Lescaze Office, Shinners Bridge, Dartington, Totnes TQ9 6JD Lizzie Cann, Children in Care nurse for southern Devon, 07976 880 123 VCL.DevonChildrenInCare@nhs.net

Welcome to your local children and young people in care health service in the south of Devon

We are a small dedicated team of qualified nurses with a special interest in the health and wellbeing of children and young people in care.

Our nurses  have a sound knowledge base and  range of essential skills that ensure that  we can respond to the health needs of children and young people in care.

More about us

We are dedicated to providing every child with the best care and every clinician has undertaken specific training in relation to the health needs of children and young people in care. We undertake statutory health assessments to identify the health needs with appropriate and timely action to meet those needs.

We offer young people choice around where they would like to be seen for their health assessment, best time for them and who they would like to be with them.

We provide evidence-based support and health promotion (directly or via referral / signposting) to children and young people in care and any other professional working with them. We also provide advice and support to parents /carers. We are committed to listening to and respecting the views of children and young people in our care and to making a positive difference to their lives.

We work in partnership with young people, carers, other health professionals and the local authority to assess, interpret and identify unmet health needs of children and young people in care and those about to leave care. We formulate a health plan to meet those needs. We work holistically to ensure young people have access to the best possible health advice and services, tailored to meet their individual needs.

We will:

  • Provide introductory leaflets of our service to parents /carers when children and young people enter local authority care;
  • Be a health contact for children / young people, parents, foster carers and social workers
  • Be advocates for children and young people in care
  • Liaise with other professionals involved in the care of the child or young person to share information and promote positive outcomes for them
  • Refer to other agencies or teams in full consultation with child / young person (age appropriate)

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the Government’s health watchdog, responsible for ensuring that healthcare services registered with it provide high quality care that is safe, effective and compassionate. The CQC inspected our service in June 2017 and rated it as ‘good’. View CQC report.

Where do children have appointments/review assessments?

Children under five will generally be seen for their review health assessments in the home by their health visitor. Children, over five and young people up to 18 will be seen annually for their health assessment by their school nurse or children in care nurse in a variety of settings.

For review health assessments, your local public health nurse or children in care nurse will contact you by telephone to make a convenient appointment to meet with you.

We offer young people choice as to where they would like to be seen, the best time to meet and who they would like to be with them.

Following a referral for support work, one of our nurses will contact you by phone to arrange a good time to meet with you, to address any concerns  you may have. We will assess and identify the health need and agree a plan of care with you and or your parent / carer.

What happens at a review health assessment appointment?

Qualified nurses will review any identified actions from the previous health plan, discuss general health, check height and weight and discuss any worries or concerns you or they may have. It is helpful to bring dates of dentist, optician or other appointments with you. We provide advice and information on the child’s development, emotional health and health promotion. This may include immunisation, substance misuse, sexual health advice and access to local services. An updated health plan will be agreed for the child / young person and / or carer.

How long will the appointment take?

Each appointment is dependent on your child’s needs, so appointment times will vary, however, most tend to be about one hour long. This may also be influenced by the child / young person and how they engage with their health discussion.

Who can attend an appointment with a child/young person?

Young children often depend on those looking after them to be present for their appointment. Older children may prefer to attend on their own and we offer choice about who they would like to be with them. Sometimes our staff may request for another professional to be present. If you are uncomfortable with this, please contact us to discuss.

Bringing someone with you to your child’s appointment

You are welcome to bring someone with you to your child’s appointment. Sometimes our staff may also request to have someone present for an appointment. If you or the member of staff is uncomfortable with the person, we’ll reschedule to a later date when the correct person is available

How do I cancel or change my child’s appointment?

If you and your child cannot make the appointment, please contact us as soon as you can. This will enable us to use the time to arrange an appointment for another child.

How do I refer into the service?

We accept referrals from other professionals via telephone or written referral in either letter format or via  referral form from the service requesting the support the referral will need to be sent by area specific location i.e.  Southern: Lescaze office, Eastern: Capital Court, Northern: Capital Court.

When you make a referral, please ensure that you include a comprehensive account and rationale for your referral.

Children and young people can self refer into our service by telephoning their local children in care nurse team

Parents / foster carers can refer into our service by telephoning  their local children in care nurse team. 

How soon will children be seen?

When children enter local authority care, they will be offered an initial health assessment by a suitably qualified medical practitioner. At these assessments a health plan will be developed and agreed with the child / young person and / or carer.

This assessment will be reviewed by one of our specially trained nurses. For children under five, review appointments will be offered every six months. For children over five, the review appointments will be offered every year.

How will I get feedback about my child?

Keeping you involved in your child’s care is important to us. We’ll keep you updated on your child’s progress either face-to-face or in writing. You and your child / young person (age appropriate) will receive a copy of the health plan. If this does not happen please contact your social worker or children in care nurse.

Who will treat my child?

Our team is dedicated to providing every child with the best care we can and every clinician has undertaken specific training.

Every member of our team has to provide evidence of their registration, training and criminal records status before they can work with any children / young people.

Alternative formats

We offer all leaflets in alternative formats.

Your child’s records

We record all the information about your child confidentially on our clinical system.

Click here to get more information about how we use health records.

Our commitment to you and your child

Virgin Care takes you and your child’s dignity and privacy very seriously and we will at all times respect your confidentiality.

Please treat our staff with respect so we can provide you with the very best care we can.

Click here to find out more about your rights and responsibilities.

Your opinion really matters to us

Please let us know if you have a comment, a compliment or a complaint by filling out one of our feedback forms or telling a member of the team.

Alternatively, if you would like to make an official complaint you can find out more from our How to make a complaint section by clicking here.

Find out more

I was treated with great care and understanding. The care I received was second to none; everyone was so lovely.

Sapphire Ward, Gravesham Hospital