A to Z of Health Services


This page includes lots of useful information on local health services, sorted alphabetically.

Annual Health Check for people with a learning disability

People with a learning disability often have poorer physical and mental health than other people. This does not need to be the case. Annual health checks are for adults and young people aged 14 or over with a learning disability. You can ask your GP for your young person to be added to their Learning Disability Register. They will then be invited for an annual Learning Disability Health Check.

More information about Annual Health Checks can be found on NHS Choices.

Watch a short film about health checks, - find out what to expect and how to make sure your young person gets one. 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a medical diagnosis that can only be made by a suitably qualified medical professional.

In Cambridgeshire, this is provided for the NHS by the Community Paediatric Team for primary school-aged children and the child psychiatrist (CAMH) for secondary school age.  Referrals are through professionals working with the child: the school, a paediatrician or GP.

For adult (18 years and older) referrals you can contact Cambridgeshire’s NHS service


The Community Paediatric Audiology Service provides hearing assessment and advice for children for whom there is concern about hearing. They can assess children aged 9 months old to 16 years old and will require a referral from your child’s GP, Health Visitor, School, Paediatrician or Speech Therapist. For those who are 16 years or older, the GP can assess and refer to services as needed. 

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Social Communication Difficulties

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people communicate and interact with the world. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are developing an All-Age Autism Strategy. Autism is diagnosis that can only be made by a suitably qualified medical professional. Children who do not have a diagnosis of autism may be diagnosed as having Social Communication Difficulties. 

In Cambridgeshire, this service is provided through the NHS by the Community Paediatrician or Clinical Psychologist for preschool and primary school-aged children 0 -11 years and the Child psychiatrist/psychologist (CAMH) for secondary school age, 11- 18 years. Young people over the age of 18 will be referred by their GP to adults’ mental health services and Cambridge Lifespan Autism Spectrum Service (CLASS)

Behaviour Support

Help with managing behaviour is one of the top topic’s parents tell us they want to have better information on, and support with. There are lots of things to try that can make a really big difference – some are quick wins, and some take longer to work.  There is no magic wand that fixes things but by trying different approaches you may make things easier for your child and for you / your family.

It starts with trying to work out what happens and when, before then working out what things make the behaviour disappear, more manageable or worse.  Some things work all the time and sometimes you’ll need to adapt as your child changes.

Talk to your child’s nursery or school– they will be able to help with advice and can access additional support from education and health services if needed. Many schools work closely with Family Workers who can offer one to one support and advice.  They can help you to explore what is working and what else you might try. If you have a health visitor or paediatrician, they will be able to offer advice and support too.

Early Help is a free Cambridgeshire County Council service that helps families who need a bit of extra support. You might be worried about your child's behaviour or development. Or you and your family might experience some changes or difficulties that you can't manage by yourself. Whatever you are worried about, Early Help can support you and your family so that small problems do not become big problems.

  • The professionals who know you will assess the needs of your family using an Early Help Assessment. This will help you to get your support as quickly as possible.
  • It is a voluntary process. You choose whether to be involved and can withdraw from the process at any time. Sometimes, children and young people can make their own decisions about whether they need an Early Help Assessment, and who they want to support them.

If you think you and your family might benefit from some support, you should ask a professional who you know. This could be your doctor or a teacher at your child’s school. They can tell you more about Early Help.

You can also contact the Early Help Hub: early.helphub@cambridgeshire.gov.uk or call: 01480 376 666 (office hours). If you don't know who to ask for help.

Sometimes a professional may approach you and ask whether you would like to talk about Early Help and how it could help your family.

Pinpoint run free workshops for parent carers each month in term time, many of which feature managing behaviour:

Cambridgeshire’s Child and Family Centres run free courses too.

Cambridgeshire County council also offer a range of courses for parent carers.

Chewing, biting and issues with mouths

Some children may seek extra sensory input using their mouths – biting and chewing items can be part of this.  Some may have weak muscles and struggle to bite and chew.  Some children have a desire to try to eat things we would not think of as food e.g., soil, chalk. – we call this Pica.  If your child has issues like these talk to your GP who can decide on the right type of help. Those of 18 should also talk with their GP if there is an issue. 

Community Nursing

For those under 16 years of age, the children’s community nursing team offers specialist nursing support to families who have children or young people with nursing or medical needs in the home or other community setting e.g. a school.  

The team also has specialist nurses and nursery nurses who have experience and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Acute care
  • Asthma
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Complex needs
  • Enteral feeding
  • HIV
  • Oncology
  • Palliative care
  • Tuberculosis.

The team endeavours to care for children at home to reduce hospital admissions and minimise the length of stay whenever it is safe to do so.

The service operates seven days a week, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. Weekends and bank holidays, 9 am to 5 pm.

Tel: 0333 4050079

For those who are 16 years or older, the GP should be able to refer you to the District Nursing Team if needed.

Community Paediatricians

The Community Paediatric Service assesses and manages children (0-18 years) who live in Cambridgeshire who has significant problems with development and or disability. The service provides a wide range of medical advice, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and support services in the following areas:

  • Children with developmental concerns including potential Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnoses
  • Children in special schools requiring medication or other treatments during the day
  • Medical advice for Education Health Care Plans
  • Safeguarding children, child protection, and children in need

Benefits from this service include:

  • Maximizing the health of children
  • Medical problems are identified and addressed at the earliest opportunity
  • Children are supported to remain in education
  • Children's safety and well-being is protected
  • Children, young people, and their families are enabled to lead independent lives

    Referrals to the service are made by the GP
Continence Support

Some children struggle to become dry and clean – toilet training can be a struggle, or a new pattern of wetting and soiling happens.  You can talk to your GP, health visitor, or paediatrician and ask for help and advice.  Cambridgeshire has a paediatric continence service for children aged 4-19.  How to make a referral to the service.

For those who are older, there is an adult service.  


The NHS will provide any clinically necessary treatment needed to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy and free of pain. You can find your local dentist here.

You're entitled to free dental care if you are:

  • aged under 18, or under 19 and in qualifying full-time education
  • pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months
  • staying in an NHS hospital and your treatment is carried out by the hospital dentist
  • an NHS hospital dental service outpatient – but you may have to pay for your dentures or bridges

You're also entitled if you or your partner – including civil partner – receive, or you're under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving:

  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Universal Credit and meet the criteria

If you're entitled to or named on:

  • a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate – if you do not have a certificate, you can show your award notice; you qualify if you get Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits with a disability element (or both), and have an income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less
  • a valid HC2 certificate

People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.

Some children and young people’s health needs mean that they struggle to access ordinary dental services. The special care dental service. provides a comprehensive range of activities to improve the oral health of children and adults who have a physical, sensory, intellectual mental, medical, emotional or social impairment or disability, which makes routine care in general dental practice unsuitable or impractical for their needs.

Patients are only accepted by our special care dental service on referral from General Dental Practitioners. Referrals are subject to eligibility criteria, which can be found here. If you have any queries, please call us on 0300 555 6667 and press option 2.

Disability Living Allowance

See Welfare Benefits.

Drugs, alcohol and substance abuse

Support is available for anyone with a drink or drug problem. If you need help your GP is a good place to start. They can discuss your problems with you and get you into treatment. You can call your GP practice as usual for an appointment. The NHS website has lots of information that can help. There is also help available through the organisations below

Telephone helplines:

  • Drinkline provides free advice and support, on 0300 123 1110
  • FRANK provides free information and advice on drugs, and information on where to get help, on 0300 123 6600
  • the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) helpline, if there are worries about a child or young person, on 0808 800 5000
  • The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa), on 0800 358 3456
  • Childline provides advice for anyone under 19, on 0800 1111


Dyspraxia or Developmental Co-ordination Disorder

Developmental coordination disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a condition affecting physical coordination. It causes a child to perform less well than expected in daily activities for their age and appear to move clumsily.

DCD is thought to be around 3 or 4 times more common in boys than girls, and the condition sometimes runs in families.

If you're concerned about your child's health or development, talk to a GP or health visitor, or speak to a nurse, doctor or special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) at your child's school. If necessary, they can refer your child to a community paediatrician, who will assess them and try to identify any developmental problems. If you are older than 16 years talk to your GP.

Eating issues

Some children may have difficulties with feeding from birth - difficulties taking milk, allergies, or reflux, for example. These may be a result of physical needs and most can be addressed with changes to milk, advice, and minor medical procedures. Some issues may be longer-term, and some may be life-long: some may require medical procedures or ongoing medical support.

Some children do not develop eating issues until they are older. For some, moving onto solid foods is when it shows, and again it is often a physical need that is seen. As children grow, they take more control of their eating, and some disorders are seen during this stage - this could include what children choose to eat, how they choose to eat, and when they choose not to eat. Sometimes the eating is part of a wider need that you can see through food and sometimes it's only food-related. It can be a physical need or an emotional mental health need.

If you have concerns then talk with your child’s GP, health visitor, or paediatrician. Young people can seek their own referrals over the age of 17 or 18 through their GP. Those who need specialist services may be referred to Dietetics, Nutrition, and to services for specialist equipment and other related support.

If your child's eating and drinking suddenly stops or becomes very restricted or becomes unwell, please seek immediately medical advice from the GP or NHS 111 to ensure they are safe and well.


If your child is experiencing discomfort or uncertainty about their gender identity, and it's causing distress, it's important they talk to an adult you can trust.

Options include parents, who may be much more supportive than you expect. Schools and colleges are now much more aware of trans and gender identity issues, are keen to support young people, and have a duty to do so.

If your child doesn’t feel able to talk to someone they already know, there are several charities and local gender support groups they can talk to. Many have trained counsellors they can speak to in confidence. You can find a list of charities and support groups here.

There is NHS help available for teenagers who need support around gender.

If you have strong and continuing feelings of identifying as a gender that is not the one you were assigned at birth, and are distressed about this, there are various options available. These include talking therapy and hormone treatment and, after 18 years of age, surgery if appropriate.

Your GP, other health professionals, school, or a gender support group may refer you to the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

This NHS service specialises in helping young people up to the age of 18 with gender identity issues. It takes referrals from anywhere in England. Its principal clinics are in London and Leeds.


Genetic testing – sometimes called genomic testing – finds changes in genes that can cause health problems. It's mainly used to diagnose rare and inherited health conditions and some cancers.

You may be offered a genetic test because:

  • your doctor thinks you might have a health condition caused by a change in 1 or more of your genes
  • someone in your family has a health condition that's caused by changes to genes
  • some of your close relatives have had a particular type of cancer that could be inherited
  • you or your partner have a health condition that could be passed on to your children

If you have any questions, talk to your doctor about having a genetic test. 

The Cambridge Rare Disease Network supports families, children, and young people. There is also a Cambridge Babies and Children with Downs Syndrome Group.

Global Developmental Delay

Global Developmental delay is a name (‘diagnosis’) given by doctors when a child has not reached two or more of their developmental milestones at an expected age. The term ‘delay’ is misleading as it is uncommon for children to simply ‘catch up.

Most children with GDD continue to have difficulties as they get older. Children are often diagnosed with learning difficulties/disabilities when they start school. Please make sure you speak to the SENCO at your child’s school if you have concerns about your child’s support/ progress. 

If you continue to have concerns you may ask your GP for more advice and they make refer you to a community paediatrician. 

Health Checks

See Annual Health Checks.

Healthy Lifestyles

Everyone Health has partnered with Cambridgeshire County Council to provide healthy lifestyle support to people living in Cambridgeshire. It is a free service for Cambridgeshire residents who are looking to make changes to their lifestyle. Whether you want help to quit smoking, lead a more active lifestyle, lose some weight, or simply take advantage of the NHS Health Checks on offer, Everyone Health – alongside Cambridgeshire County Council – can help you. 


There are a number of hospitals across our region, and beyond, some offering universal services and other with specialist services and known as being leaders in certain medical fields, like heart surgery or children’s plastic surgery. When you are referred to services that are in a hospital you will be sent to the right clinic in the right hospital for your child’s needs. This may be your nearest hospital, but it can sometimes mean you need to travel further to the hospital to offer what is needed.

We have three hospitals in Cambridgeshire:

Addenbrookes in Cambridge

Hinchingbrooke in Huntingdon

The Rosie (Maternity) in Cambridge

Royal Papworth (Heart) in Cambridge

You may live nearer hospitals outside of Cambridgeshire and be referred there:

Peterborough City in Peterborough

The Queen Elizabeth in Kings Lynn

Or be referred to a hospital with a specialist hospital or unit such as

Great Ormond Street is one of 30+ children’s hospitals in the UK.

Hospital Health passports

Hospital passports can also help with visits and hospital stays but make it easy for the adults who will meet your child during their visit to understand their special educational needs and disabilities at a glance.

Pinpoint, Cambridgeshire’s Parent Carer Forum, worked with parents and Addenbrooke’s Hospital to create an Additional Needs passport for children and young people attending the hospital. There are child and adult versions. Download the Addenbrooke's Hospital passport

There is also a general healthcare passport template.  Use it at hospitals, clinic visits, or GP appointments. Or keep a spare for holidays or one in the car glove box in case of emergency. Download a general Healthcare Passport

Hospital Learning Disability Nurses/Advisers

Most of our children will be treated locally and the local hospital’s Learning Disability Nurse / Advisor will be able to offer help and answer questions.  Learning Disability Nurses understand the needs of people who have a learning disability and/or autism, and also understand how hospitals work.

Nurses/Advisors can work with the hospital to help you get the care, treatment, and tests you need. Learning Disability Nurse Easy read document with further information and contact details. 

Hospitals - getting more help

If you need help and advice about your treatment in the hospital, contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

Most hospitals have their own PALS contact you can approach.

Housing and health

If your child’s health needs mean that your home needs to be adapted, then there is help available.

Your local council offers a service that assesses your home and recommends changes to help. Having a home assessment is free.

Your Local District Council has grants to help pay to adapt homes for disabled people.

Cambridge City Council

East Cambridgeshire District Council

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Huntingdonshire District Council

Fenland District Council

These changes can be small or big and include:

  • fitting a stairlift or a banister on the stairs
  • adding a bath lift, walk-in shower, or a rail you hold to pull yourself out of the bath (grab rail)
  • widening doorways
  • lowering kitchen worktops
  • putting in an outdoor ramp or step rail
  • security, such as outside lights and intercom systems

The assessment might also recommend household equipment and gadgets to make life easier.

If you, or someone you know, needs help to do everyday tasks or you're worried about falling, ask social services for a home assessment.

You can call your local council or do it online.

If you are in social housing and changing health needs mean you need extra space for equipment don’t forget to tell your local district council housing team as they may help with finding a home with more space for the adaptations your family needs or which better suits your child’s health needs. If your housing association's home conditions make a health condition worse, you should also alert your housing association and local district council team and ask for help to address the issue.

You may be entitled to welfare benefits to help towards the additional housing costs associated with your child’s needs.

Life-limiting needs and palliative care

If you have been told that you or your child may not get better, you might also have heard about palliative care. Palliative care is for people living with a terminal illness where a cure is no longer possible. It's not just for people diagnosed with terminal cancer, but any terminal condition. It’s also for people who have a complex illness and need their symptoms controlled. Although these people usually have an advanced, progressive condition, this isn’t always the case.

Palliative care aims to treat or manage pain and other physical symptoms. It will also help with any psychological, social, or spiritual needs. Treatment will involve medicines, therapies, and any other support that specialist teams believe will help their patients. It includes caring for people who are nearing the end of life. This is called end-of-life care.

The goal is to help you, and everyone affected by your diagnosis to achieve the best quality of life. You might receive palliative care alongside particular treatments, therapies, and medicines, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Marie Curie has a suite of Easy Read booklets about palliative care.

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) supports families and cares for children and young people, 0-18 years, with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, and North, Mid and West Essex. Their family-centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management support, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies, and counselling; all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person, and whole family.

Their hospices aren’t just about end-of-life care; they’re often very happy and fun places, where young people can live life to their full potential. They are places where families feel safe, at home, and where they can spend quality time together, enabling parents to be parents, not caregivers. When time is short, they help families make the most of their precious time together.

EACH offers care to families with children and young people who:

  • live in North, Mid and West Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Peterborough, and Cambridgeshire
  • have a condition with no reasonable hope of cure and from which they may/will die in childhood or early adulthood
  • have a condition (or are diagnosed with a condition in the antenatal period) for which curative treatment may be feasible but can fail, such as children and young people with cancer and for babies born where intensive care has been deemed inappropriate and those with post-natal conditions which result in the baby experiencing unbearable suffering in the course of their illness or treatment.

Families can self-refer, or be referred by a health professional, by contacting the hospices by telephone (-1223 815100), email (ipswichadmin@each.org.uk), or via the website.

Mental Health Services and Support

Mental Health Crisis

CPFT have a First Response Service (FRS) for people of any age who are distressed, worried about their mental health or experiencing something that makes them feel unsafe. It provides 24-hour access, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to mental health care, advice and support.   Find out more about the First Response Service.  

Find out more on the mental health page.


If your child has medium or long term mobility issues then you may need extra with the costs getting to a from appointments, If you are using mobility-related services you may get help towards additional costs and be eligible for welfare benefits including Disability Living Allowance, grants such a Family Fund, the Motability Scheme and the Blue Badge scheme.  

Neurodevelopmental disorders, neurotypical and neuro-diverse

Neurodevelopmental disorders are disabilities in the functioning of the brain that affect a child's behaviour, memory, or ability to learn including, dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism. Neurodiversity is a term that refers to the natural differences between people and was coined in the late 1990s by Judy Singer, an Australian sociologist.

It can be compared to terms such as race, culture, class, and gender and is useful to describe people with varying characteristics and behaviours of neurodevelopmental conditions alongside the “neurotypical” majority in a non-prejudiced way. This can be helpful as it’s a more positive way of thinking about these as differences rather than deficits. Many people who are not neurotypical or neurodiverse have significant strengths and talents because of not seeing and processing the world in the same way.

Occupational Health

The Children’s Occupational Therapy (OT) service helps children and young people (CYP) participate in normal everyday activities such as play, participation in school/nursery as well as managing personal care (dressing, bathing, getting on and off the toilet and getting in and out of the bath). They support children between 0-18 years old, and those up to 19 years of age if attending special school provision.

Find out more on the ??? page.

Orthotics and Prosthetics Service

Cambridgeshire’s Service is offered from Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Referrals will be through GP and specialists, but should you need follow up advice and care you can contact the service for support. 

Passports for Health

See Health Passports.

Pinpoint Cambridgeshire

Pinpoint is the Parent Carer Forum for Cambridgeshire. We support parent carers of children and young people aged 0 -25 years with additional needs or disabilities. As a parent carer forum, we enable the Local Authority to fulfil its statutory requirement to listen, engage and work together with parent carers for the benefit of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families.

Pinpoint offers support and signposting to services for parent carers through regular Tii Hub drop-ins. They offer a wide range of workshops and information sessions, most of which are online, and are free to attend. They can be booked via Pinpoint’s website.

Personal Independence Payments

See Welfare Benefits.


Paediatric physiotherapy is the assessment and support of children and young people from birth to 18 years (19 years for some young people in specialist education). They work with the child/young person (CYP), their family and others supporting the child or young person to encourage each individual to get the most out of their lives, and fully develop their potential.

Find out more on ??? page.


Prescriptions will be free until a young person becomes 16 (or 18 if they are in full-time education). If you receive Universal Credit, this is extended to 20. They will continue to receive free prescriptions as an adult if they have the following medical conditions:

  • A permanent fistula (for example, a caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy) requiring continuous surgical dressing or requiring an appliance
  • a form of hypoadrenalism (for example, Addison's disease) for which specific substitution therapy is essential
  • diabetes insipidus or other forms of hypopituitarism ▹ diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet alone
  • Hypoparathyroidism
  • myasthenia gravis
  • myxoedema (hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone replacement)
  • epilepsy requiring continuous anticonvulsive therapy
  • a continuing physical disability that means the person can't go out without the help of another person
  • undergoing treatment for cancer, including the effects of cancer/treatments.

Although many young people with special needs experience delays in achieving developmental milestones, puberty usually occurs at the same age and involves the same changes as typically developing children.

It is normal for all parents to feel anxious about this stage of their child’s development.

Parents may worry about hygiene, period management, emotional meltdowns, emerging sexuality, masturbation, and inappropriate touching of others. They may also have fears about the increased risk of sexual abuse and the possibility of casual sexual relationships, pregnancy, and STIs.

Parents may also be concerned about how their child will cope emotionally with puberty changes and their emerging sexuality, now and in the future.

Parents and young people can investigate support from their local GP or Cambridgeshire’s NHS icash service. Our section on Sexual health may also be useful.

Sensory Impairment - hearing and sight loss

The term sensory impairment encompasses visual loss (including blindness and partial sight), hearing loss (including the whole range), and multi-sensory impairment (which means having a diagnosed visual and hearing impairment with at least a mild loss in each sense, or deafblindness).

The Health Services for children with sensory impairment is provided at the Child Development Centre by a Multi-Disciplinary team of Community Paediatricians, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Physiotherapists. This health service works closely with the Sensory Impairment Service provided by the Local Authority as part of the SENI team.

More information can be found on ??? page.

Sensory Processing Differences and Difficulties

When a child doesn’t respond in the way they are expected to, it could be because they are finding something too intense or overwhelming and they just can’t cope. Alternatively, it could be that they need even stronger sensory activity to get the message from their senses. There are 5 senses that you will probably know: Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch, but there are also 3 more - Vestibular (movement and balance) Proprioception (body awareness), and Interoception (how our body feels inside).

Cambridgeshire’s Children’s Occupational Therapists have the skills to identify an individual’s sensory strengths and differences and their impact on daily activities as part of their assessment of a person’s occupational performance.

The Cambridgeshire Children’s Occupational Team does provide help to support Sensory Integration and some useful resources to support sensory differences.

SCIP and SCIP card - Special Needs Community Information Point and Card

SCIP (Special needs Community Information Point) is a Cambridgeshire County Council information and advice service for families with 0–25-year-olds with a disability or additional needs. By joining SCIP you get

  • SCIP Card
  • Activities Passport
  • Email updates on local events and activities
  • Information booklets on local activities/support by area
  • Request information specific to your child
  • Carers Magazine
  • The SCIP coordinator can also be contacted for information specific to your family's needs. 

Join here

The SCIP card can help to show that your child/young person has a disability or additional need. You need to be on the SCIP Database to get a SCIP Card.  It can be used:

  • as proof that your child /young person has a disability
  • if they need to use facilities provided for disabled people
  • if you need to ask for assistance.


Size: 50KBFile format: pdf

Sexual Health

If you're looking for contraception, treatment for sexually transmitted infections, HIV care, and treatment or related advice in Cambridgeshire, icash NHS can help.

Icash has created three bespoke hubs across the county, bringing all aspects of sexual health under one roof. They also have three smaller clinics.

Icash also works with Terrence Higgins Trust, which provides community outreach services including free condoms, Chlamydia screening, and sexual health advice and signposting. They offer routine sexual health screening; you can order a kit and it will be delivered to your door in plain packaging. Then complete the test and pop it back to us freepost. if you can't order a kit online, please call us on 0300 300 3030.

Pinpoint’s Preparing for Adulthood parent group has worked with charity DHIVERSE in Cambridge, which runs  a sexual health and relationships programme specifically for people living with a learning disability or difficulty and their parents and carers.

DHIVERSE runs a six-week ABC programme for young people with LDs to help them develop skills around Awareness, Balance, and making Choices concerning relationships and sexual health. The programme covers:

  • Understanding relationships
  • Being assertive and communication skills
  • Keeping safe and taking risks
  • Staying safe online and in the community
  • Sexual Health
Sight Tests and Glasses

All children will get their eyesight checked as part of the free NHS checks at different ages including when they start school. - these are intended to ensure children don't slip through with unnoticed sight issues. But you don't need to wait for those - if you are worried you can get a free check done. Getting a professional (optician/ optometrist/ophthalmologist) to look at your child's sight and check what they can and can't see is easy and free. And the professionals can do sight tests even on children who can't yet read or don't know their alphabet - they get a different test that works for their age. And it even works if they have difficulties talking, following instructions, or concentrating.

Book an appointment with your high street optician. Children with exceptional needs: Local opticians will usually have specially trained staff who can advise whether they can do a test given your child's needs - they should be able to meet the needs of most children and babies. If they cannot meet your child's needs, request a referral from your GP or the optician to a specialist service at the hospital.

Sleep Service

Children often experience short spells when sleep patterns change but prolonged sleeplessness, broken sleep, or falling asleep at inappropriate times should be talked through with your child’s GP to check what’s going on.  Cambridgeshire also has specially trained sleep practitioners who can work with families to help overcome sleep issues such as night waking, trouble settling to sleep, night-time routines, and challenging behaviour at bedtime.

You can call them 01480 379 800

Email: Community.SupportServices@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

The service can advise young people too but over 18-year-olds should ask their GP for advice. 

Speech and Language Therapy (SALT)

The aim of this service is to provide comprehensive packages of care for children and young people up to school leaving date who have difficulties with speech, language, communication, and/or swallowing. 

Find out more on ??? page.

Suicide - help for individuals and families

CPFT has a First Response Service (FRS) for people of any age who are distressed, worried about their mental health, or experiencing something that makes them feel unsafe. It provides 24-hour access, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to mental health care, advice and support.   Find out more about the First Response Service.

Find out more on the Mental Health page.

Welfare Benefits

Having a child with health needs can mean you need to pay for extra help, do more caring for your child, do more washing, need extra equipment and pay costs for travelling to medical appointments.  Whilst some things you do for your child will be the same as those parents do for a child of a similar age, there may be additional things you do because of your child’s health needs.  You or your child / young person may be entitled to additional welfare benefit support. 

Many of the welfare benefits do not take into account what you earn or your family income – they look at what the needs are.  Contact a Family has information that covers all welfare benefits that may be applicable.  

Find out more on ??? page.

Wheelchair services

NHS Wheelchair Service

The NHS wheelchair service is for residents currently registered with a GP in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS CCG areas, and who meet the NHS Eligibility criteria for the provision of wheelchairs. AJM Healthcare is the appointed NHS Wheelchair Service Provider. The service will provide you with all NHS wheelchair services, including:

  • clinical assessments
  • specialist seating
  • delivery
  • repairs and maintenance
  • collection when the wheelchair is no longer required

A wheelchair assessment establishes your clinical needs, and a prescription is made for the right wheelchair for you. Your assessment will take place at our wheelchair clinic in Huntingdon, or at home or another appropriate location, i.e., school or health care setting.

If you are using this service you may get help towards additional costs and be eligible for welfare benefits including Disability Living Allowance, grants such as a Family Fund, the Motability Scheme, and the Blue Badge scheme.

Variety Wheelchair Service

Registered children's charity Variety provides funding for wheelchairs. This service is for a child or young person under the age of 18 living with a disability or long-term health condition.

Related Pages

  1. Health
  2. SEND Health Services Overview
  3. Universal Health Services
  4. Specialist Health Services
  5. Life limiting needs and palliative care
  6. Commissioning Health Services


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