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Coronavirus | Updates, advice and resources for families and practitioners

Designated Clinical Officer

Q1. What is a Clinical Commissioning Group? 

A1. Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has a responsibility to ensure that the health needs of the local population is being met, especially children and young people with SEND and complex medical conditions. Currently the CCG and local authorities in Redbridge are working together in order to coordinate joint commissioning in regards to children and young people with SEND. This is achieved and maintained through Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans and working in collaboration with our partners.

Q2. What is joint commissioning?

A2. The Children and Families Act requires the Local Authority and CCGs to act consistently with the joint commissioning arrangements. It is vital that the arrangements are under review and updated according to legislation.

Ultimately, the joint commissioning arrangements and strategy will ensure that the Local Authority and CCGs are able to secure education, health and care provision for all children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities, including those who have an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Q3. What is a Designated Clinical Officer?

A3. Each CCG must appoint a Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) dedicated to children with SEND. The DCO plays a key role in implementing the Children and Families Act  (2014) in supporting collaborative working between health services and local authorities.

The role of the DCO is to provide guidance and support on the following:

  • Provide a point of contact for local authorities, schools and colleges seeking health advice on children and young people who have been identified as having SEND and when specialist health advice is required.
  • Working in collaboration with schools, Local Authorities and health services to support pupils with complex medical conditions and life limiting conditions.
  • Ensuring that assessment, planning and health support is carried out for children and young people with SEND, recognising the requirement to incorporate the transition to adult services and up to the age of 25.
  • Provide advice to the CCG and local authority in relation to strategic planning and the commissioning of services in relation to children and young people with SEND.
  • Ensuring that cooperation between health service and Local Authority is working in the best interest of the child/young people and the families/carers. 
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