NHS Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG) have appointed Designated Clinical Officers (DCO’s) who work across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. In North Somerset the Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) is Liz Jarvis.
The DCO ensures that the statutory obligations of the (CCG) are carried out and will liaise with the Local Authority (LA) directly to provide a point of contact for local partners. This will not alter the CCG’s responsibility for commissioning health provision.
The DCO will provide the point of contact for LA’s, schools and colleges who need to know how to access health advice for children and young people who may have special education needs (SEN) and disabilities.
The DCO will provide a point of contact for health providers who will be expected to notify the LA of children under compulsory school age who they think may have SEN and disabilities.
The DCO can advise schools on their duties under the Department of Education’s (2014) ‘Supporting Pupils At School With Medical Conditions’ guidance.
The DCO will not routinely be involved in assessments or planning for individuals but would be responsible for ensuring that assessment, planning and health support is provided for those who have an Education, Heath and Care Plan (EHCP) which requires additional support outside of the local core offer.
The DCO will liaise with colleagues within adult services for those who have additional needs and have an EHCP up to the age of 25 years.
The DCO will work with partner agencies in cases that require mediation services to resolve disputes and work to resolve the issues outside of tribunals.
The DCO will have a joint commissioning role to ensure children with SEN and disabilities have access to the assessed health, education and social care support from core services. Additional support can be considered if local core services cannot meet the specialised care of children who meet Continuing Care criteria and require additional support at home and in school to ensure their health needs are met and that they have equal access to educational settings.
The DCO will work with the LA to consider personal health budgets (PHB) for those who have requested a PB and who meet the continuing care criteria.