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Public Health. 1993 Mar;107(2):101-6.

Children with disabilities and the Children Act: who will assess their needs?

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Child Development Centre, Northampton General Hospital.


The Children Act focuses attention on meeting the assessed needs of children with disabilities. General practitioners (GPs) and Community Child Health (CCH) doctors in one health district were asked by postal questionnaire who it was who currently assessed such needs and who would do so in the future. The involvement of GPs (15) varied from none (1) to regular reassessment (3). Nearly all (14) treated acute illnesses but educational assessments were assigned to CCH doctors. Community doctors (9) had a clearer idea of their role including regular reassessment (9), education assessment (9) and interagency liaison (3). Both groups complained of poor communication with each other and with hospital services. To fulfil the requirements of the Children Act, community child health services, family health services authorities and district health authorities will have to specify how and by whom children with disabilities are identified and assessed. Arrangements will vary according to local service development. These arrangements, and the resulting liaison with other agencies, should be specified in National Health Service contracts, thus improving communication and cooperation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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