Specialist Health Services


Disabled Children's Team

The Disabled Children's team provides specialist support for children with very complex needs. The team's learning disability nurses can provide assessment, advice and support on related health issues including continence, epilepsy and behaviour. The team can also arrange for occupational therapists to assess a child's or young person's needs for Specialist equipment .

Specialist health services

There are a number of specialist health services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, wheelchair services, speech and language therapy, community children's nursing, mental health services, and learning disability nursing. Your health visitor, school nurse or General Practitioner (GP) will be able to give you more information about these services, and help you make a referral.

Your GP may refer you to a paediatrician (a doctor who specialises in working with children). You may also be referred to the Rainbow Child Development Service (RCDS) at the Calderdale Royal Hospital. The RCDS provides multi-professional assessment and ongoing support as required for young (from birth to starting nursery; around 3 years old) children with complex needs.

Specialist health services may require an assessment and may not be available to everybody. Waiting lists may also be in place. If you are not eligible for a specific type of support, there may be another service that can help you.

If you are struggling to find the right help and support for your child, contact: NHS 111 , or phone: Unique Ways on 01422 343090.

Physical development and walking

You can discuss your child's physical development with your child's nursery, school teacher, health visitor or GP. You can also phone the Children's Therapy team for advice on: 01422 261300.

A physiotherapist or occupational therapist may be able to suggest exercises to help improve your child's stance, posture and movement. They also provide specialist assessments, advice and intervention, support for sensory sensitivity and referrals for equipment where needed. This includes a range of chairs including major buggies, manual or powered chairs, and specialist seating systems available from a specialist provider.

Speech, language and communication

All children develop differently! You can discuss your child's communication with your child's nursery, school teacher, health visitor or GP. You can also get advice and talk to the Speech and Language Therapy team on: 01422 261340.

Speech and Language Therapists provide specialist advice and intervention for children with communication and swallowing difficulties. For more information, see: Children's Therapy Services .

There are a number of other professionals and services you may be referred to, the most common are:

  • Audiologists are experts in children's hearing impairments and can provide any necessary advice and support;
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) can provide expert advice on emotional and behavioural issues;
  • Continence specialists provide help and advice around continence issues, and may be able to help you with the cost of providing continence pads and equipment;
  • Dieticians are experts on food and nutrition. They can provide information and personalised plans to promote good health through healthy eating;
  • Ophthalmologists are specialists in medical and surgical eye and vision care;
  • Podiatrists are health care professionals who diagnose, treat and rehabilitate conditions of the feet and lower limbs.

Learning Disability Services

If you are aged 18 (or over), have a learning disability and are concerned about your health, contact:

  • Username Calderdale Learning Disability Specialist Health Team
  • Email joanna.uttley@swyt.nhs.uk
  • Telephone 07795884879
  • Address
    The Learning Disability Nursing Team
    Hebden Bridge Health Centre
    Hangingroyd Lane
    Hebden Bridge
    HX7 6AG

If contacting us by phone, or text, leave your full name, phone number and a short message. Note: Messages are picked up daily at the beginning and end of each day.

Health Checks (if you are aged 14 and above)

GPs can provide an annual health check for the most people with a learning disability. For more on health checks, see: Health checks .

Do you have a VIP Card and VIP Passport?

If you are in an accident or you are taken ill, it can be very stressful. It can be hard to remember things that doctors and nurses need to know. With a VIP card you can carry these important details with you, all the time.

If you need to go into hospital, your VIP Passport can be given to the hospital staff. It will give them information about your health so they can help you.

For more on VIP cards, see: VIP Card and VIP Passport .

If you need to go to hospital

You may need additional support accessing hospital services as an inpatient or accessing outpatient’s services. For more details, visit: Learning disabilities (Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust).

Personal Health Budgets: purchasing your own medical / health care

If you receive NHS continuing healthcare, you have the right to a Personal Health Budget (PHB). This is an amount of money to support a person's identified health and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between the person and their local NHS team. It allows people with long-term conditions and disabilities to have greater choice, flexibility and control over the healthcare and support they receive. For more information, visit:  NHS England Personal Health Budgets .

You can also contact:

  • Clinical Lead Nurse, Jane Best 01422 281610
  • Lead Nurse, Melanie Skinner 01422 281582

Specialist Health Support

Children's Hospice Care

They provide specialist respite and terminal care for children suffering from life-limiting conditions in a home-to-home environment enabling families to remain together in peace, comfort, and dignityPDFLocal children's hospices [PDF 65KB]

National organisations

National organisations that provide specialist support include:

  • Whizz-Kidz An expert, customer-centred and innovative approach to wheelchair provision, including Wheelchair skills training:
  • Changing Places - Find out where you can access local and national toilet / changing facilities with a height adjustable changing bench and hoist. Facilities in Calderdale are:
    • OrangeBox Young People's Centre, 10 Square Road, Halifax HX1 1QG. Phone: 01422 349422;
    • Eureka! The National Children's Museum, Discovery Road, Halifax HX1 2NE. Phone: 01422 330069;
    • Halifax Swimming Pool, Skircoat Road, Halifax HX1 2JN. Phone: 01422 366624.
  • National Key Scheme (RADAR) - Offers disabled people independent access to toilets with a special key.
  • Posture and Mobility service (wheelchairs) - The Huddersfield Posture and Mobility service also covers Calderdale: phone: 01484 667809. You can visit the service at their service hub in Huddersfield, or at an outreach clinic in Halifax or Todmorden. Home or school visits can be offered where appropriate.
  • Asthma Trust for Asthmatic Children, Unit 6, Waltham House, Clyde Street, Bingley, BD16 2NT, phone: 01274 491756. The Trust promotes the welfare of asthmatic children in the UK and may be able to provide a nebulizer for families on low income.
  • Time to change - England's biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination.
  • Get your rights - An interactive website which helps to explain to children and young people what their rights are when using the NHS. Developed in partnership, and co-produced by, children and young people, including video case stories, messages from professionals, a resource hub, and advice on what to do if children and young people are concerned that their rights have not been respected.

Commissioning health services for Calderdale

The NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are a group of local clinicians who work with disabled children and their families to provide the very best healthcare. For information on the CCG, including nearest services and developments in the NHS, visit: Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group .


See also