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Caring for children in the community

This page was last updated: February 1st, 2023

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

Consultant Paediatricians

Complex Children North East Cornwall & Complex Care Coordinator

Dr Rahul Bharat

Designated doctor for Children in Care and Adoption Advisor, Clinical Lead for Community Child Health

Dr Gina Clarke

Complex Children West Cornwall & Hearing Lead

Dr Elen Evans

Complex Children Mid Cornwall & Designated Medical Officer for Special Educational Needs

Dr Rebecca Garland

Complex Children Mid Cornwall

Dr Julia Harvey

Neurodisability Pathway

Dr Jo Lewis

Eating Disorders, Adolescent Children in Care & Transition Lead

Dr Natasha Sauven

Neuromuscular Lead, Complex Children South East Cornwall & Named Doctor for Child Death Review

Dr Gemma Trays

Associate Specialist/Specialty doctors

Mid Cornwall Specialty Doctor

Dr Erika Gleeson

Mid/West Speciality Doctor

Dr Jyothi Gundabolu

West Cornwall Associate Specialist

Dr Rachel Pegg

Mid/East Specialty Doctor

Dr Melinda Pyne

Medical Secretaries

Clarissa Jacobs
Secretary to Dr Julia Harvey, Dr Elen Evans, Dr Rahul Bharat and Dr Rachel Pegg
01872 254516

Sian Hyland
ASDAT Co-ordinator and Secretary to Dr Jo Lewis and Dr Melinda Pyne
01872 254520

Liz Taylor
Secretary to Dr Gemma Trays, Dr Rebecca Garland, Dr Erika Gleeson and Dr Jyothi Gundabolu
01872 254518

Our Community Child Health Services

Neurodevelopmental Service

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.

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 in hospital settings, child development centres and special schools.

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 email
GPs should refer through E referral Service (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 works to improve the health and wellbeing of children in Cornwall who are in local authority care or who are placed outside of Cornwall by Cornwall Council.

Effective partnership working is crucial to prioritising and improving the outcome for all children in care.

What we do

  • Arrange statutory health assessments for children in care
  • Develop health recommendations and action plans
  • Safeguarding / advocacy role for children in care
  • Support and training on CIC health issues for social care staff, foster carers and other health professionals
  • Provide medical advice to adoption and fostering panels

Contacts for Children in Care Health Team

We’re based in the Child Health Department at Pendragon House, Royal Cornwall Hospital.
01872 254590

Named Nurse Children in Care
Lydia Rawe

Specialist Children in Care nurses
Katie Gilbert (West)
Hilary Trevarthen (West)
Susan Harvey ( Mid)
Clare Pickering (Mid)
Caroline Pick (East)

Two vacancies

Administration Team

Barbara Thompson and her team

Designated doctor Children in Care (KCCG / RCHT)
Dr Gina Clarke

Designated nurse Children in Care ( KCCG)
Liz Allan

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 Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Safeguarding Children Partnership.

The Children’s Safeguarding Medical Team

Named Nurse for Child Protection for RCHT

Wendy Perkin
01872 25 5748

Leigh-Anne Reardon (specialist safeguarding nurse)
01872 255748 or page via the switchboard on 01872 250000

Available Monday to Friday 8-5pm

Named Doctor for Child Protection for RCHT

Katheryn Ecclestone
Page via the switchboard on 01872 250000

Named Midwife for Child Protection for RCHT

Bernie Dolan, Suzie Williams and Sarah Hawke (specialist safeguarding midwife)
01872 25 5748 or page via the switchboard on 01872 250000

Available Monday to Friday 8-5pm

Medical Advice Duty Doctor for Child Protection

Medical advice on safeguarding is available 365 days a year. The community paediatric team provide advice from 7am to 7pm 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 25 4552 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm or if outside these hours, call the Royal Cornwall Hospital switchboard on 01872 250000 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 (CCTS) 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 and therapists, who all work together to provide coordinated care for children with atypical development and disability.


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.


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:

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.


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:

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.


To refer a disabled child to the dietetic service, please email:

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.

We also provide support and training for professionals working with children and families around weight management. For more information, or to make a referral, please contact us via email at

Referral Criteria:

  • Child under the age of two with significant weight concerns.
  • Children over two years old, should be >3.33sd for BMI. (If you would like to discuss a child below this e.g. if they have a co-morbidity or underlying cause then please contact the LEAF team to discuss)
  • They ask that most children will have worked with their health visitor or school nurse for at least six months prior to being accepted into the clinic.
  • It is essential that at least one parent/guardian attend the clinic appointments with the referred child. Other adults that are involved with the child’s care e.g. grandparents, are also invited to attend.

To make a referral, please click here (Temporarily unavailable)

Find out more about Healthy Cornwall.

CCTS Video’s

MABC pre assessment can be found here: MABC introduction video

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