Children and young people

Children and young people are those who are of compulsory school age and younger. We commission services for children and young people, sometimes on our own and sometimes in partnership with Waltham Forest Council. This includes hospital services from Barts Health NHS Trust and community services from North East London Foundation Trust.

We also have special responsibilities for protecting vulnerable children. Children who are looked after by the state in one way or another (for instance in a fostering placement) are known as ‘looked after children’. We work with the Council to make sure these children are protected, and get the health and social care they need.

One of our recent projects for children and young people has been developing a downloadable guide, website and app to help parents look after the health of their children. 'A Parent's guide to Child Health and Common Illnesses’ is packed full of tips to help parents safely manage any worrying symptoms safely at home, and to help them know when and how to seek help and advice. It also contains useful general health advice and contact details for local services for families with young children. All new parents in Waltham Forest will be given the guide shortly after birth by the midwife, along with their 'red book'. An app for iPhone and android is available to download: search childhealthguidewf.

Children with special education needs and disabilities

Particular services are provided for children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). Our work on SEND is linked to our development of Personal Health Budgets. Personal Health Budgets for people with learning disabilities will be introduced at the start of 2016, and we will publish a description of the local services that are available.

The following description of special education needs and disabilities has been taken from the Devon County Council website:

Children and young people are considered to have a special educational need/learning difficulty or disability if they:

  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
  • have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities that are generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools, or mainstream institutions for people over the age of 16.

Children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities may need extra help or support, or special provision made for them to allow them to have the same opportunities as others of the same age. This could include help to support their communication and interactions with other people, their cognition and learning abilities, emotional, social and mental health; and physical and sensory development. Children who need to help for a mixture of these issues are considered to have ‘complex needs’. They may also be described as having ‘mild’ or ‘severe’ learning difficulties depending on the degree of support they need and the impact their special needs are having on their life.

Local Area Joint Inspection for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

OFSTED and Care Quality Commission (CQC)

An inspection of partner organisations in the Local Area, including Local Authority services and the Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group as well as providers (schools and early years settings) was recently carried out by Ofsted and the CQC. Under the Children and Families Act 2014, the government placed new duties on the local health, social care and education services that provide for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. The inspection aimed to evaluate how effectively these services work together to:

  • identify the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • meet the needs of these children and young people so that their outcomes and chances of participating fully in society improve.

The inspection took place from Monday 23 to Friday 27 January 2017

The Inspection highlighted many areas of excellent practice but also identified some significant areas for further development particularly in improving health provision. The full Inspection letter will be published in late March on the Ofsted website and will be used as a significant catalyst for further improvement in this important area of support and provision.

Information on local area duties towards children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities can be found on the Department for Education’s website.

Specialist Paediatric Triage Service

There have recently been a couple of questions raised by members of the public about the specialist paediatric triage service at Whipps Cross Hospital and its continuing service.

This specialist paediatric triage service will not be closing and will remain at Whipps Cross Hospital. 

NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group has invested in additional support for the streaming service (located at the front door of A&E and run by GPs and nurses) and the urgent care centre, with a focus on children.  

Over winter 2016/17 the CCG has also invested in new models of working, including the assessment and treatment of children, and will evaluate these projects to understand their impact.  

The urgent care centre has been asked to ensure any learning from the projects is captured and embedded in the service and this process has already started.  

If you have specific questions or concerns please get in contact with: wfccg.communications@nhs.net.