Self referrals on the increase in Devon

Over the past year more than 500 families self referred their child to services run by Virgin Care in Devon – saving time for GPs and other health professionals.

A parent or carer can refer their child to Devon Integrated Children’s Services without having to see a GP first.

Detailed self-referral guides and criteria are available on the Devon Integrated Children’s Services website to help people through the process. It does involve completing referral and consent forms and providing detailed information but this results in a high percentage of self referrals being accepted as the parent or carer has an in depth knowledge of the child and can explain the problem in detail.

Families can also access self-help toolkits online, with more than 1,500 downloaded in the last six months, which provide activities for parents to use at home. These can help address the child’s difficulties and collect vital information for the self-referral.

Virgin Care works closely with GPs and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators to encourage self referrals as they free up the busy GPs’ time and provide a service which families say they prefer.

Amir Qureshy, Head of Operations for Devon Integrated Children’s Services, said,We know that when parents or carers self refer they are more satisfied with the service they receive because they know their child better than anyone else and  our clinicians can then gather the information required to help us screen a referral more quickly and efficiently.”

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