

To find out more, please visit the service's directory page.

Transition Coordination Service

The Transition coordination service was established at York Hospital in 2021 to support young people in their transition from the child-centred into the adult-orientated healthcare services - this process is widely known as either transition or preparation for adulthood.

The service is nurse led and takes a holistic and individualised approach, where children and young people are supported in a planned and purposeful way which addresses their medical, psychosocial, and educational/vocational needs to best prepare them for transition into adulthood and adult health services.

The transition coordinator is Richard Bentley, he can be contacted on Referrals into the transition service are made through your clinical specialist or other professional.

Further information

For more information on other health services in York, follow the links below:

- Keeping Healthy

- Wheelchair and Equipment

- General Practitioners

- Specialist Nursing

- Complex Needs

- Travel Costs to NHS Services