The CCG has a major role in ensuring the timely and effective delivery of health services to Children in Care and Care leavers it is required to do so under section 10 of the Children Act 2004.

A Designated Doctor and Nurse are employed as strategic leads to advise and assist DCCG, other commissioners of health services and local authorities within their area accommodating children and young people in fulfilling their responsibilities to improve the health of looked-after children.

Notification for Children in Care being placed in Dorset Process

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group has dedicated medical service commissioned through Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust who complete all Initial health assessments (IHA’s). The Children in Care Health Teams commissioned through Dorset Healthcare (Community Trust) are collocated within the three Local Authorities within the county of Dorset. They are able to support the health needs of children and young people accommodated by either Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) and Dorset Council (DC) or placed in Dorset by other local authorities.

The medical Service are able to complete Initial Health Assessments for children placed in Dorset by other local Authorities under a Service Level Agreement, using the national tariff recommended in ‘Payment By Results’ Document.

These can be requested by sending the appropriate paperwork by secure email to LAC, Poole Hospital or by post (recorded delivery) to this address:

A/O Hannah Stokes LAC Administrator / Medical Secretary
Children in Care Administrator/Support Secretary
Child Development Centre
Poole Hospital
0300 019 3346

We suggest that you make prior contact by telephone first to 0300 019 3346. The medical service will return the SLA for agreement and an outline of their process to complete and return.

The Children in Care health teams are able to complete Review Health Assessments under a Service Level Agreement, using the national tariff recommended in ‘Payment By Results’ document.

These can be requested by sending the appropriate paperwork by secure email to LAC, Dorset Healthcare or by post (recorded delivery) to this address:

A/O Dorset Healthcare Children in Care and Care Leavers Health Team
01305 361127

We suggest that you make prior contact by telephone first to 01305 361127. The Children in Care Health team will return the SLA for agreement and an outline of their process to complete and return. The team can also provide some follow up health support, again subject to arranging via an additional SLA.

Dorset CCG commission services for Children in Care through Poole Hospital Foundation Trust and Dorset HealthCare.

Poole Hospital Foundation Trust (PHFT) delivers the medical services for Children in Care. This consists of a Designated Doctor who works closely with the Designated Nurse in supporting the health agenda for Children in Care, and Medical Advisors who together complete all Initial Health Assessments (IHAs) Pan Dorset. They also complete Adoption medicals for children and review and give advice on adult medicals for Adopters and Foster Carer’s and act as medical advisor for Aspire Adoption, Adoption Panel.

Dorset Healthcare (DHC) delivers direct nursing services to all children in care and care leavers residing in Poole, Bournemouth and Dorset. They do this by supporting the IHA process and completing the statutory Review Health Assessments. They deliver preventative and direct implementations to address identified health needs for our Children in Care & CL population, provide training to local authorities, health professionals, and foster carer’s and parents on the health needs of Children in Care. The health teams are co-located within Children Social Care. They work closely alongside joint funded dedicated child and adolescent’s mental health service (CAMHS) for Children in Care, their carer’s and professionals.

The term “Children in Care” refers to a child who is being looked after by the state (local authority). The term has a specific legal meaning based on the Children Act 1989. They may also be known as a child in care.

Children who are “looked after” may be living:

  • with foster parents
  • at home with their parents under the supervision of social services
  • in residential children’s homes
  • other residential settings like schools or secure units.
  • be place away from home on a planned basis for short breaks or respite care
  • Living with supported lodging carer’s if post 16yrs
  • Semi-independent living post 16yrs
  • Independent living post 16yrs

Children in Care are children and young people (0 to 18 years rising to 24 years for care leavers or where there is an Education and Health Care plan in place). They may have been placed in care voluntarily by parents struggling to cope, or, by children’s services who may have intervened because a child was at significant risk of harm, neglect or exploitation.

A “Looked after Child” legal status is defined by the Children’s Act 1989 which means they may be accommodated under a Voluntarily Order (Sec. 20 of Children Act) or a Care Order (Sec. 31 of Children Act).

The number of looked after children nationally has continued to rise; it has increased steadily over the last eight years. There were 70,440 looked after children at 31 March 2016, an increase of 1% compared to 31 March 2015.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 places a legal duty on CCGs to work with local authorities to promote the integration of health and social care services.

The Mandate to NHS England, Statutory Guidance on Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies and The NHS Constitution for England, make clear the responsibilities of CCGs and NHS England to looked-after children (and, by extension, to care leavers).

In fulfilling those responsibilities, the NHS contributes to meeting the health needs of looked-after children in three ways:

  • commissioning effective services,
  • delivering through provider organisations,
  • and through individual practitioners providing coordinated care for each child.

As of the 1st July 2016 all local authorities will be asked to accommodate those children and young people under the age of 18 who have been allowed entry to the UK seeking asylum but who are not accompanied by a parent or carer.

These children will automatically become “Children in Care” and will require their health needs assessed and a health package put in place for them.

All children and young people will be seen for an Initial Health Assessment (IHA) within 20 days by the Children in Care Medical Advisors. At this appointment the Medical Advisor will make onward referrals for all UASC for both physical and emotional health needs identified.

Children in Care event 2019

Contact details

Louise SmithDCCG Designated Nurse for children in care and care leavers
Dr. Rachel LachlanDCCG Designated Doctor
0300 019 3346
Hannah StokesAdmin support
0300 019 3346

Jenna PittNamed Nurse
07760 167673
Dorset Health Care Children in Care and Care LeaversHealth Team

Jenna Pitt can be contacted directly for any health related operations queries for all children in care, young people and care leavers.