Health Care Assessments and Plans


The Health and Well-being Standard
Regulation 10


Children's and young people’s health needs are met and their welfare is safeguarded by the Communities policies and procedures for administering medicines and providing treatment.


This chapter was slightly amended in October 2011, see Section 3, Designated Key/Link Worker.


  1. Health Care Assessments
  2. Health Care Plans
  3. Designated Key/Link Worker

1. Health Care Assessments

Each child should have a Local Authority Health Care Assessment soon after being placed and then at specified intervals; as set out below.

The purpose of Local Authority annual Health Care Assessments is to promote children's physical and mental health and to inform the child's Health Care Plan and ensure that the placement meets the child's holistic health needs.

Local Authority annual Health Care Assessments must be conducted by a suitably qualified medical practitioner; who should provide the social worker with a written report.

  • In England the first assessment must be conducted as soon as possible after the child's placement, preferably in time for the first Looked After Review. In Wales, the first assessment must be conducted within 14 days of the placement;
  • For children aged between two and five years, further assessments should occur at least every six months;
  • For children aged over five years, further assessments should be at least annually;
  • Health Care Assessments must be conducted more frequently where the child’s health needs dictate.

The Social Worker is normally responsible for ensuring that Local Authority Health Care Assessments are undertaken, but this responsibility may be undertaken by the home.

In order for the assessment to be conducted, it will be necessary to ensure the Consents section of the child's Placement Plan has been completed and signed by the parent or a person with Parental Responsibility.

2. Health Care Plans

Each child's Placement Plan must include a Health Care Plan, setting out the healthcare needs for the child and how they will be promoted, ensuring that the child's holistic health needs are met.

The initial Health Care Plan should be drawn up in time for the first Looked After Review, after a Health Care Assessment has been undertaken. The plan should then be updated after each Health Care Assessment or as circumstances change.

The matters that should be considered in drawing up the Health Care Plan are as follows:

  1. Whether there are any specific health care needs - and how the home will meet them;
  2. If it is agreed that Paracetamol or other painkillers can be used to provide relief for headaches, menstrual or other pain; also whether there are any restrictions;
  3. On the use of non-prescribed medicines, Home Remedies or use of first aid;
  4. The involvement of the child's parents or significant others in health issues during the placement;
  5. Any specific medical or other health interventions which may be required, including whether it is necessary for any Invasive Procedures to take place and how they will be undertaken;
  6. The extent to which the child is able to retain or administer medication, or requires support to do so;
  7. Whether it is necessary for any immunisations to be carried out;
  8. Any specific treatment or Therapeutic Interventions, strategies or remedial programmes required;
  9. Any necessary preventative measures to be adopted;
  10. Whether the child is allowed to smoke and any measures agreed to reduce the behaviour;
  11. Whether there are any illegal or other activities including self harming which it is known or suspected the child is engaged in which may be harmful to the child's health, and the interventions/strategies to be adopted in reducing or preventing the behaviour;
  12. Whether the placement will contribute to any other health related assessments;
  13. Whether the home will contribute to any health monitoring.

3. Designated Key/Link Worker

One of the key responsibilities of the child's Key/Link worker will be for promoting his/her health and educational achievement, liaising with key professionals, including the Clinical Nurse Specialist, the child’s GP, dental practitioner, optician and any other appropriate medical / education professional specific to the individual child.

The Key/Link worker will also ensure that up to date with information is kept on the child in relation to his/her health needs, development, illnesses, operations, immunisations, allergies, medications, administered, dates of appointments with GP's and specialists.

The Key/Link worker must also ensure the child is registered with a GP and other health care professionals as set out in Health Notifications and Access to Services Procedure.

Also see Key/Link worker Guidance.