About health services in South Gloucestershire

Your child may have contact with different health professionals and services. It can help to understand how these services operate in South Gloucestershire so that your child or the rest of your family can access the right support.

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Universal health services

Universal health services are open to everyone, such as:

  • GPs (doctors)
  • dentists
  • pharmacists
  • optometrists
  • hospitals

The NHS website has a search function for you to find your local services, or you can use the tool below:

Targeted health services

These are services where you need to meet a criteria or have a significant level of need to access them. They can include:

  • community paediatricians
  • occupational therapists
  • speech and language therapists
  • referral to see a specific team within a hospital

How health services are commissioned 

NHS England commissions contracts for some specialist services with commissioning for GPs, pharmacists and dentist services delegated to Integrated Care Board.

In South Gloucestershire, the ICB operates across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire and is known as the BNSSG Integrated Care Board (BNSSG ICB).

As well as GPs, pharmacists and dentist services, BNSSG ICB plan and pays for local services such as:

  • planned hospital care
  • rehabilitative care
  • urgent and emergency care (including out-of-hours and NHS 111)
  • most community health services for children and adults
  • mental health services for children and adults
  • learning disability and/or autism services
  • GP services

 Find out more about the BNSSG ICB on their website

Responsibilities of ICB if your child has special educational needs

This section is only relevant if your child has special educational needs

The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced several new duties for ICB to:

  • commission services jointly with the local authority for children and young people (up to age 25) with SEND, including those with Education Health and Care plans (EHCP)
  • work with the local authority to contribute to the Local Offer of services available for children and young people with SEND
  • ensure that health providers inform parents and the appropriate local authority where they think that a young child under compulsory school age has, or probably has, SEN and/or a disability
  • have mechanisms in place to ensure practitioners and clinicians will support the integrated EHC needs assessment process
  • agree personal budgets, where they are provided for those with EHC plans

Joint commissioning arrangements for securing education, health and care provision must include arrangements for:

  • securing EHC needs assessments
  • securing the provision specified in EHC plans
  • agreeing personal budgets

Most children with special educational needs will not have an EHC plan but will have been identified as needing SEN support. It is therefore critical that ICB ensure that they have processes in place for meeting the health needs of all these children and young people.

Every Integrated Care Board (ICB) must provide a designated medical officer (DMO) or designated clinical officer (DCO). In South Gloucestershire, we have a DCO that plays a key part in implementing the SEND reforms and in supporting joined-up working between health services and local authorities. Learn more about the DCO in our directory of services