If you are attending a meeting on one of our sites, 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

Meet the team

Statement of intent

What is a DCO?

Joint Operational Agreement

Single route of redress – national trial

Development and behaviour pathway

SEND awareness training

Local offer

Children’s speech, language and communication

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.

Who are the Children and Young People Services Team and what do we do?

The Children and Young People Services Team at NHS Dorset are working to make sure that our children and young people, aged 0-25 years of age, across Dorset enjoy the best health possible and that they receive good quality services.

We work alongside local authorities and health providers, as well as other stakeholders including parent/carer groups, children and young people and their families and schools etc., to make sure that health services for children and young people in hospitals, GP surgeries and the community are delivered in care pathways that don’t just focus on physical health but consider the needs of the whole person.

A care pathway helps to reduce the differences in the quality of health services received by children and young people and improves outcomes for all.  It tells children and young people using services, and their parents and carers, what they should expect from providers at any point in their journey of care.

We want to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people across Dorset from 0-25 years of age and to reduce any inequalities in health by:

  • Promoting good health and wellbeing

  • Making safe, high quality, affordable and joined-up health services available at, or close to, home

  • Working with children, young people and their parents and carers to develop new pathways of care

  • Supporting children and young people to be in control of their own health where possible and to make the most of their life chances, as they grow up

The Children and Young People’s Transformation Programme was set up to make sure that commitments relating to children and young people in the NHS Long Term Plan are carried out.

To make sure that these commitments are carried out providers across health, care and education will have to work together. The programme will make improvements in health and care services for children and young people by:

  • Combining services for children and young people by testing new models of care and then rolling these out across the country

  • Improving the quality of care for children and young people with long-term conditions like asthma, epilepsy, diabetes and problems from obesity

  • Making sure that services meet the needs of children and young people by having them involved in developing national policy

  • Working with children and young people and their parents and carers, as well as using local data, to identify and deliver local priorities

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.

Easy Read version of about the team

Meet the Children and Young People Services Team

Sam Best
Sam BestPrincipal Lead
Kate Halsey
Kate HalseySenior Programme Lead
Steve Clarke
Steve ClarkeDesignated Clinical Officer for SEND and Senior Programme Lead
Chloe Morley
Chloe MorleyAssociate Designated Clinical Officer for SEND
Joanna Ames
Joanna AmesProgramme Lead
James Greenhalgh
James GreenhalghProgramme Officer
Ella Deacon
Ella DeaconProgramme Officer
Kelly Lewis
Kelly LewisProgramme Officer
Kelly Tilbury
Kelly TilburyProject Support Officer
Crystal Armstrong
Crystal ArmstrongProgramme Officer

Statement of intent

The SEND Statement of Intent sets out the role of NHS Dorset and what you can expect from NHS Dorset 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.

What is a Designated Clinical Officer (DCO)?

The Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) roles support the Integrated Care Board (ICB) to meet our statutory responsibilities for children and young people with SEND. 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 NHS Dorset. My role is to support health colleagues here at NHS Dorset 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
Steve Clarke
Chloe Morley
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: NHS Dorset, Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, BCP Council and Dorset Council.

Single Route of Redress – National Trial

From April 2018 to August 2021, the SEND Tribunal National Trial  tested the extended powers of the First-tier Tribunal Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’) to hear appeals and make non-binding recommendations about health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, provided those appeals also include education elements.

An independent evaluation of the national trial found positive findings and on 20 July 2021, the Department for Education confirmed the extended powers given to the Tribunal will continue.

This guidance sets out the extended powers and duties in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (First-tier Tribunal Recommendations Power) Regulations 2017.

It explains how the appeal process will work, what happens if recommendations are not followed and the support available for commissioners and families.

Further guidance and support for the trial can be found in the SEND national trial toolkit.

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.

Where there is a mental health concern, children should be referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. Referral support and guidance to Core CAMHS: The pan-Dorset development and behaviour referral pack and guidance appendix 6.

Pan-Dorset (Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole) Development and Behaviour Referral Pack and Guidance for Professionals

SEND training

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.

SEND tier 2 training

Pan-Dorset training aimed at those staff in health, education and social care who regularly work with children and young people aged 0-25 with SEND.

Special educational needs/disability e-learning

Dorset Partnership Agreement

Our Dorset Partnership Agreement seeks to provide a framework across the Dorset Council area for all key strategic partners to collaboratively work to achieve the best outcomes for children and young people. Our partnership working will ensure that children, young people and their families have equal opportunity to meaningfully participate in the decisions that affect them at individual, operational and strategic levels.

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

External websites