6.6.1 Health Care Assessments and Health Care Plans
This procedure applies to all Looked After Children. Note, however, that as from 3 December 2012, all children remanded other than on bail will be Looked After Children. Different provisions will apply In relation to those children/young people - see Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure, Section 8, Care Planning for Young People on Remand.
It summarises the arrangements that should be made for the promotion, assessment and planning of health care for Looked After children. Arrangements for health care assessments are made in conjunction with the Hackney and City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Looked After Children's Team.
This chapter should be read in conjunction with Statutory Guidance on Promoting the Health and Wellbeing of Looked After Children.
This chapter was amended in March 2013 to take account of children who acquire Looked After Status through being remanded to Local Authority or Youth Detention Accommodation (see above).
The purpose of Health Care Assessments is to promote children’s physical and mental health and to inform the child’s Health Plan.
1. Frequency of Health Care Assessments
The first assessment must be conducted before the first placement, or, if not reasonably practicable, before the child's first Looked After Review (unless one has been done within the previous 3 months).
Health Care Assessments must be conducted by a suitably qualified medical practitioner; who should provide the social worker with a written report (See Arrangements for Health Care Assessments)
- For children under five years, further Health Care Assessments should occur at least once every six months;
- For children aged over five years, further Health Care Assessments should occur at least annually.
If a child is transferred from one Looked After Placement to another, it is not necessary to plan an assessment within the first month. In these circumstances, the social worker should furnish the home with a copy of the child’s Health Care Plan.
If no plan exists, the social worker should arrange an assessment within a month of the placement so that a plan can be drawn up.
2. Who Carries out Health Assessments?The first Health Care Assessments must be conducted by a registered medical practitioner. Subsequent assessments may be carried out by a registered nurse or registered midwife under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner, who should provide the Social Worker with a written report (See Arranging Health Care Assessments)
The child's social worker should contact the Hackney and City CCG Looked After Children's Team by phone (0207 683 4252). This team will contact the foster carer or the children's home to arrange for a health assessment to take place with a suitably qualified health professional. Generally this will be a paediatrician but for older children (15 years and above) a nurse from the team will do the assessment unless there are specific reasons for the paediatrician to do the assessment.
In relation to children who are placed to far from the City and Hackney, the Hackney and City CCG Looked After Children's Team will arrange for the Health Care Assessment to be done by the foster carer or children's home GP.
Each Looked After Child's Care Plan must incorporate a Health Plan in time for the first Looked After Review, with arrangements as necessary incorporated into the child's Placement Plan (recorded on the Placement Information Record).
This Plan must be reviewed after each subsequent Health Care Assessment and at the child's Looked After Review or as circumstances change.