Community Child Health

East Kent Community Child Health Services

Who are we?

We are a group of paediatricians working with a multidisciplinary team that includes clinical psychologists, clinical nurse specialists and therapists. We are trained to assess and manage children with a variety of problems which include developmental delay, developmental disorders and complex neurodisability.

We also work with other agencies to provide initial health assessments (IHAs) for Looked after Children, medical assessments for Education, Health and Care plans (EHCPs), adoption medicals and safeguarding medicals for children with suspected child abuse.

We are a consultant led service with assessments and management delivered by consultants and specialty doctors. We also have trainees working in the department who may be training to become general practitioners, general paediatricians or specialist community paediatricians.

Who do we see?

We take referrals of children from 0 to 16 years but will continue to see children with complex needs whilst they are in education to their 19th birthday.


  • Children with significant delay (> 6 months) in 2 or more developmental areas.
  • Children where there are concerns about neurodevelopmental disorders e.g. autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).
  • Children with complex neurodisability e.g. cerebral palsy, neurodegenerative disorders, and chromosomal / genetic disorders.

School age:    

  • On-going follow up of children with complex neurodisability where there are medical needs e.g. epilepsy, sleep disorder
  • Children transferring into our area with complex need requiring medical intervention.
  • Children up to 7.08 years of age where there are concerns about possible autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Children over this age should be referred to CYPMHS single point of access. 

Multiagency work:

  • Assessment of children over 1 year of age (younger than this should go to the acute hospitals), for suspected child abuse.
  • Assessment of children for EHCPs.
  • Initial Health Assessments for Looked after Children.
  • Adoption medicals.

What sort of appointments do we provide?

  • General community clinics (paediatrician alone).
  • Multidisciplinary appointments for assessment of neurodisability.
  • Multidisciplinary appointments for ASD assessment.
  • Clinics for IHAs, adoption medicals and EHCplan medicals.

Where do we provide services?

Ashford - The Rainbow MASH, Wyvern School

Canterbury - The Children’s Assessment Centre, Kent and Canterbury Hospital 

Dover / Deal - The Children’s Assessment Unit, Buckland Hospital, Dover

Shepway - the Beacon School, Folkestone 

Thanet - Green Banks MASH,Garlinge

What we cannot do

We are not a behavioural service and do not see children with behavioural problems unless there are also neurodevelopmental concerns or known developmental problems. Concerns regarding behaviour should be directed to Early Help or the Kent Parenting Service.

We cannot do developmental assessments on school age children – learning problems need assessment through the educational services and should be discussed directly with the child’s school.

We do not currently see children with ADHD or children of 8 years of age or over for ASD assessment, referrals should be sent to CYPMHS single point of access.

Once children are appropriately placed in specialist provision we would not continue to review unless there are on-going medical issues.

Referral pathways


NHS Children’s Care Coordinating Team (NHSCCCT): all children < 4years old with difficulties in 2 or more developmental areas should be referred into this service using this referral form and a referral to Portage using this referral form can be made at the same time for those children not in nursery. If children are in nursery a nursery report should be included.

Children not yet in nursery but with concerns about possible ASD should also be referred via the NHSCCCT.

Children in nursery with concerns about possible ASD should be referred  with a nursery report, and any other assessment reports e.g. speech and language.  

Children referred for a developmental assessment can be referred using the referral form; please include any assessments already completed and a clear reason for the request.

The referrals should be sent to the relevant email address on the referral form.    

School age

From 1 July 2020 any referrals from school must be completed on the form below and emailed to ekh-tr.childhealthreferrals@nhs.net

Children with concerns about possible ASD – please include a school report and any assessments already completed.

Transfers into our area – please send copies of all reports.

Referrals from school must be completed via our new online school referral form.