Children's community health services
Most children who have a health condition or disability will have their needs assessed or met within the community health services. This page explains the different types of professionals and services and what they do.
Children’s community health services provide high quality services to children and young people for chronic illness, behaviour, mental health and developmental difficulties within the local community.
Together, the following organisations provide all the community child health and child and adolescent mental health services for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire which is known as the Children's community health partnership (CCHP). It includes:
The CCHP has a website that explains their service to families.
Here are some of the health professionals that you and your child may come into contact with.
Health visitors: Work with families with children aged 0 to 5 years. They can offer more support to families and children with additional needs. They can refer your child to other agencies.
School nurses: Support school-age children and look after their physical and emotional health. They give advice to parents, children and young people on health and lifestyle choices. They are responsible for telling the school when a child has been identified as having a medical condition. They advise on what support will be needed in school.
Speech and language therapists (SLT): Give support with communication difficulties, language impairment and speech disorders.
Occupational therapists (OT): Help children and young people with difficulties they have related to fine and gross motor skills, organisation, attention, behaviour and communication.
An occupational therapist can help with therapeutic techniques, adapting the environment and identifying specialist equipment.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS): They provide assessments and treatments for children and young people who have serious mental health problems.
Community paediatricians: Your GP and wider health team may refer your child to a paediatrician or for Early help. Paediatricians are experts in the health and development of children, particularly those with developmental disabilities.
Community physiotherapist: Children’s Community Physiotherapists are specialists in the assessment of physical development and abilities of babies, children and young people from birth to 19 years.
Specialist equipment: Specialist equipment is available for children with a disability or additional needs. This equipment can be used at school or nursery.
Assessments are normally carried out by your child’s physiotherapist, occupational therapist or speech therapist.
Child disability services: A range of professionals across Children’s Community Health Services work together to provide a multi-disciplinary service for diagnosis, assessment and ongoing support for a child who has a:
developmental delay or learning disability
sensory impairment that impacts significantly on motor function
social and communication difficulties e.g. autism
diagnosis associated with developmental difficulties e.g. down syndrome
Wheelchair services: Bristol Centre for Enablement (BCE) is a specialist NHS service that provides wheelchairs and wheelchair seating for long-term mobility needs.