Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) Statement of Intent



The purpose of this statement of intent is to set out the role and function of NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport & Formby CCG (CCGs) in relation to special educational needs and disability (SEND). It also covers the services commissioned for children and young people with SEND.

This statement of intent provides information about how to access the Sefton Local Offer and a convenient link to the Sefton Local Offer Website.

The name and contact details of the designated clinical officer (DCO) for Sefton are contained within this statement of intent so anyone can make contact should they need to do so.

Children & Families Act 2014

The Children & Families Act 2014 placed a new requirement on local partners, including CCGs and health providers, to work effectively together to improve outcomes for disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs (SEN). The aims of this legislation was to bring about more integrated and personalised services, a focus on outcomes and alignment with a number of key NHS programmes such as Transforming Care (Learning Disability), Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) transformation and integrated and personalised commissioning.

Local Offer

If children and young people age 0-25yrs have special educational needs and / or a disability (SEND), Sefton's Local Offer website will provide them, their families and professionals with accessible information about services and support available locally.

The Local Offer helps you to understand what services you can expect from a range of local agencies, including your statutory entitlements, eligibility and referral criteria. The Local Offer also makes clear what is available from a wide range of services, including:

  • Early years settings
  • Schools (including academies and free schools) & colleges
  • Sport and recreation
  • Health services
  • Social care
  • Employment, further education and volunteering

You can reach the Sefton Local Offer website by clicking on the link above or as follows: www.seftondirectory.com/localoffer

Printable resources:

Click here to download a poster about the Sefton Local Offer

Click here to download a leaflet about the Sefton Local Offer

Click here to download a leaflet about the Sefton Disabled Children's Database


Click here to read a case study with local teenager Emma, who was supported by our primary care network in Sefton to help her get her COVID-19 vaccination.


Designated clinical officer

The designated clinical officer (DCO) role is a key element in supporting health services in the implementation of the Children and Families Act and the scope of the role is very broad. The key responsibilities of the DCO are as follows:

  • Oversight – across all health professionals delivering healthcare to individual disabled children, young people and those with special educational needs
  • Coordination – in relation to the Local Offer, process for mediation arrangements regarding the health elements of the EHC plan and EHC assessments with other key assessments such as Children & Young People’s Continuing Care assessments and Looked After Children Health assessments
  • Strategic – contribution to the development of a joint commissioning strategy and participation and engagement strategy.

Can children, young people, parents and carers contact the DCO directly?

Yes. Children, young people, parents and carers can contact the DCO directly for advice and support about health related SEND matters. Depending on what the issue is it may be that the DCO can give direct advice or can support children, young people, parents and carers to get the information or advice they are seeking.

Who is the DCO in Sefton and how do I contact them?

Ingrid Bell is the DCO for Sefton. Her contact details are:


Telephone: 07887528889


Working collaboratively with children, young people, parents & carers

The CCGs and health partners are committed to working in partnership with children, young people, parents and carers. Examples of our collaborative working are as follows:

  • Parent Carer Forum representative is a member of the Health SEND Strategic Working Group
  • Sefton HealthWatch representative is a member of the Health SEND Strategic Working Group and the CCGs Governing Body
  • Participation from the Parent Carer Forum in the interview process for the DCO
  • CCGs Engagement & Patient Experience Group has HealthWatch and Young Advisors as part of the membership
  • CCGs Big Chat Events have included focused information on SEND and Personal Health Budgets and have included the opportunity to meet the DCO
  • CCGs Governing Body meetings are held in public. There is an opportunity prior to the start of the meeting for the public to ask questions about any subject matter prior to the Governing Body going into session.

The CCGs Communication and Engagement Strategy 2018-2020 outlines how we will consult and engage with children and young people and how we will work with local partner organisations to capture the views of those whose voices are harder to reach.

Single route of re-dress – national trial

The national trial commenced in April 2018 and will run for two years. Parents and young people have only been able to appeal about the special educational needs and provision sections and the placement section of EHC plans. The trial gives new rights to request recommendations about the health and social care needs and provision specified in EHC plans, in addition to the educational aspects, when making a SEND appeal. The trial gives the Tribunal new powers to make non-binding recommendations on the health and social care aspects of EHC plans. It gives parents and young people the opportunity to raise all their concerns about an EHC plan in one place.

Further information on Single Route of Re-dress in Sefton can be obtained from the Local Offer

If you wish to make a complaint regarding any NHS service you can do so by the following routes:

  • Contacting the Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 218 2333 or via the CCG website
  • Contacting NHS South Sefton CCG if you live in the South Sefton area on complaints@nhs.net
  • Contacting NHS Southport & Formby CCG if you live in the Southport & Formby area on complaints@nhs.net
  • Contacting the NHS organisation directly who is providing the service you wish to complain about
  • Contacting the Public Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). The PHSO will generally expect the individual to have completed the organisation’s own complaints procedure first.

Neuro-developmental pathway (including autistic spectrum disorder)

Partners across Sefton (led by Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust) have recently completed the re-design of the diagnostic element of the Neuro-developmental pathway. In the autumn of 2018 significant new investment was agreed by the CCG which will see a large increase in the capacity leading to more timely assessments and improved experience of those being assessed and their families.

On-going and continued improvements to health services for SEND.

During 2018, new investment in both Community Paediatric Audiology and Dietetics has been agreed to improve the services but also increase access. Relevant services have regular contract reviews to manage performance and promote the delivery of quality standards.

Joint working in respect of children & young people with SEND aged 0-25 across Sefton

Organisations across Sefton work together in support of children and young people achieving better outcomes. Health organisations come together at the Health SEND Strategic Group with HealthWatch and the Sefton Parent Carer Forum also being part of the membership. Health professionals have also established an operational group which meets on a regular basis.

Health commissioners are also in attendance at the Sefton SEND Strategic Partnership and come together with Local Authority colleagues at the Children & Young People’s Integrated Commissioning Group which reports to the Integrated Commissioning Group. The Integrated Commissioning Group reports into the Health & Wellbeing Board.

To download the Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) statement of intent as a PDF, please click HERE.