Health and wellbeing

The health category of our Local Offer sets out the range of services that are available in Brent for children and young people with SEND and their families.

View all health services in the Local Offer

Services for everyone

Most health services are universal, which means they are available to everyone and you do not need an assessment or referral to use them. Find details of your local health services

Most children and young people with SEND will have their needs met by universal services. They include:

If you are worried about your child's development there is lots of information available to help you. Read about:

Annual health check

Anyone aged 14 or over who is on their GP's learning disability register can have a free annual health check.

You do not have to be ill to have one - in fact, most people have their annual health check done when they are feeling well. It is a good way to get to know your doctor better and for them to find out more about you and how they can help you to stay well and get the right care.

More information about how to get an annual health check is available on the NHS website. Support, advice and easy to read resources about how to join the learning disability register are also available from Mencap.

Health passports

Health passports are available for children and young people with learning disabilities and/or complex needs. The passport is an important booklet that can be taken with you when your child is attending hospital or other places that provide health and disability services. It gives healthcare workers important information about your child so they can get a better understanding of their needs and the support they may require.

The passport includes details about:

  • Your child
  • Their health
  • Their communications needs
  • Their likes and dislikes
  • Who to contact in an emergency

Children’s services and schools in Brent have copies and can help you complete one for your child. Find out more about the health passport and how to get one.  

Targeted services

Children and young people who have a disability or complex needs, which cannot be met through universal services alone, may also need help from targeted services.

Health services at this level are specially designed to support and treat people with certain conditions and normally you will have to be assessed and referred to the service by certain professionals, for example, your GP, child’s school, health visitor or social worker.

Targeted services include:

Children and young people with SEND may need to be supported by one or more of these services at some time in their life.

Specialist services

Children and young people whose parents or carers are unable to provide all the care they may need, due to complex health care needs, life-threatening conditions, profound disabilities, or children who need safeguarding, may require support from local specialist health services.

To receive support from specialist services, a child or young person’s disability must be permanent and substantial and have a negative effect on their ability to do normal daily activities and their family’s wellbeing.

Specialist health services include:

Service commissioning

The NHS Brent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is made up of five locality groups of GPs in Harness, Kilburn, Kingsbury, Wembley and Willesden. There are a total of 67 GP practices in these groups, which are all members of the CCG.

Brent CCG is responsible for planning and buying healthcare services in the borough, for all patients registered with its member GP practices and those who are not registered but are resident within the borough. This is known as ‘commissioning’.

The services commissioned by the CCG include planned hospital care, urgent and emergency care, rehabilitation care, mental health and learning disability services and care in the community.

To make sure the right commissioning decisions are made for patients, Brent CCG works in partnership with local health and social care partners, including the council, patients, the public, community and voluntary organisations and Healthwatch

Joint commissioning

The council and Brent CCG jointly commission universal (mainstream), targeted and specialist speech and language therapy (SALT). For further information about how this provision is currently provided and how potential gaps are identified, view our pathway document and flowchart.

Designated clinical officer

Every clinical commissioning group (CCG) must provide a designated medical officer (DMO) or designated clinical officer (DCO). The DCO has a key role in supporting joined up working between health services and local authorities and implementing the Children and Families Act reforms. The DCO should help facilitate the education, health and care (EHC) plan process and link it with local health care systems. The DCO also co-ordinates assessments and processes where health services are involved.

The purpose of the DCO role:

  • To provide a point of contact for local authorities, schools and colleges who are seeking health advice about children and young people who may have SEND. Within the local area, there are SEND ‘health champions’ that can be accessed, as well as an escalation process for any concerns or issues.
  • To have oversight across all health professionals delivering healthcare to children and young people with SEND.

The role is varied and includes:

  • Ensuring all health services are reflected on the Local Offer and that health providers are co-operating with the local authority to review it and ensure there are clear health journeys for children and young people with SEND aged 0 to 25.
  • Co-ordination of EHC assessments with other key health assessments, including assessments for looked after children and young people who are receiving continuing care.
  • Attending EHC panels to discuss which children go forward for assessments and then, if required, have a formal EHC plan.
  • Providing health and education professionals with support and information they need for assessments. This also includes supporting the SEND team at the local authority with any questions and queries they may have.
  • Signposting education colleagues to health services and other professionals for advice.
  • Working alongside commissioners and stakeholders, including parents, children and young people, to identify and raise any commissioning gaps, some of which may require joint commissioning to resolve.
  • Participating in processes to ensure requests for those with highly complex needs are considered, including continuing care.
  • Supporting commissioners and senior leadership teams to meet SEND health requirements.
  • Membership of the joint commissioning strategy that works towards integrating services to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND.
  • Contributing to the engagement strategy for children and young people with SEND and their families.

You can contact the DCO if you have a question or concern about health provision for children or young people with SEND.


Norma Johnson

Designated Clinical Officer for Brent