Caring for children in the community

The Community Child Health team works with children and young people in Cornwall who have a significant developmental disability or vulnerability.
We work extremely closely with other health professionals, such as therapists, as well as professionals in education and social care. Together we work to make sure these children have the support, care and treatment necessary to reach their full potential.

The Community Child Health Team

Clinical Lead for Community Child Health, Designated Medical Officer for Special Educational Needs and Early Years Consultant

Dr Jo Lewis

Neurodisability Lead, Complex Children South East Cornwall

Dr Alison Giles (from November 2016)

Immunisation coordinator and advisor for child public health, Complex Children North East Cornwall

Dr Gina Clarke

Designated doctor for children in care and adoption advisor

Dr Eleanor McCartney

Complex Children Mid Cornwall

Dr Julia Harvey

Cornwall designated doctor for safeguarding and lead for child death reviews

Dr Roger Jenkins

Complex Children West Cornwall

Vacant post

West Cornwall Associate Specialist

Dr Rachel Pegg

Mid/West Speciality Doctor

Dr Jyothi Gundabolu

Mid/East Speciality Doctor

Dr Narasimhamurty Malla

Medical Secretaries

Liz Taylor
01872 254514

Sue Dash
01872 254516

Our Community Child Health Services

Neurodevelopmental Service

The Neurodevelopmental team works with children who are not reaching the expected developmental milestones for their age. Typically, this means their progress in areas such as language, mobility, self-care and independent living may be non-typical.

We provide assessment, diagnosis and ongoing coordination of care, alongside our professional colleagues in education and social care. Our service is personalised for each child. Most children will be seen and reviewed within the team, receive advice on available options and support and then be discharged from the service. Others will enter an assessment pathway or a long-term care pathway.

Assessment and Diagnosis

For some children, we will simply assess them, make a diagnosis, and then signpost the family to the relevant services for ongoing treatment, advice or support. We may continue to follow up until the child’s needs are being met and they are making satisfactory progress. We also often support families undergoing assessment for special educational needs.

Long-term care

We also provide ongoing, long-term care for significant and complex neurodevelopmental difficulties such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and Global Developmental Delay.

This care is delivered by a team of paediatricians, including consultants, staff and associate specialists, with registrars (junior doctors) providing a supporting service. We work in preschools, schools and special schools.

The exact care team and care pathway will depend on the child’s needs. We usually see preschool children every six months and school-age children once a year, but again, this is determined by the child’s needs and may well be more often if they have extremely complex needs.

We often see our patients in a clinic setting and try to see families as close to their homes as possible. We may also visit children and young people in their daily lives or at school, when needed. Our clinics take place across the whole county from the Isles of Scilly to Liskeard, Launceston and Bude.

We see young people with long term conditions until they are between 16 and 18. We then support their transition to adult services, which may be the young person’s General Practitioner. Our team works closely with these young people and their families to make sure they have all the necessary information and preparation and that the transition is as smooth as possible.

Accessing the neurodevelopmental service

We accept referrals from any professional working with a child, such as a GP, health workers, school nurses, therapists, SENCOs, teachers and social care professionals. We do not currently accept referrals direct from parents.

If you would like to refer a child with whom you are working, please check our referral criteria and submit a written referral to rch-tr.CommunityPaediatricTeam@nhs.net.

GPs can also refer through Choose and Book or the Referral Management System.

If you are unsure whether a child is eligible for a referral to Community Child Health, or you don’t know what service you need, you can contact the Cornwall Early Help Hub. The Early Help Hub provides support in both early childhood and early in the development of a problem. They can listen to the problems the child is facing and signpost you towards the most appropriate service. Visit their website or call on 01872 322277.

Children in Care Health Team

The Children in Care (CIC) health team is responsible for improving the health and wellbeing of children who live in Cornwall and are in local authority care or who are placed outside of Cornwall by Cornwall’s Children, Young People and Families social care department.

Effective partnership working is crucial to promoting and improving health outcome for all children in care.

Our roles include:

  • Arranging statutory health assessments for children in care.
  • Development of health recommendations and action plans
  • Safeguarding / advocacy for children in care
  • Support and training regarding (CIC) health issues to social care staff and foster carers and other health professionals
  • Provision of medical advice to adoption and fostering panels

CIC Contacts

Children in Care Health Team
Child Health Department
Pendragon House
Gloweth
Truro TR1 3XQ

01872 254590 or 01872 254515 (office hours)

Designated Doctor Children in Care

Dr Eleanor McCartney

Designated Nurse Children in Care

Liz Allan

Specialist Nurses – West Cornwall

Katie Gilbert
Hilary Trevarthen

Specialist Nurses – Mid Cornwall

Simon Boulton
Catherine Boyle

Specialist Nurses – East Cornwall

Sue Tett
Lydia Rawe

Specialist Nurse – Out of County Placements & Family Plus

Kate Rowland

Team Administrator

Marilyn Ashwin

Team Secretary

Dese Pearce

Clerical Officer

Karyn Brunger

Children’s social care

0300 1234 101 (9am to 5pm)
0300 1231 116 (out of hours)

Safeguarding Medical Service

The Child Community Health team provides medical support for the safeguarding of vulnerable children and young people. Our community paediatricians work closely alongside social care services and the police to provide timely medical advice, assessment and opinion to help protect the health, wellbeing and safety of children and young people.

RCHT subscribes to the South West Child Protection Procedures and is a core member of the Local Children’s Safeguarding Board.

The Children’s Safeguarding Medical Team

Named Nurse for Child Protection for RCHT

Wendy Perkin
01872 254551 or page via the switchboard on 01872 250000
Available Monday to Friday 9-5pm

Named Doctor for Child Protection for RCHT

Simon Bedwani
01872 252965 or page via the switchboard on 01872 250000

Named Midwife for Child Protection for RCHT

Teresa Phillips
01872 253013 or page via the switchboard on 01872 250000

Medical Advice Duty Doctor for Child Protection

Medical advice on safeguarding is available 365 days a year. The community paediatric team provide advice from 9am to 9pm on weekdays and from 9am to 1pm on weekends and bank holidays. The on-call paediatric registrar will be able to provide advice outside of these hours

Please call 01872 254552 Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm and Friday 9am to 4pm.

Please call the Royal Cornwall Hospital switchboard on 01872 250000 at all other times and they will put you through to the available team for advice.

If necessary, please discuss with the Named Nurse or Named Doctor (contact via switchboard on 01872 250000).

Children’s Community Therapy Service

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Children’s Community Therapy service provides an integrated therapy service for children who have physical or sensory difficulties, developmental delay, under-nutrition or excessive weight gain.

We have occupational therapists, physiotherapists and dietitians who deliver therapy in children’s homes, schools and from treatment bases in Truro, Penzance, St Austell and Redruth.

The Children’s Community Therapy Service is based at Dolphin House Child Development Centre at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. Dolphin House is also home to a wide range of professionals, including paediatricians, therapists and local authority professionals who all work together to provide coordinated care for children with atypical development and disability.

Physiotherapists

Our physios assess movement abilities and plan individual treatment programmes to encourage development and independence. We also show parents and carers how to carry out exercises and activities so that the child practices them regularly.

Referrals

We accept referrals from any health or education professional who knows the child or young person. If you would like to make a referral, please email: jane.jackson29@nhs.net.

Occupational Therapists

Our OTs assess functional and sensory needs and work with parents and carers to enable children to become as independent as possible.

This is likely to include a course of activities designed to increase range of movement, coordination and sensory awareness.

If you live in North or East Cornwall, these children’s therapy services are delivered by alternative providers.

Referrals

We accept referrals from a health or education professional who knows the child or young person. If you would like to refer a child, please email: jane.jackson29@nhs.net.

Dietetic service for disabled children

We provide dietetic support to disabled children, their families and the professionals who work with them. Our focus is on children diagnosed with a disability who are eating and/or drinking, and who are at risk of under-nutrition.

We provide individual dietetic assessment and treatment for children who meet the referral criteria and offer self-referral workshops for parents/carers. We can also point you towards information, advice and other services and offer training for professionals.

Referrals:

To refer a disabled child to the dietetic service, please email: jane.jackson29@nhs.net.

Dietetic service for overweight children

Our dietitians also work with young children (6 and under) who are significantly overweight as part of the tier 3 multi-disciplinary Lifestyles, Eating & Activity for Families (LEAF) Programme. To find out more about referral criteria please click here.

We also provides support and training for professionals working with children and families around weight management. For more information, or to make a referral, please contact us at LEAF.programme@nhs.net.