The NHS provides services that everyone in the population can access. Due to the varying and often complex needs of children and young people with special needs and disabilities, it is possible that a range of health professionals will be involved with you and your child.
If you have concerns or questions about your child’s health, talk to your doctor, health visitor or school nurse. They can help with a wide range of health issues and any concerns you might have about your child’s development. They can also refer you to specialist health services depending on your child’s needs. This includes for example physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, child and adolescent mental health services, wheelchair services and children’s community nursing.
If your child is supported by a number of professionals from health, education and social care they will work together in a multi-agency team to make sure support is coordinated and appropriate.
Get Your Rights is a new interactive website which helps to explain to children and young people their rights when using the NHS.
Information on health services in Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is responsible for planning, organising and buying NHS funded healthcare for people living in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area who are registered with a GP practice.
Local GP practices are organised in clusters called "Local Commissioning Groups" to commission (buy) health services for their local population.
Cambridgeshire Community Services provide universal services, such as health visitors, child health services and school nursing, targeted services such as Children’s Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy through to specialist care in hospitals and in the community for children and young people with the most complex needs. Services are offered to children from birth up to 19 years of age.
Mental health services and support
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) provides child and adolescent mental health services for children and young people up to age 17 who are experiencing emotional and behavioural problems and their families. They also support young people up to the age of 18 who have a learning disability and associated mental health problems.
CPFT have a First Response Service (FRS) for people of any age who are distressed, worried about their mental health or experiencing something that makes them feel unsafe. It provides 24-hour access, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to mental health care, advice and support.
You may also be interested in the following websites which offer online information and self-help tools to children and young people:
Keep Your Headbrings together good, reliable information on mental health and wellbeing for children and young people as well as their families and carers.
Kooth is a free online service that offers emotional and mental health support for children and young people aged 11 – 19. Children and young people can have a "drop-in" chat with a counsellor or therapist or book a one-to-one session.
On the local offer directory you can search for information on health services locally; it includes information on who the service is for, how to access the service and who to contact for more information.
Planning health and care services
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Local Authority and partners produce a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) which describes the future health, care and wellbeing needs of local people and identifies what plans need to be made so that services can meet their needs.
Have your say on local health and care services
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire is part of a national network set up to give local people their say on local health and care services.
Become a member of an NHS Foundation Trust
Did you know that NHS Foundation Trusts are membership organisations? Anyone over the age of 16 who lives in the area a Foundation Trust covers can become a member.
Its free and is a great way to get involved and influence services.
Benefits of membership include:
- Regular information and updates about services and developments
- Vote for governors
- Influence the future of local health services
- There are often opportunities to get involved and events for members
- Members can stand to be governors if they wish
- You can be a member of more than one NHS Foundation Trust
There are links below to the membership pages of the Foundation Trusts in our area: