Does your child struggle to access healthcare, such as doctor, dentist or hospital appointments?

At Angels we have found that many of our children can have problems getting the medical help they need, for lots of reasons:

  • They might find it hard to know or say when something is painful or they feel ill
  • They might find going to the doctors or other medical appointments really difficult and stressful
  • They may be afraid of being treated, doing blood tests or having xrays
  • They might find personal care, washing, haircutting etc, very difficult to do

This can mean that as they get older, if these difficulties aren’t addressed, there is a risk they won’t be able to keep as healthy as they could. We know that the health outcomes and life expectancy of people with autism, learning disabilities or other neurodiverse conditions aren’t as good as the rest of the population.

At Angels we have experienced many of these challenges as our own children have grown up and we know how difficult it can be to help our children to access healthcare. We have been funded by Herts Community Foundation to run a project to help support parents to improve their children’s access to healthcare.

We will:

  • Run workshops with practical tips on how to help your child to access healthcare, and information on knowing your child’s rights and asking for reasonable adjustments
  • Support you with appointments or other meetings that you might have with health professionals
  • Work with you one-to-one to help you develop strategies to support your child with specific needs relating to access to healthcare.

If you would like more information, or would like to book a one to one appointment, please use the form on the One To One page of this website.

Resources for Parents and Carers in case your child/ young person needs to access healthcare during the Coronavirus crisis

During the Coronavirus crisis, many parents are concerned about what will happen if their child with SEND, autism or ADHD is taken ill and needs to access healthcare or go into hospital. We have pulled together some key resources to try to support you and to help prepare for a situation where that might happen, to help things go as smoothly as possible.

It is a good idea to make a “Healthcare Passport” for your child, that they can take with them whenever they need to go to the doctors or into hospital.

There are some good examples of different versions online. Try this  Editable Hospital Passport  or this one which was developed by PinPoint in Cambs in partnership with Addenbrookes Hospital.

This excellent post from Steph’s Two Girls blog covers a number of aspects of preparing for a hospital stay, and includes some good templates for hospital passports

Stephs Two Girls Top Tips for hospital with a child with autism

If your Young Person is an adult with autism or a Learning Disability in Hertfordshire, they should have a Purple Folder – follow the link to find out more and request one. Health Services in Herts are trained to work with these.

There has been much concern from parents and carers that it will be difficult to support children and adults with SEND if they have to go to hospital with Covid-19, particularly around how reasonable adjustments can be made and family can support them. For children, the guidance for hospital staff is that parents can be involved in supporting their child in hospital. If your child/young person is over 16 you may have to request that you can stay with them as a Reasonable Adjustment because they have additional needs.

Nationally disability groups and parents have been very concerned about some recent guidance issued in the NHS around clinical decisions for frail patients with coronavirus. This guidance has now been updated to include clarification that the tool should NOT be used in certain groups including those with learning disabilities or with stable long-term disabilities such as cerebral palsy.
You can find information and the NICE update via these links:

The Council for Disabled Children has pulled together a great deal of useful information about accessing healthcare for children with SEND, including more template passports and links to specific NHS advice for staff on supporting children and young people with SEND. This can be found here