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Additional needs

Health and wellbeing

Devon County Council and the NHS work together to improve the health of all people in Devon and to ensure that everyone has equal access to their healthcare services. The way that different services in Devon work together can seem complex but it shouldn’t be complicated for families. Health professionals that are working with you can advise you where to get the help that you need.

For young people trying to move from child services to adult services the process can become a bit fragmented at times. The ‘Pathways’ team provides a point of contact and specialist information to help this process. For more information visit the Pathways page on this website.

If you can’t find the information you need on this page, visit the NHS Choices page for reliable health information and guidance on all aspects of health and healthcare.

For more information on care packages available for people with significant ongoing healthcare needs please read the Continuing Health Care (CHC)- an easy read guide.

Transitioning to adult services

If you have long-term healthcare needs, then healthcare professionals will start talking about the transition into adult healthcare services from the age of 14.

The Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust (RD&E) and the Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust use the ‘Ready, Steady, Go, Hello’ pathway to help young people, aged between 14 and 18, prepare. Discussions cover what will stay the same and what may change, and they will talk to you about your worries or concerns about your healthcare. These should link together with discussions that other services may also have with you about the transition, for example as part of you EHC plan.

‘Pathways’ helps young people make the transition between children and adult services. For more information visit the Pathways page on this website.

For more information you should speak to the healthcare professionals already involved in your care.

Types of support

Clinical Commissioning Groups

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are NHS organisations that are responsible for planning, buying and developing the health services for local patients in order to improve their lives. All of the GP practices in each area are members.

CCGs do not directly provide services to their local area. They work together with local councils and public health teams to understand the needs of the people in their area, what will be most valuable in providing those services, gaps in the service and how to make it more accessible and effective.

The groups buy a number of key services from local providers and aim to make the best of these resources and public money to support children and young people.

The main providers of health services for children and young people in the area are NHS Foundation Trusts, Community Hospitals and Children and Family Health Devon. Devon County Council offers all our providers the opportunity to place an entry on Pinpoint Devon to describe what they offer.

CCGs can also buy services for a small number of children and young people individually. This can either happen when their needs meet continuing healthcare criteria or they have a clinically-identified health need that is not met by the services that already exist in the local area.

For more information visit the Devon CCG website.

Personal health budgets

Who can have a personal health budget?

If you are under the age of 18 and meet the children’s continuing healthcare criteria you can request a personal health budget. The funds will go directly to your parents and not to the CCG purchasing department like normal.

If you are over the age of 18 and have a disability or a complex medical problem, you might qualify for free NHS continuing healthcare (CHC). The eligibility criteria are different and so you will need a different assessment.

What can the personal health budget be used for?

The aim of the budget is that children, young people and their parents or carers will have greater control over the healthcare that they receive. It is aimed to build on the support already offered through existing services in the local area and to achieve outcomes agreed on with the child or young person’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC).

How do I apply for one?

If you think that you may be eligible for a personal care budget, you can discuss this with someone who already provides you with healthcare. This could be a nurse or a physiotherapist for example.

You can also contact:

  • South Devon and Torbay CCG on 01803 652 500 and ask to speak to the joint commissioning team
  • Devon CCG on 01392 205 205 and ask to speak to the joint commissioning team

Health check ups

Young people between the ages of 14 and 17 who have a learning disability are eligible for an annual health check. This is an important opportunity to discuss both their physical and mental health with their GP and build relationships to help ensure their future good health. Please read this letter for more information about annual health checks for young people with a learning disability. 

This toolkit from the Royal College of General Practitioners collects guidance and resources to help GPs, practice nurses and the primary administration team organise and perform quality Annual Health Checks on people with a learning disability.

People with learning disabilities are ten times more likely to have a significant sight problem so they should get their eyes checked regularly. Please read this leaflet for information about getting your eyes checked.


If you are concerned that a child is being abused please call

0345 155 1071

or email

If it’s an emergency call 999

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