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Health advice - children with additional needs

Health advice - children and young people with additional needs

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Here you can find health advice and support for children with additional needs.

Royal Berkshire Hospital 

Royal Berkshire Hospital is the main hospital for Berkshire. It has lots of outpatient and clinic services. Visit the  Royal Berkshire hospital website to find out more about their services.

Royal Berkshire hospital also publish lots of their easy read guides to make their services easier to understand. Visit the Royal Berkshire hospital website to see the guides.

Other nearby hospitals

If a child or young person has more complicated needs they may be referred to a specialist at another hospital. The most common are below:

Support in hospital 

Royal Berkshire hospital has a learning disability coordinator. You can visit the learning disability coordinator web page to find out more.

The Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) has other services designed to make visits and stays more supportive and easier for people with learning difficulties and disabilities. Visit the Royal Berkshire Hopsital website to find out more. 

The patient advice and liaison service provides advice and support for patients and carers. Visit the Berkshire Healthcare website to find out more.

Paediatric services

This service covers all areas of health and development, and offers treatment and care in hospital, in the community and at home. Paediatric Clinics are held at some hospitals and schools. See below to find out more: 

Some children who have long term conditions find going to school more difficult.

Go to the support in school page to find out more.

The first point for contact should be your GP. If you're not already registered you can find GP surgeries near to you on the NHS Choices website.

Health visitors

If your child is under 5 they will have a health visitor. They provide support and advice during the first 5 years of your child's life. Find out more on the Berkshire Healthcare website.

Dingley's Promise

This brings together various professionals who offer treatment and support to children with additional needs, from birth to 18 years. 

The centre also runs a therapeutic playgroup in Reading, Wokingham and Newbury where children can learn to be part of a group and professionals can observe children as part of their ongoing assessment.

Children can be referred through a GP, health visitor or paediatrician.

Visit the Dingley's Promise website to find out more.

The nursing team provides nursing services to children and young people aged up to 18-years-old (or 19 if still in a special school), with complex health needs and learning difficulties.

Visit the Berkshire healthcare website to find out more.

If you're having mental health problems, you are not alone. One in four of us will have problems with our mental health at some time in our lives.

Go to the emotional and mental health page to find out more.

Children and Young People’s Integrated Therapies (CYPIT) work with children up to the age of 19 and their families, giving them the help they need to achieve the outcomes they want.

They provide:

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Dietetic services for children

Visit the Berkshire Healthcare website to find out more

A Continence Advisory Service is based at Wokingham Community Hospital and specialises in giving help and information about continence problems. A clinic is held in the outpatients department. 

Visit the Berkshire Healthcare website to find out more

If your child is using nappies or clinical waste is produced as a result of any additional needs, you can contact us to make arrangements:

Some children have conditions that mean they are unlikely to reach adulthood. Families need special help and support to come to terms with the situation, and to cope with the demands of caring for a very sick child.

Hospice care

Hospices have developed considerable expertise in working with children and their families, and are often able to offer a variety of support services including outreach and respite care.

Many families will also receive support from PINS or Community Nurses at some stage during their child’s treatment. Speak to your paediatrician for more information.

The following hospices provide short breaks and palliative care for children aged from birth to 18 years.

The below hospices provide short breaks and palliative care for children aged from birth to 18 years. Visit their websites to find out more:

Other support

The together for short lives website provides information for carers, and campaigns on behalf of families to obtain better provision and support.

Contact a Family website gives advice and support to families caring for children with disabilities, specific syndromes and health conditions. It holds information on over 1,000 rare syndromes and disorders, and can put families in touch with each other.

You can find out about conditions and treatments on the:

Easy read guides

The Mental Health Foundation have produced easy read guides about lots of conditions and treatments. 

Visit the Mental Health Foundation website to view the guides.

Find health services


Support for conditions and disabilities

Find support from the organisations below:

The services below work towards improving health services:


Berkshire Transforming Care Programme

The aim of the Berkshire Transforming Care Programme is to make a real difference to the lives of local people. This includes making community services better so that people can live near their family and friends, and making sure that the right staff with the right skills are supporting people.

Transforming Care is a national plan, locally there will be different organisations working together to make the plan happen. For example, local authorities, CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) and Learning Disability Partnership Boards.

In October 2015 a report called ‘Building the right support’ was published. It said that local areas should work together to make a plan to improve services and support for people with a learning disability and/or autism. And that people and families should be involved in co-producing their plans and checking them.

Read the building the right support report by visiting the NHS England website.

The group making sure Transforming Care happens in Berkshire is a partnership board. They meet once a month. They look at everything that is happening nationally and in Berkshire, and check the work is being done well. They have written a Berkshire Transforming Care Plan.

To read the Berkshire regional plan and to find out more information go to the NHS Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group website.

Care and Treatment Reviews

Care and Treatment Reviews (CTRs) are for people with learning disabilities, autism or both who are in hospital because of a mental health problem or because their behaviour is seen as challenging. It is also for people living in the community who might need to go into a learning disability or mental health hospital because we know some people may need to go into hospital for short periods. People of all ages can have a CTR.  For children and young people it also includes their learning needs. This is called a Care, Education and Treatment Review, or CETR. Care and Treatment Reviews are part of Transforming Care. 

For further information on what care and treatment reviews are go to the NHS England website 

Local Transformation Plan for children and young people's mental health and wellbeing

In 2015 the Government wrote a report, called Future in Mind, about why changes in mental health services for children and young people are needed. Using this and the things you told us in 2014 the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) along with ourselves, Reading and West Berkshire Local Authorities came up with a plan for making mental health services for children and young people in Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire much better.

To find out what has been done to make things better and what still needs to be done, read the Local Transformation Plan for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing summary (PDF document).

Find out what happens to your health care when you're 18 on the becoming an adult - health web page.

The EasyHealth website also produces lots of useful easy read guides and videos on health related subjects

The NHS South of England picture of health website has easy read guides on a variety of health topic.

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