Our looked after children service provides health services for looked after children from birth to 18 in North Tyneside and Northumberland.

Looked after children are children and young people who are cared for by the local authority. The majority of looked after children are cared for by foster carers or family members other than their parents. A small number of children are in residential homes.

Health assessments

When we first meet a child, our paediatricians and specialist nurses carry out an initial health assessment which tells us what health services they need. This includes their physical and emotional needs. After the initial assessment we carry out follow up assessments twice a year for children under 5 and annually for children aged 5-18.

The initial assessment takes place on Tuesday afternoons at the Riverside Health Suite in North Tyneside and on Wednesday mornings at Child Health in Wansbeck General Hospital. In special circumstances we can do assessments in alternative venues to better meet the child’s needs. The follow up assessments take place in the venue the child or carer requests (usually at home).

We work with Northumberland County Council and North Tyneside Council Children Services to provide health services including health assessments and monitoring.

Who you might meet

We work very closely with everyone involved in the care of looked after children such as GPs, nurses, health visitors, and mental health workers. We also work with anyone involved in looking after the child’s health. This includes family members, foster carers, and social workers and it’s beneficial for them to come along to the initial assessment.

Health care plans

After the first health assessment we develop a health action plan for the young person – this puts in place specific support to help improve their health and wellbeing.

The plan could include a schedule of visits to hospital, the GP or other healthcare professional. It also helps to co-ordinate all the health services, and ensures the child receives all the help they need.

Preparing for adulthood

When a child is between 16 and 18 years old and is assessed as requiring continued support when they become an adult, we work with them to complete a ‘health passport’. This is a document which includes information on the child’s birth details and immunisations. It includes practical one to one support, where our specialist nurses work closely with the child to introduce them to the adult health services in the area they live including community health services such as health centres and where necessary hospital services. This could even include accompanying them to appointments.

You cannot self-refer to the service. We accept referrals from Northumberland County Council and North Tyneside Council Children Services. We will carry out the initial assessment in 20 working days of a referral.

Confidentiality for our looked after service is extremely important. We listen very carefully to the children and young people and discuss their healthcare concerns with them.

We would not discuss a young person’s health issues with someone else if they allow us to do so, or if we think that not doing so would place them at risk of harm.

You can contact us Monday to Friday 9am-5pm at:

Riverside Health Suite

LAC Health Team

Robin RoomRiverside Children CentreMinton Lane

North Shields

NE29 6DQ

Telephone 0191 643 8368/8369

Child Health SuiteWansbeck General HospitalLAC TeamWoodhorn LaneAshingtonNE63 9JJ

Telephone 01670 564 057

You can find out more about council looked after children services

Northumberland County Council

North Tyneside Council