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Health (Local Offer)

Child with mother and doctor

Health services for children with special educational needs and disabilities

Peterborough has a wide range of health services for children and young people from 0-25 years including GPs, pharmacists, dentists, opticians and hospital services. These services are known as ‘universal’ because they are available to everyone.  To find your nearest service go to NHS Choices and enter your postcode.

Children with special educational needs and disabilities will need support from different health services at different stages in their lives.  Descriptions of health professionals who may be involved in healthcare for children and young people with disabilities are shown below.

Information on COVID-19 support can be found on the Local Offer COVID-19 - Information page and the SEN and Inclusion Services COVID-19 Support page. 

Local support groups can be found by using the search term 'COVID-19' in the search box at the top of the page.

Health services in the community

Little boy with doctor checking his neck

Health Visitors and school nurses

Health Visitors

The Peterborough Health Visiting Service is a universal health service for all children aged 0-5 years and their parents/carers. Working closely with the school nursing service for school-age children, health visitors aim to optimise health and promote learning through well-being and inclusion.

School Nurses

The Peterborough School Nursing Service offers the Healthy Child Programme.  It is available to all children and aims to ensure that every child gets the start they need to lay the foundations for a healthy life.   

Physiotherapists, occupational and speech therapists


Paediatric Speech and Language Therapists provide speech and language therapy
to children and young people who have speech, language and communication needs and feeding difficulties.  Resources on Speech and Language Therapy can be found on the Talking Point website.

Paediatric Physiotherapists work with children presenting with general developmental delay, disorder of movement or disability due to any diagnosis, or illness for which physiotherapy intervention is indicated.

Health Occupational Therapists work with children and young people with specific challenges in achieving skills and abilities needed to live a meaningful life.

Social Care Occupational Therapists 

If you are a parent or guardian of a child or young person with a physical or learning disability, then occupational therapy in the community can help you.

Occupational therapy staff can give you advice and information on activities of daily living, moving and handling issues, seating at home, housing needs and provide assistive equipment and adaptations to overcome some of the challenges you may experience.

Please download, complete and return the Children's Occupational Therapy Referral Form to the address provided on the application form for an occupational therapy assessment of your child's needs, which will be reviewed.

Childrens Community Nurses

Children's Community Nurses provide nursing to children with complex needs at home.

They provide care for children and young people from 0-16 years old who:

  • need acute short-term interventions to enable them to be cared for at home
  • have complex healthcare needs/long-term conditions requiring nursing support/intervention
  • require palliative and end-of-life care

Community Paediatricians

The Community Paediatric Service assesses and manages children (0-18 years) who live in Peterborough city or north Cambridgeshire who have significant problems with development and or disability. The service is based at the Peterborough Child Development Centre

The service accepts referrals for children, young people and families, who are registered with a GP within the Cambridgeshire CCG.

This includes, but is not exclusive to:

  • Physical disability including sensory impairment
  • Developmental delay/learning disability
  • Social communication difficulties including autism
  • Looked after children for Statutory Health Assessments

The service is accessed through referral from Early Support Pathway and Early Help Pathway. 

Autism and Sensory Impairment

Doctor looking in girl's ear


The Peterborough Neuro Developmental Service (NDS) can provide assessments for Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  We work with school aged youngsters, their families and professionals where there is already a diagnosis of Autism, ADHD and/or learning disability.

More information about autism can be found on the autism page.

Sensory Impairment

The term sensory impairment encompasses visual loss (including blindness and partial sight), hearing loss (including the whole range) and multi sensory impairment (which means having a diagnosed visual and hearing impairment with at least a mild loss in each sense, or deafblindness).

The Health Services for children with sensory impairment is provided at the Child Development Centre by a Multi - Disaplinary team of Community Paediatricians, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. This health service works closely with the Sensory Impairment Service provided by the Local Authority as part of the SENI team.

More detailed information can be found on our sensory impairment page.


Mental Health and Wellbeing

Young man with his head in his hands

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. CAMHS are the NHS services that assess and treat young people with mental health disorders.

CAMHS support covers depression, eating disorders, self-harm where there is a mental health disorder, anxiety disorders and other diagnosed mental health disorders.

Peterborough CAMHS service includes nurses, therapists, pyschologists, psychiatrists and support workers. This service is provided by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.  Referrals can come from the school or the GP.

Other services supporting young people's mental health and emotional wellbeing

The emotional health and wellbeing service works with professionals including schools  to help to improve the general emotional health and well being of young people.

Keep Your Head. Growing up can be challenging – with exams, issues with friends, changes at home,social media pressures or finding a job. This can affect how we feel and have an impact on our wellbeing and mental health. This site brings together good reliable up to date information on mental health and wellbeing for children and young people, parents/carers and professionals.

Kooth is an online counselling and emotional well-being support service for children and young people available free at the point of use. An early intervention solution, Kooth helps to reduce waiting times for young people seeking help while removing the stigma associated with accessing mental health support. You can watch the new Kooth video here

CHUMS Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Service for Children and Young People provides therapeutic support in a variety of ways.  CHUMS has developed a unique service delivery model to ensure that children and young people are able to access a service that supports their individual needs.  

You can find lots more information on the Young Minds website.

Palliative Care

Two hospital nurses

If you have been told that you or your child may not get better, you might also have heard about palliative care. Palliative care is for people living with a terminal illness where a cure is no longer possible. It's not just for people diagnosed with terminal cancer, but any terminal condition. It’s also for people who have a complex illness and need their symptoms controlled. Although these people usually have an advanced, progressive condition, this isn’t always the case.

Palliative care aims to treat or manage pain and other physical symptoms. It will also help with any psychological, social or spiritual needs. Treatment will involve medicines, therapies, and any other support that specialist teams believe will help their patients. It includes caring for people who are nearing the end of life. This is called end of life care.

The goal is to help you and everyone affected by your diagnosis to achieve the best quality of life. You might receive palliative care alongside particular treatments, therapies and medicines, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Marie Curie have a suite of Easy Read booklets about palliative care.

Puberty and children with a disability

Is puberty different for young people with special needs?

Although many young people with special needs experience delays in achieving developmental milestones, puberty usually occurs at the same age and involves the same changes as typically developing children.

Common concerns of parents and carers of children with special needs

It is normal for all parents to feel anxious about this stage of their child’s development.

Parents may worry about hygiene, period management, emotional meltdowns, emerging sexuality, masturbation and inappropriate touching of others. They may also have fears about the increased risk of sexual abuse and the possibility of casual sexual relationships, pregnancy and STIs.

Parents may also be concerned about how their child will cope emotionally with puberty changes and their emerging sexuality, now and in the future.

Parents and young people can investigate support from Family Planning Clinics, community agencies or their local GP.

Commissioning and Decision Making

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group logo


The responsibility for organising local health services is quite complex.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the local NHS organisation responsible for commissioning many local health services for residents registered with a GP. 

Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council also manage some local services such as Health Visiting and School Nursing and some specialist services such as children's head injury rehabilitation are organised locally and nationally by NHS England.  

We know it is very confusing, so if you have a child with a disability or special educational needs and you are unsure of who to contact or how to be referred for a particular service, you can discuss this with your GP.

Decision making

The Designated Clinical Officer supports Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group to meet its statutory responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and agrees the health services within an Education, Health and Care plan.

The Designated Clinical Officer in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is a qualified and experienced nurse, who has extensive experience and expertise in working with children and young people with a range of disabilities and health needs.

The Designated Clinical Officer:

  • is a point of contact for local partners, when notifying parents and the local authority about children and young people they believe have or may have SEN or a disability
  • offers advice on SEN or disabilities
  • provides health advice to local authorities, schools and colleges regarding children and young people with SEN or Disabilities
  • provides a contact for CCGs or health providers so that appropriate notification can be given to the local authority of children under 5 years who they think may have SEN or a disability
  • agrees the health services within an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan

If you have any questions, please contact the Designated Clinical Officer for SEND, Siobhan Weaver, on 01733 847 326 or email 

You can also look at our Decision Making webpage for more information

Continuing Care

The Clinical Commissioning Group fund health care for children and young people through Continuing Care.These exceptional and individual funding requests are usually for medications or treatments which are not routinely provided through other health services that they or NHS England organises.

Continuing care requests need to be supported by clinical reports and recommendations from professionals involved with your child. However, your GP should be able to help you with this.

NHS Acronym Buster

Do you ever feel lost at the volume of acronyms in the NHS? The NHS confederation has a useful acronym buster for NHS terms here.