Telford & Wrekin Local Offer

SEND - Local offer

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What is a Designated Clinical Officer (DCO)?


Each Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) must provide a designated medical officer (DMO) or designated clinical officer (DCO). The DCO plays a key part in implementing the SEND reforms and in supporting joined up working between health services and local authorities.

The Designated Clinical Officer for SEND:

My name is Catherine Smith and I am the Designated Clinical Officer for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) for Telford and Wrekin CCG (DCO)
The role is to support health colleagues here at the CCG and Shropshire Community Health Trust, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals and Bee U  to ensure children and young people 0-25 with SEND have the right health support to achieve the best they possibly can.

It is a varied role and includes:

• attending Education, Health and Care Panels to discuss which children go forwards for assessments and then if required have a formal plan (EHCP)
• supporting health professionals with the information required within the assessments and education colleagues to access the correct information and support
• supporting the SEND team at the local authority with questions and queries on information
• signposting education professionals to health services and professionals for advice
• sign off and assure the quality of the advice and plans
• working alongside the commissioners and stakeholders including parents, children and young people, to identify and raise any commissioning gaps some of which may require joint commissioning to resolve
• ensuring we can evidence a good local offer of health services and clear health journeys for those age 0-25 with SEND
• participate in processes to ensure we consider requests for those with highly complex needs including continuing care
• supporting the commissioners and senior leadership team with regards meeting and assuring the SEND health requirements

Health, Education and Social care Professionals, PODs and IASS can contact Catherine Smith to discuss queries from families.

If you have a formal complaint regarding the CCG, please click here for information about their complaints process.