Welcome to Devon Children With Additional Needs Service (Southern)
We provide a range of services for children who have or may have additional needs.
More about us
Our services include children who have or who may have one or more of the following:
- Speech, language and/or communication difficulties
- Learning disability
- Physical disability and/or complex health needs
- Sensory disability
- Autistic spectrum conditions
A brief description of the services we provide is given below. If you need further information, please contact our teams listed below.
We provide an advice, assessment, intervention and support service for children who have a range of disabilities, disorders and additional needs that prevent them from carrying out the activities of everyday life.
It is for children who have difficulties in two or more functional areas such as self-care, school work, accessing play and leisure.
We provide advice and information, assessment and interventions including group work, individual work with a child and the identification and provision of equipment and adaptations.
Our nurses and psychologists provide a specialist community learning disability service which includes advice and support to families and to other professionals.
It includes behavioural, sleep and toileting assessments, working with children who have severe learning disability – including children who also have autism – developing community and school based programmes of support.
Referrals will be considered if the child is identified as having a cognitive impairment which is severe or profound and which limits educational and practical development.
Speech and language therapy
Our speech and language therapists provide a range of services from universal prevention and training to targeted assessments, intervention and training.
Assessment and therapeutic programmes include services for children with language/speech disorders or delay, disorder in fluency (stammers), disorders of voice, and feeding and swallowing difficulties (dysphagia).
We also provide an early years service to normally developing children with specific speech, language and communication needs and can support early years staff.
We also provide specialist help for children with learning difficulties, physical disability, autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, hearing impairment, cochlear implants, and maxilla-facial disorder including cleft palate.
We work closely with education and use information from Speech Link and Language Link to support contact from primary schools.
Please note that services to children living in south Devon are provided by South Devon Healthcare Trust.
Our portage service is a preschool education service which works in partnership with parents and carers to maximise preschool learning and development for children who have significant disability or delayed development.
Early years support advisory teachers work with education settings to support inclusion and successful transition to school.
Specialist child assessment centres (SCACs)
These are multidisciplinary specialist centres where children under five with significant and/or complex difficulties may be assessed. Our specialist centres work in close collaboration with professionals from other organisations, including paediatricians and educational psychologists.
Our multidisciplinary team works with families and carers to assess children’s difficulties, and then to develop an on-going treatment and management plan.
We have two centres:
- Highfield House in Barnstaple and
- Honeylands in Exeter
Our two centres provide the following care:
- Specialist assessments
- Interventions which may comprise advice, treatment and therapies
- Therapies – physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy
- Parent peer support programmes e.g. early bird
- Specialist clinics – wheelchair clinics, orthotic clinics and joint feeding assessment clinics, sleep clinics, orthoptic clinics and joint orthoptic and optician clinics
- Specialist medical clinics – community paediatric clinics run by the consultant paediatricians and their team and
- A safe, inviting environment including a toy library – open to any child with special needs (open during school term time) and a sensory room
Please note that centres for children living in south and west Devon are provided respectively by South Devon Healthcare Trust and Plymouth Hospitals Trust.
Children’s community nursing service
We provide a children’s nursing service in eastern Devon; this service provides community care for children who have medical or nursing needs. Services in other areas of Devon are provided by the relevant hospitals.
Our northern Devon integrated team includes a children’s community nurse who works with children who have a disability.
Our children’s palliative care nursing service covers the whole county and provides services for children who have life-limiting illness. This team works closely with all children’s community nursing teams.
Autistic spectrum conditions
Assessment of children who may have an autistic spectrum condition is carried out by multidisciplinary teams of professionals, including some who work for Virgin Care (including nurses and speech and language therapists) and others who work for other organisations (e.g. educational psychologists and paediatricians).
Children and young people are referred into our service when they are suspected of having autism. We assess children and young people and provide advice regarding support after their diagnosis.
Social care services
The following services provided by Devon County Council are part of our multidisciplinary teams:
- Social work teams for children with disabilities (these teams include social workers and community care officers);
- Rehabilitation officers for visual impairments (ROVICS); and
- Information officers
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 regularly inspect many of our services, click here for the latest report for this service.
Devon Children’s Services website
For more information, advice and toolkits please visit our website.
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.