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Local NHS services which are part of the SEN Local Offer in Merton

There is a lot of detailed information about the individual services offered by the NHS in Merton on this website. This summary is intended to describe who provides the services, how they work together, and how they can be accessed.

How do health services for children with disabilities or special educational needs work?

NHS Merton Clinical Commissioning is a GP-led membership organisation responsible for planning, buying and monitoring local health services, including community health services for children.

Merton CCG works in partnership with local NHS hospitals, community services, mental health services, pharmacies, dentists, Merton Council and the local community to improve health and wellbeing, reduce health inequalities and ensure people in Merton have equal access to high quality healthcare services. 

In order to support children who have disabilities or special educational needs, the CCG works closely with Merton Council to develop integrated care plans that look at the health and educational needs of each child.

How can I get help from health services if I am concerned about my child’s development?

There are a range of local health services that can support you if you have concerns or questions about your child’s development.

Your first point of contact should be your GP. They can put you in touch with a number of local support services.

If your child is below school age, you can contact a Health Visitor, tel 0330 053 9264, or if your child is at school, support is available from the School Nursing service that operates across Merton.

These health professionals may be able to deal directly with any concerns you have regarding your child’s health or they may decide with you that they need to refer on to a specialist service.

Specialist Services

Merton CCG commissions services to support families and children who have disabilities or special educational needs. The services are provided, in the main, by NHS Trusts and you will usually need a referral from your GP or other health professionals as they are not open access.

1) Community Paediatric Service

This service is provided by Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust and is in several distinct parts:

  • Community Paediatricians are very specialist experienced children’s doctors who assess local children referred by their local GP because they need help regarding developmental delay or specific medical conditions.
  • The Community Paediatricians also provide medical assessments of children who are newly ‘looked after’ by the London Borough of Merton. They also provide advice to the assessment process for Education, Health and Care Plans.

Details from Epsom and St Helier NHS website can also be accessed directly at

2) Community Therapy Services

These services are provided by the Royal Marsden NHS Trust and more detailed information on individual services is available on this website, they include: Occupational therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy and some Community Nursing services.

3) The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Merton is provided by St Georges and South West London NHS Trust. This is a specialist service provided by psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health nurses, details of the services they provide is set out elsewhere in this website. The service operates from a base in Mitcham, Birches House, Birches Close, Mitcham CR4 4LQ.

This is not an open access service and access is normally through your GP or a mental health worker in your child’s school.

4) NHS Continuing Care

A very small number of children have health needs which cannot be met by the usual range of NHS services. Some of these children may have life threatening or life limiting conditions (often affecting their ability to breathe).Children with this level of health needs may be eligible for NHS Continuing Care, which means that they may receive an individually designed health care support ‘package’, often provided in their own home. Their needs are assessed by the Children’s Community Nursing Team, which is part of the children’s service at Epsom and St Helier Hospital.

How do the NHS services work together with London Borough of Merton and local schools?

All of the local NHS organisations work together with the London Borough of Merton whether they plan services (CCGs), or provide services (NHS Trusts). This means that local services should provide an integrated service so that your child can be supported in the best possible ways.

If your child is identified as having a disability or special educational need, the aim will be for a team of health, education and care professionals with a range of different skills to work you and your child and provide support for as long as it is required.

Depending on the needs of each individual child, the NHS part of the team could include paediatricians, therapists, clinical psychologists, dieticians and specialist nurses such as health visitors, school nurses and community nurses. They aim to provide the most appropriate care to each child by looking at how their condition impacts on all parts of their life, as well as supporting the family.

Health professionals also advise education services on the overall health and wellbeing of children, as well as how to manage medical conditions in schools.

Information reviewed May 2018

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