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2.5 Health Care Assessments and Plans


  1. Health Care Assessments
  2. Health Care Plans
  3. Designated Link Worker

1. Health Care Assessments

Each child should have a Health Care Assessment soon after being placed and then at specified intervals; as set out below.

The purpose of Health Care Assessments is to promote children's physical and mental health and to inform the child's Health Care Plan (which may be a separate plan or may be incorporated in to the Child’s Care Plan) and ensure that the placement meets the child's holistic health needs.

Health Care Assessments must be conducted by a suitably qualified medical practitioner; who should provide the social worker with a written report.

  • The first assessment must be conducted before the child’s first placement, or if not reasonably practicable, before the child’s first Looked After Review - unless one has been conducted in the previous 3 months;
  • For children aged over five years, further assessments should be at least annually;
  • Health Care Assessments must be conducted more frequently where the child’s health needs dictate.

The Social Worker is normally responsible for ensuring that Health Care Assessments are undertaken, but this responsibility may be undertaken by the home. However, information from LAC medical assessments is given to the Social Worker only (according to Health Authority guidelines). It is the responsibility of the Social Worker to share this information with staff in the home to ensure Health care Plans are met.

See - Confidentiality Policy.

In order for the assessment to be conducted, it will be necessary to ensure the Consents section of the child's Placement Plan has been completed and signed by the parent or a person with Parental Responsibility.

2. Health Care Plans

Each child's Placement Plan, drawn up by the Home, must include the health care needs for the child and how they will be promoted by the Home.

Additionally, each Child must have a Health Care Plan (which may be part of the Child’s Care Plan or may be a separate Plan) drawn up by the Placing Authority/Social Worker.

The initial Health Care Plan should be drawn up in time for the first Looked After Review, after a Health Care Assessment has been undertaken. The Health Care Plan should then be updated after each Health Care Assessment or as circumstances change.

The matters that should be considered in drawing up the Health Care Plan (and addressed in the Home’s Placement Plan as necessary) are as follows:
  1. Whether there are any specific health care needs - and how the home will meet them;
  2. If it is agreed that Paracetamol or other painkillers can be used to provide relief for headaches, menstrual or other pain; also whether there are any restrictions;
  3. On the use of non-prescribed medicines, Home Remedies or use of first aid;
  4. The involvement of the child's parents or significant others in health issues during the placement;
  5. Any specific medical or other health interventions which may be required, including whether it is necessary for any Invasive Procedures and how they will be undertaken;
  6. The extent to which the child is able to retain or administer medication, or requires support to do so;
  7. Whether it is necessary for any immunisations to be carried out;
  8. Any specific treatment or Therapeutic Interventions, strategies or remedial programme's required;
  9. Any necessary preventative measures to be adopted;
  10. Whether the child has parental consent to smoke and any measures agreed to reduce the behaviour;
  11. Whether there are any illegal or other activities including self harming which it is known or suspected the child is engaged in which may be harmful to the child's health, and the interventions/strategies to be adopted in reducing or preventing the behaviour;
  12. Whether the placement will contribute to any other health related assessments;
  13. Whether the home will contribute to any health monitoring.

3. Designated Link Worker

One of the key responsibilities of the child's Keyworker will be promoting his/her health and educational achievement, liaising with key professionals, including the Looked After Children (LAC) Nurse Specialist, the child’s GP and dental practitioner.

The Social Worker will also ensure that up to date with information is kept on the child in relation to his/her health needs, development, illnesses, operations, immunisations, allergies, medications prescribed, dates of appointments with GP's and specialists.

The Keyworker will ensure that all information relating to the child’s health (appointments and outcomes) with G.P, Optician, Dental practitioners and others is recorded in their ‘Health Fax’ (a personal record for the young people to keep when they leave care) as well as their local file at the home. They must also ensure this information is given to the Social Worker who is responsible for entering it on the ICS system.

The Keyworker must also ensure the child is registered with a GP and other health care professionals as set out in Health Notifications and Access to Services Procedure.

Also see Key/Linkworker Responsibilities Procedure.