Chapter 5 - Sources of support

As part of the graduated approach, schools, colleges and settings can access support from a range of Education, Health and Care services for children and young people with SEND. Such support can be accessed for children with varying levels of need, not just those who are undergoing an EHC assessment or have an EHC Plan.

Services in Wigan work collaboratively to support families. This can include joint consultations and assessments, information sharing and joint training. This means that families will not need to repeat their stories and that duplication of assessments can be avoided.

5.1 Education and Social Care

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Service (SENDS) is a multi-disciplinary team with a remit across both education and social care.

Other teams providing support across education and social care are:

The following sources of support are also available:

  • Schools Outreach Service - The Schools' Outreach Service is provided by special schools working in partnership with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Service (SENDS) and the Educational Psychology Service (EPS) to promote change and strengthen the inclusion of children and young people with SEND in mainstream settings.
  • Virtual School Team - A service to break down the barriers to learning for Children Looked After to enable them to meet their educational potential
  • Early Learning and Childcare - Providing support for children in early years and childcare including child-minders, out of school clubs and supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities
  • Start Well - This service supports families to build their resilience by working together with them to find sustainable solutions for the whole family. It aims to  provide advice support and guidance in areas such as parenting, housing, finance and debt. The service will encourage families to access community services to increase life chances.

5.2 Health

The services listed below are offered by the NHS for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Reference has been made to some adult services in order to assist the transition from children’s to adult services.

  • Children’s Audiology - Audiology aims to enable children to reach their full social and educational potential by ensuring that the child’s/young person have maximum hearing
  • Newborn Hearing Screening Service - The Service provides universal neonatal hearing screening services
  • Children’s Learning Disability Team - The Learning Disability Children’s Nursing Service provides support in managing behavioural issues for children aged 4-16 with a learning disability
  • Adult Learning Disability Service - A multidisciplinary team based at locations across the Wigan borough aiming to provide a seamless, person-centred service to adults and young people with a learning disability
  • Children’s Continence Service - The Children’s Continence Team help to support children and young people across the borough with bladder and bowel issues
  • Adult’s Continence Service - The service provides specialist clinical advice, guidance and support to health and social care professionals, carers and clients with regard to continence care
  • Children’s Community Nursing Team - The Children’s Community Nurse Team (CCNT) provides holistic family centred nursing care, support and advice for children and young people with long term, complex health needs within the community setting
  • Children’s Early Years Assessment - The team’s aim is to provide a high quality integrated service to children who have complex needs and are aged 0-5 as part of a multi-disciplinary approach
  • Minor Illness Service and Prevention for Children aged 0 – 19 years - The diagnosis and treatment of minor illnesses in children, to provide care closer to home
  • Children’s Physiotherapy Service - Our aim is to provide a high quality physiotherapy service as part of a multidisciplinary team to meet the needs of children and young people aged 0-16 or 0-19 if attending a special school
  • Adult Physiotherapy Service - This is a clinic based service available in numerous sites across Bridgewater. The team consists of experienced Chartered Physiotherapists and support staff with the knowledge and skills to provide highly specialist advice, support and / or rehabilitation.
  • Adult Podiatry Service - Podiatry is a medical specialty dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the human foot
  • Counselling Service - The Counselling Service offers one to one assessment and counselling for patients over 16 years of age registered with ALW GPs. The service is provided by a team of qualified counsellors.
  • Looked After Children Health Service - A community based team of experienced specialist nurses with the knowledge and skills to provide assessment and either care or referral dependent on the child/young people’s needs. Looked after Children (or Children in Care) are those who are in the care of a local authority. The team is responsible for liaising with health visitors, school nurses, paediatricians, social care and those Looked after Children’s Health Teams who have children placed within the Bridgewater area
  • Children and Young People’s Occupational Therapy Service - Our aim is to provide a high quality Occupational Therapy service as part of a multidisciplinary team to meet the needs of children and young people
  • Adults’ Respiratory Service - The Respiratory Team offers a multi-disciplinary team approach to management of COPD, Interstitial lung disease (ILD) and Bronchiectasis throughout the Ashton, Leigh and Wigan borough
  • Child Protection and Safeguarding - Child Protection is part of safeguarding and promoting welfare and refers to the activity which is undertaken to protect children who are suffering or are likely to suffer significant harm
  • Children and Young People’s School Nursing Service - School Nurses are public health nurses who lead and deliver the Healthy Child Programme for school-aged children and young people
  • Children and Young People Speech and Language Therapy Service - The service aim is to provide a high quality speech and language therapy service to children and young people with speech, language and communication difficulties and/or eating and drinking difficulties in the Ashton, Leigh and Wigan area
  • Children and Adult’s Wheelchair service - The Wheelchair Service provides assessment for provision of a wheelchair when clients meet the eligibility criteria. Following assessment wheelchairs will be provided to meet clinical need
  • Family Nurse Partnership - The Family Nurse Partnership is a programme for first time mothers under the age of 20. It offers intensive and structured home visiting, delivered by specially trained nurses (Family Nurses), from early pregnancy until the child is two.

For more information on these services please visit the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust (external link).

5.3 SEND Information and Advice

We bring together parents, schools and services who work with children with special educational needs. Together, we offer information and guidance to help parents make better decisions about their child’s education.

The benefits of the active participation of parents and young people in decisions about special educational provision are crucial to the systems and processes as they exist in Wigan. SENDIASS, will provide access to impartial and relevant information and support to promote effective partnership working. Some of the services offered by SENDIASS are:

  • Impartial, confidential information and support for families with children and young people (age 0-25) with special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • Independent support and/or supporters for parents and young people who are undergoing the EHC process or transferring from a Statement to an EHC plan
  • Information, advice and support in relation to Special Educational Needs (SEN), including health or care issues
  • Information on routes for formal and informal disagreement resolution or mediation opportunities regarding Special Educational Needs (SEN), including Health and care issues
  • Signposting to alternative sources of information, advice and support when and where appropriate
  • Cross agency working, networking and training between statutory and non-statutory agencies, particularly the Voluntary sector.

SENDIASS is committed to working closely with Wigan and Leigh EMBRACE (external link). EMBRACE is a Voluntary Sector organisation who provide advocacy and support for families who have a person with a disability in their life or individuals who themselves have a disability. EMBRACE has also been commissioned by Wigan Council to deliver Parent Support, incorporating Parent (Key Working) Support and facilitating opportunities for parent engagement through a designated Parent Participation Coordinator.

For more information see the SENDIASS page on the Local Offer website.


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