Complex Needs (CN) Team
What do we do?
The Complex Needs Team is made up of a Consultant Paediatrician (Children’s Doctor), a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, a Specialist Occupational Therapist, a Specialist Physiotherapist and a Specialist Teacher from the Specialist Inclusion Support Service (SISS) Multi-Sensory Impairment Team. More information about the team can be found here.
The team work together offering a comprehensive package of care, including joint assessments and interventions for children within groups or on an individual basis. We are committed to supporting families through diagnosis and offer child and family focused sessions, working in partnership with parents/carers, providing education, therapy and specific advice on feeding, positioning, sleeping, physical development and learning.
The service offers an integrated and coordinated approach for children using a holistic ‘Team Around the Family’ approach.
Who is the service for?
The Complex Needs Team work with children aged 0-5 years with complex difficulties or significant delay across multiple areas of their development, requiring intervention from multiple services.
How to make a referral
Parents, Children’s health professionals, GPs and those working in children’s pre-school settings can make a referral using the SPECIALIST ASSESSMENT SERVICE REFERRAL FORM. It is advised that, prior to making a referral, you discuss your concerns with health or educational professionals your child is known to or your GP.
Children must have a Solihull GP to access this service. If a child has a GP from a neighbouring area then parents should contact their GP in order to access an assessment in their area.
A child must be under 5 years of age at the date of referral.
Children must require involvement from a paediatrician plus a minimum of four areas of moderate-severe in need from the following areas;
- Gross motor development
- Fine motor development
- Communication/language development
- Dysphagia (feeding/drinking difficulties)
- Multi-sensory impairment (e.g. hearing, vision)
Those children who fall outside this criteria should be referred to individual community services and/or SISS as appropriate to their needs. This may include some of the following services;
- Community Speech and Language Therapy (including dysphagia support)
- Community Occupational Therapy
- Community Physiotherapy
- Community Paediatrics
- Specialist Inclusion Support Service
Waiting for your assessment
Once a child’s referral is received by the Specialist Assessment Service a panel of professionals will decide if it is an appropriate referral.
If a child is not accepted they will be referred on to the most appropriate service and the parent/carer and referrer will be informed.
What happens at the assessment?
You will have an initial conversation with a member of the team. From this, we will make a plan for your child’s assessment.
Prior to your multi-disciplinary assessment your child may be assessed by individual members of the team.
The multi-disciplinary assessment is usually held at Chelmsley Wood Primary Care Centre and takes approximately 90 minutes. The child will need to attend with their parents/carers. During this assessment, the Paediatrician, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist and Specialist Teacher are usually present.
At the end of the assessment a plan will be agreed with parents/carers and intervention sessions, group or individual, will be offered as required.
Resources for parents and carers
The following resources may be useful to parents/carers of children referred to the CN team before, during and after their assessment.
Support for carers
- Carers Direct: part of the NHS Choices website. It provides a gateway to comprehensive sources of information for carers. Helpline: 0300 123 1053
- Contact: a UK-wide charity providing advice, information and support to the parents of all disabled children – no matter what their disability or health condition. Helpline: 0808 808 3555
- Carers Trust: Work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenge of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems. They provide access to respite breaks, information, advice, education, training and employment opportunities. Head office: 0844 800 4361
- Solihull Young Carers
Local Support Service
- Solihull SENDIAS (Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support): offer support for children and young people with SEND and their parents/carers. The vision for the service is that children and young people with SEND, and their parents/carers, will be more aware of their entitlements, the options available and will be able to make informed decisions. Information, advice and support for children and young people with SEND and their parents/carers will be impartial, free to access, accurate, confidential, comprehensive and easily accessible/understandable.
- Solihull Local Offer: a website about services and support for children and young people with disabilities or special educational needs.
- Solihull Family Information Service
Benefits and Allowances
- Disability Living Allowance: this benefit is for your child. It is not means tested. There are three rates: low, middle and high.
- Cerebra offer a downloadable step by step guide on how to complete the DLA form
- Dial UK and Citizens Advice provide benefits advice
Supporting your child
- How to make a referral
- Waiting for your assessment
- What will happen at the assessment?
- What happens after the assessment?
- Service Feedback from Children, Young People and Families
- Pathological Demand Avoidance
- About the Specialist Assessment Service
- Resources and Information for Children, Young People and Families
- Assessment Outcomes
- Complex Needs (CN) Team