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Coronavirus - Changes to our services

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, some of our non-urgent services have been temporarily suspended and others are operating with reduced hours. Find out about service changes here.

Glossary of Terms

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In medical terms, Neuro-disability can be described as any restriction or lack of ability caused by injury, disease or disorder affecting the brain, spinal cord or muscles.

Developmental,sensory and physical disability

A mental, emotional, physical or sensory impairment that appears in infancy or childhood and involves a failure or delay in progressing through the normal developmental stages of childhood.

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions

A disability is a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term (year or more) and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Child Development Centre

A Child Development Centre is an assessment, treatment and support centre where specialist help is available for children in whom there are SIGNIFICANT developmental concerns. The Centre sees children under 5 years as at this age development can be assessed.

Many different professionals work together here, such as paediatricians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, play therapists and speech and language therapists from health, and educational psychologists and social workers from other agencies.


The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) process was developed for practitioners to use, gather and assess information in relation to a child’s needs in development, parenting, and the family environment. It is a key part of delivering early front-line services that are integrated and focused around the needs of children and young people.

The CAF is the standardised approach using a national assessment tool to conducting an assessment of a child's additional needs. It takes account of the role of parents, carers and environmental factors in the child's or young person's development, in deciding how to meet the identified needs.

A Team Around the Child (TAC) is a multi-disciplinary team of practitioners established on a case-by-case basis to support a child, young person or family. TAC supports coordinated joined-up working, information sharing and early intervention with the child / young person and family at the centre of the process.

Child Health Surveillance

Child Health Surveillance consists of a series of scheduled health promotion contacts including child health and development checks and routine immunisations consistent with national guidelines and policy. Currently this is carried out by following 'The Healthy Child Programme'.

Newborn Hearing Screening Programme

The NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) offers all new parents the opportunity to have their baby's hearing screened within the first few weeks of life. It is a core service within the NHS in England and one of many routine health checks for babies. The test uses quick and simple methods to check the hearing of all newborns.

Partial booking system

In a partial booking system, the first letter sent asks for contact to be made with the department to arrange a specific date and time for the appointment and a confirmatory letter of the appointment date and time will be sent nearer the appointment time.

Failure to make contact following the first letter will result in the patient being discharged back to the referrer and any appointment slot being given to someone else.

Was not brought

Definition - when a child was not brought to a scheduled appointment and there has been no prior contact by the service user to explain the reason for the non attendance.

Designated Doctor for Child Protection

The Designated doctor takes a professional and strategic lead on all aspects of the health service contribution to safeguarding children.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development
  • ensuring children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.

Unexpected child deaths

In instances of unexpected death in children and young people up to 18 years it is a legal requirement for Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) to have in place procedures to respond rapidly to the death. A multi-professional joint investigation is recommended with a rapid coordinated response reviewing the death in a systematic way.

What follows is a Child Death Review which may uncover ways of doing things differently that can help other children and families experiencing child death in the future and hopefully prevent further such child deaths.

Next review due: 1 September 2020