If you need medical help, please remember:

  • For life-threatening emergencies ring 999 for an ambulance.

  • For urgent medical help.  Use the regular NHS 111 online service.  Call 111 if you need urgent help for a child under 5 or cannot get help online.

  • If you need to contact your GP, do not go into the surgery in person unless they have told you to.  You can either visit your GP surgery’s website and consult your GP online OR ring your GP surgery.  Your GP surgery will then give you advice about what to do.

At the present time, both Vespasian House and Canford House are closed to visitors. The majority of meetings are taking place virtually. 

If you have any concerns or need any help taking part in a virtual meeting, please contact the organiser.

Thank you for your patience.

Please let us know if you have any additional needs, which may be related to a disability or difficulty, that you would like to discuss before your visit/meeting.

These could be things like:
• Help with communication
• Help with mobility and access

Page contents

Meet the team
Statement of intent
What is a DCO?
Joint Operational Agreement
Single Route of Redress – National Trial
Children’s Speech, Language and Communication
Development and Behaviour Pathway
SEND Awareness Training
Paediatrics in Primary Care Evaluation
Local Offer

Changes made by the Government to the support system for disabled children and young people and those with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) means that professionals from different services will have to work more closely together to give children and young people, aged 0 to 25 with special educational needs or a disability, the support they need.

Children and young people will have more say over what support and services are offered in their local area, and more help will be available for young people as they prepare for adulthood.

Meet the Children and Young People Services Team

Sam Best

Principal Lead

Steve Clarke

Designated Clinical Officer for SEND and Senior Programme Lead

Claire Lawrenson

Senior Programme Lead

Penina Caswell

Programme Lead

Chloe Morley

Associate Designated Clinical Officer

Joanna Ames

Programme Officer

James Greenhalgh

Programme Officer

Lisa Emblen

Project Support Officer

Kelly Tilbury

Business Support Officer

Statement of Intent

The SEND Statement of Intent sets out the role of NHS Dorset CCG and what you can expect from the CCG relating to special educational needs and disability.  It covers services commissioned for children and young people with SEND.

The SEND Statement of Intent also has links for Poole, Bournemouth and Dorset’s Local Offer.

Click on the image above for the Easy Read version of the Statement of Intent

What is a Designated Clinical Officer (DCO)?

Each Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) must provide a designated medical officer (DMO) or designated clinical officer (DCO). The DCO plays a key part in putting into action the SEND reforms and in supporting joined-up working between health services and local authorities.

The Designated Clinical Officer for SEND:

My name is Steve Clarke and I am the Designated Clinical Officer for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) for Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group.  My role is to support health colleagues here at the CCG as well as our local authorities and health providers to make sure that children and young people aged 0-25 with SEND have the right health support to achieve the best that they possibly can.

I have a varied role which includes:

  • attending local authority education, health and care panels to talk about which children go forwards for assessments and then, if required, have a formal plan (EHCP)
  • supporting health professionals with the information needed within the assessments and education colleagues to get the correct information and support
  • supporting the SEND team at the local authorities with questions on information
  • signposting education professionals to health services and professionals for advice
  • signing off and assuring the quality of the advice and plans
  • working alongside the commissioners and stakeholders including parents, children and young people, to identify and raise any commissioning gaps
  • ensuring we have a good local offer of health services for those age 0-25 with SEND
  • taking part in processes to ensure that we consider requests for those with highly complex needs, including continuing care
  • supporting the commissioners and senior leadership team to ensure that the SEND health requirements are met

I work as part of the Children and Young Peoples Services Team and am supported by Chloe Morley, Associate Designated Clinical Officer (ADCO) for SEND.

Steve Clarke


Chloe Morley


Joint Operational Agreement

The special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms in the Children and Families Act 2014 are focused on enabling children and young people to achieve the best they can, with an emphasis on outcomes rather than processes.

The Joint Operational Agreement is designed to support NHS organisations, health professionals and local authorities across Dorset to understand their statutory duties in relation to these reforms. It concentrates on the areas of health in the 0-25 SEN and Disability Code of Practice and clarifies responsibilities and ways of working that have been jointly agreed between organisations across Dorset.

This agreement has been drawn up by: Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, BCP Council and Dorset County Council.

Website Version Joint Operational Agreement 2018

Annex B. Template for health input to EHC assessment process

Click on the image above for the Easy Read Version of the Joint Operational Agreement Summary

Single Route of Redress – National Trial

The government is extending the powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND), sometimes referred to as the SEND Tribunal, to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of education, health and care (EHC) plans as part of a two-year trial. The trial will apply to decisions made or EHC plans issued/amended from 3 April 2018.

To date, you have only been able to appeal the educational aspects of EHC plans. The trial gives you new rights to request recommendations about the health and social care needs and provision specified in EHC plans, in addition to the educational aspects, when making a SEND appeal. This gives you the opportunity to raise all your concerns about an EHC plan in one place.

It is only possible for the Tribunal to consider the health and/or social care aspects of the EHC plan where you are already making an appeal in relation to the education aspects of the EHC plan and the education aspect must remain live throughout the appeal.

Click on the image above for the Easy Read version of the SEND Tribunal National Trial

Click on image above for the Easy Read version of the  SEND Tribunal National Trial Summary for parents and young people

Children’s Speech, Language and Communication

Your local NHS and Councils are working together to make speech, language and communication better for young people.

We want children, young people and parents to be happy with the speech, language and communication provision across the county of Dorset and we understand that people and communities have the experience and expertise that can help us shape what this might look like.

We are at the stage of co-designing how we can improve speech, language and communication.

Please click HERE  to go to the Children’s Speech, Language and Communication web page.

Development and Behaviour Pathway

The Development and Behaviour Pathway for children, young people and families in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole has been developed to help clarify the steps that should be taken when someone is worried about a child or young person’s development or behaviour. It has been developed in partnership with parents and carers, with input from professionals working in health, education and social care and is based upon findings from local and national research as well as NICE guidelines.

Development and Behaviour Pathway Document

Pre School Community Paediatric Referral Form

School Age Community Paediatric Referral Form

The Pan-Dorset Development and Behaviour Referral Pack and Guidance Appendix 6

SEND Awareness Training

Pan-Dorset system wide Awareness Training for SEND aimed at all staff across health, education and social care, who need to have an awareness of their day-to-day responsibility with regards to children and young people aged 0-25 with SEND.

Paediatrics in Primary Care Evaluation April 2018 – August 2019

In the UK, many children and young people (aged 0 to 18 years) that attend hospital urgent and emergency care services and outpatients could be managed at a GP service or at home (RPCPH, 2015).

In April 2018, the Paediatrics in Primary Care programme began in Dorset. The programme aims to increase GP and community practitioner skill for treating common childhood illnesses locally and to improve parents and carers confidence to manage minor conditions at home.

The outcome of this evaluation showed high satisfaction of service users and healthcare professionals. Most patients involved in the programme were managed in their GP surgery rather than referred to the hospital.

The PiPC Evaluation Final 2019_20 is the following evaluation from the baseline evaluation (2018/19) for the Paediatric in Primary Care programme, contributing to the framework for future evaluations.

RPCPH. (2015). Facing the Future Together for Child Health. Retrieved from https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/facing-future-together-child-health

Please click here to view the PiPC Evaluation 2019_20 Summary

Click on the image above for the Easy Read summary of the 2019-20 Paediatrics in Primary Care Evaluation

Local Offer

Local Authorities must now publish, in one place, a website which outlines all services/resources and latest news about and for children with additional needs 0 – 25 years. This information is known as the Local Offer.

External Links

External Documents

SEND Code of Practice
SEND Reforms 2014

External Websites

Action for Children
Healthier Together
Council for Disabled Children