Health Update February


Commissioners are working with local providers to continue the delivery of services, taking all guidelines and local needs into consideration.

As you may appreciate, this means that there are potentially changes on a regular basis and so we would suggest that for the most up to date information on the individual service offers and how to access services then to refer to the following websites.

The following update has been provided by North West Boroughs NHS Foundation Trust regarding the current provision of Orthotic services for children and young people in St Helens:

Lansbury School: Fortnightly face to face school clinic visits resumed on 9.11.20. In the last couple of weeks there have been some difficulties with attending the school due to available estate at the school. The school operates in 3 separate bubbles and orthotics are allocated one room but this is currently being utilised by other healthcare professionals, resulting in there being no rooms for an orthotics clinic. The Team lead is working with the school to scope further estate availability. Any children with clinical need, as identified by staff, parents or other healthcare professionals are being offered a clinic appointment until the school visits can recommence.

Mill Green School:  There are currently a small number of children at this school that require Orthotic service support and therefore to ensure maximum efficiency of clinical time, children are being offered an appointment at a clinic site.

There remain difficulties in expanding the general clinic capacity due to Covid and social distancing requirements and the estates available for general clinics. Urgent cases are being prioritised and routine follow up appointments are to receive safety netting information on what to do if they are worried.

For any queries then please contact the service directly.

People with an identified learning disability often have poorer physical and mental health than other people.  This does not need to be the case!

Annual health checks are for adults and young people aged 14 or over with a learning disability.

An annual health check helps your child to stay well by talking about their health and finding any problems early, so they get the right care.

Anyone aged 14 or over who is on their GP Practice Learning Disability Register can have a free annual health check once a year.

Please take a look at the video below for the importance of the Annual Health Check for people with a learning disability:


Your child’s GP Practice will be able to make reasonable adjustments to support your child to attend for their annual health check as follows:

  • They can use pictures, large print or simpler words to say what’s happening
  • They can book longer appointments
  • They can put an appointment at the beginning or end of the day or offer an alternative waiting area if your child finds it hard to be in a busy waiting room

Guidance from NHS England and Local Implementation

The CCG support GP Practices to follow guidance from NHS England to ensure annual health checks are delivered to those children aged 14 upwards who have an identified Learning Disability. 

During the COVID Pandemic, GP Practices have been following guidelines to enable them to identify who they need to see first for an annual health check.  This may mean that your child is not called in for a face to face appointment as they may not fall into one of the high priority groups.  However a virtual assessment can be undertaken and your GP Practice will contact you to arrange this.  These appointments are to look at your child’s general health and wellbeing, so please contact your GP as you normally would if your child is unwell.

St Helens Borough Council carried out a review of the SEND Independent Advice and Support (IAS) Service to consider the best approach to service delivery for the future. As part of the review we sent out a survey to the parent/carer forum (Listen 4 Change), teams across the local authority and partner agencies. This was to gain feedback on how the service is running currently. In addition to the survey a series of focus groups were held with the above groups to discuss further the positives, issues and suggested improvements.

The results of the survey and the write up of the focus groups will contribute to a report to the senior management to make a decision on the recommendations proposed. 

Thank you to all of you who took part in the process, your feedback is valued and will help to make service improvements.

Due to the global pandemic, current national lockdown and the rate of infection in St Helens, it was decided that there will not be a half term SEND playscheme. 

St Helens Youth Service have offered to send out a number of activity packs to Children and Young people with SEND who would usually access the playscheme. The packs include items such as arts and crafts, sensory resources, physical challenges and baking ingredients. The team have been inundated with requests and will be sending the packs out to Children and Young People as fast as they can.

The Neurodevelopmental Pathway continues to be a priority for St Helens Children and Young People services across St Helens. We are happy to confirm that the two additional whole time equivalent speech and language therapists (SLT) have been employed and are due to start within the SLT service in the coming weeks/months, with these posts having direct support to the delivery of NDP. 

As of February 11th we have now started undertaking ADOS assessments through Clinical Partners. They will be undertaking a total of 66 ADOS assessments, resetting the waiting list for ADOS assessments which will have a strong positive impact on for those CYP waiting for a diagnostic decision through the pathway. The NDP co-ordination team have been contacting the families to gain consent and arrange these appointments. 

The updated NDP referral form is now live and operational within schools across St Helens which we are excited will have a positive impact on the quality of discussions at the triage stage of the pathway. 

Over the coming weeks/ months Listen 4 Change members will be approached to participate in activities to improve the experience of families accessing the pathway. Firstly St Helen’s Borough Council Educational Psychology and Learning Support Service are undertaking a piece of research into the experiences of parents and children who have accessed the pathway, and secondly there will be a review of letters sent to families as part of the pathway process to see if these can be improved.  

Kooth - Online Counselling and Support:

Kooth is an online counselling (1-1) and emotional well-being platform for children and young people/young adults- 11years -25years, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use. Counsellors are available from: Midday to 10pm Monday to Friday and 6pm - 10pm at Weekends.

There is also a wealth of useful support and information, the ability to be creative and share experiences and moderated forums to discuss with others who may be feeling the same.

Listening Ear: Butterflies and DiAMOND Programmes

Children and young people specific bereavement and domestic violence support. Both programmes have access to an Emotional Youth Club which can be accessed by individuals during and after their treatment:

Butterflies: offers group counselling for children and young people affected by bereavement or other forms of loss (such as divorce and family separation), including Primary or Secondary school aged specific groups. 1:1 Therapy is offered and this can also be provided virtually.

DiAMOND - offers 1:1 counselling in schools or colleges for children and young people who are affected by Domestic Abuse

Youth Mental Health Toolkit:

Young people have helped to shape a new wellbeing support kit called #GrowYourHappy. The online kit is an easy to digest page filled with ideas for young people to embrace taking care of their mental health. It includes everything from playlist recommendations to links to resources to get specialised help. It takes a positive look at the things young people can do to take care and look after their mental wellbeing. 

 The online space which is a padlet has been created by the Youth Council of St Helens and has been tailored by young people for young people including suggestions of how to be kind and positive messages to inspire your day.

5-19 Service – School Health Nurses- Emotional and Mental wellbeing offer:

The St Helens 0-19 school health service is in place to support emotional health and wellbeing needs of school age children. School nurses offer a weekly confidential drop in at secondary schools and provide direct support to children and young people for low mood, thoughts of self-harm, concerns in relation to bullying, weight issues, and will offer education and useful techniques in relation to building resilience, relaxation and mindfulness.

In addition, school nurses offer a termly confidential drop in for parents and carers of primary school age children, again providing direct support and advice on aspects of emotional health and wellbeing. In the summer term of each year, school nurses offer a year 6 pupil health questionnaires and follow up sessions, one of which is focussed around emotional health.

The school nurses carry out brief interventions and packages of care with children and young people, and will work to devise a plan, complete referrals and follow up children in the drop ins each week as required. This is done working closely with education staff and pastoral needs to meet the emotional health and wellbeing needs of children and young people and the school nurse will escalate to the next level of support for the CYP if required

Behaviour Improvement Team:

The Behaviour Improvement Team provides support to staff and schools working with children who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties that are affecting their wellbeing and education. They have been particularly effective in working with those pupils who had lower level anxiety about attending school after the lockdown. They also worked with pupils with additional needs (ADHD, ASC, OCD) and increased anxiety on a one to one basis to address behaviour that was preventing return to school post lockdown due to routine change etc

CYP specialist Mental Health Support – CAMHS and Barnardo’s:

Working as an integrated service, CAMHS and Barnardo’s work with young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties, and their families. They provide specialist face to face therapies, including whole family holistic therapy, and also offer telephone consultations and virtual sessions. Other therapies include counselling, art and play therapy and solution focused interventions, and group work. The service is using a combination of face to face and Attend Anywhere (virtual platform)

Young People’s Community Eating Disorder Service:

This service provides specialist assessment, treatment and support for young people with eating disorders and their families.

It aims to promote the early detection and treatment of eating disorders through a combination of one-to-one support and family therapy, along with support from a qualified dietitian. The service also offers group sessions and virtual contact to suit the needs of the individual

24/7 Crisis Response Team for CYP and Urgent Mental Health Support Line:

The CAMHS Crisis Response Team provides immediate crisis response and management out of hours for individuals who require urgent mental health support. With contact and follow-up care plans co-ordinated by the team. A professional can contact the CAMHS Response Team every day until 9pm and then the Urgent Mental Health Support Line is available 24/7 and includes support for CYP

Crisis Response Team: 01744 627 618

(Professional Referral)

Urgent Mental Health Support Line:

Tel: 01925 275 309 (Opt 1)


The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) is designed to facilitate the development of self-control, emotional awareness and interpersonal problem-solving skills. The programme consists of a variety of lessons, and additional materials and charts used in a ‘whole school approach’.

The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) is designed for use with primary school children. The purposes of the Programme are to enhance the social competence and social understanding of children, as well as to facilitate educational processes in the classroom. In St Helens this is available to schools on an ‘opt in’ basis. We currently have 13 primary schools participating in the programme and will continue to encourage all primary schools to take up this programme

Youth Justice Service MH worker:

A Barnardo’s worker is funded to work 3 days per week in the Youth Justice Service to support the staff around training requirements linked to emotional and mental wellbeing needs of YP and dealing with the more complex situations that will arise, and also to be available for specific individual therapeutic sessions for the CYP involved with the service who would not normally attend planned appointments. This enable YP in the justice system to develop trusted relationships with a mental health support service and so receive and engage with the service they need.

Wellbeing for Education Return:

To support education settings in their return to the classroom post lockdown/ Covid,  the Department for Education and Department of Health and Social Care are providing a national training support package to all schools and colleges, delivered by a local service, Barnardo’s, who are familiar with St Helens and existing support. The training and support seeks to better equip schools and colleges to promote children and young people’s wellbeing, resilience, and recovery in response to Covid-19. As well as strengthening and building wellbeing and resilience, this aims to prevent the onset of mental health problems and ensure those with pre-existing or emerging difficulties access the right support.

MindEd, working closely with the Anna Freud Centre (AFC) and the Wellbeing for Education Return expert advisory group have developed training content for local areas and experts to share with and cascade into education settings. This training is delivered by Barnardo’s, utilising existing support services in the emotional wellbeing space and tailoring the content to reflect local issues, and is currently being rolled out to all schools in St Helens to be completed by February 2021

Early Help and Resilience Teams:

St Helens is currently implementing this model through commissioned provision with Barnardo’s, who have match funded CCG investment. The provision will be to provide the wrap around EHWB support for clusters of schools and Primary Care Networks, with a nominated point of contact, drop-in sessions delivered for CYP along with sessions for parents/ carers; standardised training and education for professionals using recognised programmes; and whole school resilience building working closely with school nursing, CAMHS and PATHS.  The aim is to strengthen prevention work along with signposting to local provision and ensuring timely access to specialist services where required aligning with the next level of MHST provision.

This will comprise of two Emotional Wellbeing & Resilience Teams: Central and Circumference based in one of our Secondary schools and in a health centre. The teams are comprised of 1 senior practitioner, 4 practitioners and admin support with an overarching programme manager. Posts are currently being recruited to and the service will be live from mid-February 2021

Early Help and Resilience Team contacts:

Allison Lyon -  – Operational Manager

Mia Leyland –  – Team Manager


This resource will be available from March 2021 with one team currently allocated to St Helens from a mid-Mersey bid. The Mental Health Support Team will provide mental health support in the school setting with specific training from Health Education England. They will offer CBT and other talking therapies in 1:1 and group formats and work in tandem with the Early Help & Resilience Teams. This first wave team allocated to St Helens will cover the following schools and their feeder primaries: Cowley International College, St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic High School, St Cuthbert's Catholic High School. Following completion of training this team will also support De La Salle Secondary School from March 2022 onwards and further MHSTs are currently being bid for via a mid-Mersey bid to increase the coverage across St Helens.

MHST contacts:

Lisa Simpson - – Operational Manager

Jacqui Fuller - - Team Leader








The purpose of the Local Offer is to enable parents and young people to see more clearly what services are available for children with special educational needs and disabilities in their area, and how to access them.

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