The Children’s Community Paediatrics Team consists of paediatricians who provide high quality specialist care in the assessment of developmental disorders and disability. The service provides statutory health assessments of looked after children and input for children with complex health care needs. Other services provided are leadership responsibility for SEND, safeguarding and looked after children.
This website is designed to give you an insight into the care that the team provides and what you should expect from this service.
Whether you’re visiting us for diagnosis and/or treatment, our team of specialists are here to support you. Please use the links on this site to find out more about what we do and how to access our services.
Who are Community Paediatricians?
Community Paediatricians are doctors who have specific expertise in assessing children with neurodevelopmental difficulties such as delayed development, ADHD, ASD, Various Syndromes etc.
Why has my child been referred to Community Paediatrician?
We do not accept referrals without informed parental consent. We expect that your child’s referrer will have discussed the reasons for referral with you before sending through documentation to us. If you are unsure why your child has been referred please contact the person who made the referral for clarification.
Why would my child need to be seen by a Community Paediatrician?
- Children with complex health needs and disability
This includes diagnoses such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome, other genetic syndromes and many others. The diagnosis may have already been made by another doctor before we see your child but often our team is involved in the identification of the cause of underlying difficulties. Children with these diagnoses typically need specialist input in more than one area of their development and general health. Community paediatricians provide medical input and may take a lead (with parents) in holistic planning for your child’s needs.
- Children with neurodevelopmental disorders
This includes diagnoses such as autistic spectrum disorder, developmental coordination disorder, learning difficulty, and many others. Children with these diagnoses are typically physically healthy, but have difficulty in gaining skills in a range of developmental areas. These areas include language skills (speaking, listening and reading), physical skills (writing, riding a bicycle), social skills (friendships, family relationships), academic achievement. Community paediatricians provide a medical perspective and explanation to families and staff from other organisations. We aim to foster understanding of an individual child’s strengths and areas of need. We may advise on strategies that may help, that have scientific evidence to support their use. We may make referrals to other health professionals.
- Medical advice on child protection and safeguarding children
Community paediatricians have broad and specific knowledge and experience of child protection and safeguarding. We are sometimes asked to give our opinion on a child’s health and wellbeing, and some of our team carry out ‘safeguarding medicals’ on request by social services. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children depends on effective joint working between professionals that have different roles and expertise.
- Medical advice on the impact of health problems in educational settings
If a child has health or developmental needs that are impacting on their education, community paediatricians may be asked to share information about the child with the school and also the education authority. Parents will be asked to provide consent for this. Children may also be assessed by a community paediatrician if the education authority has decided to initiate an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This is usually a one off appointment to complete a profile of the child’s health and developmental needs and how this impacts on their education.
- Statutory medicals for children living in special circumstances e.g. children looked after by the local authority and medical input to the adoption process
Community paediatricians assess children who have recently come into the care of the local authority, to ensure that their health needs are met. Parents or people with parental responsibility will be asked to provide consent for information about the child to be shared between community paediatricians and the local authority.
Where do Community Paediatricians work?
We work as part of a wider child development team which includes occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, and have close links with preschool educational advisers.
The child development teams are based at one of the three Children’s Centres:
Peace Children’s Centre, Watford
Pat Lewis Child Development Centre, Hemel Hempstead
St Albans Child Development Centre, St Albans
We may sometimes also see your child in their nursery or school. We also work closely with heath visitors, school nurses, community children’s nurses, audiology, social care, nurseries and schools, hospital paediatricians, and children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health services.
Contact the Service
Tel: 01923 470600 (Peace Children's Centre, Watford)
Tel: 01727 891100 (St Albans Children's Centre, St Albans)
Tel: 01442 275683 (The Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead)