Following an initial contact with a professional like your GP or health visitor, your child may then be referred for more specialist treatment. This page tells you about the local health service treatment centres that provide more specialist assessment and support.
Seaside View Child Development Centre
Many children will be diagnosed or assessed at the Seaside View Child Development Centre located at the Brighton General Hospital site. Seaside View is the integrated child development and disability centre for children
living locally. Many different specialists are based at Seaside View, including paediatricians, social workers, health visitors, clinical psychologists, speech and occupational therapists and physiotherapists. They work together to assess children both individually and through group work, and then plan a programme of therapy and treatment.
Some children may be seen at a local child health clinic instead of at Seaside View. For pre-schoolers, an assessment may also take place jointly with staff at Seaside View and the Pre-school Special Educational Needs Service (PRESENS) based at the Jeanne Saunders Centre in Hove. You can read more about PRESENS in the under fives education section.
Parents and carers can ask any professional who knows their child to complete a referral form and send it to the team at Seaside View. When the service receives the referral form, this is taken to a team meeting. Within two weeks of this team discussion the family is sent a letter which explains the outcome of the meeting and also how the service may be able to help. Parents and carers are also welcome to contact Seaside View direct for more information on 01273 265780 or visit the Disabled Children’s Services area on the Brighton and Hove website. You can also find more information about specialist health services on website of the Sussex Community NHS Trust.
Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children
The Alex, as many people call it, is the local children’s hospital where many of our children are diagnosed as having certain medical or clinical conditions. The consultants at the hospital have their own specialist areas, for instance in the treatment of asthma, diabetes and epilepsy, but will hold joint clinics alongside visiting specialists from hospitals such as Guy’s and Great Ormond Street, to get a clearer picture of your child’s needs and to plan a programme of treatment. Occasionally, your child might be referred to a hospital outside this area which specialises in your child’s condition.
The Alex is located in a new building on the site of the Royal Sussex County Hospital. The hospital provides inpatient and outpatient services, including intensive care and a 24 hour emergency care service. The Alex has leaflets for parents about what to expect if your child has an appointment or a stay in the hospital and its own website, www.theroyalalex.co.uk. The Alex, as many people call it, is the local children’s hospital where many of our children are diagnosed as having certain medical or clinical conditions. The consultants at the hospital have their own specialist areas, for instance in the treatment of asthma, diabetes and epilepsy, but will hold joint clinics alongside visiting specialists from hospitals such as Guy’s and Great Ormond Street, to get a clearer picture of your child’s needs and to plan a programme of treatment. Occasionally, your child might be referred to a hospital outside this area which specialises in your child’s condition.
Special dental services
Brighton and Hove has a special community dental service for anyone who has difficulty accessing general dental services. This might be because of learning or physical disabilities, a phobia or an ongoing health or mental health issue. They also work with children with very challenging behaviour.
Special dental services are located at Morley Street Clinic and Conway Court in Hove. The dentists who work there have extensive experience of treating patients with additional needs and are very sympathetic to patients’ concerns. Appointments are considerably longer than those at High Street dentists and they will work at the child or young person’s pace – for instance, an initial check-up may just be a chat if that’s what the patient needs to make them feel comfortable.
Your family dentist or any other medical practitioner can refer you, or you can call Morley Street for advice on 01273 692549.
Educational Psychology Service
The Educational Psychology Service is part of Children’s Services. Educational psychologists (EPs) can support parents and their children up to the age of 19. If your child’s difficulties are first picked up at school or pre-school they may be referred to see an EP. If your child is already known to other professionals, they may also make a referral. EPs will assess your child’s developmental progress and will give advice on appropriate educational help. They will normally be able to give you a clear idea of your child’s difficulties and in some cases will also refer on to other professionals for further assessment. Read more about the role of the Educational Psychology team in the Education section.
CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
Some children with mainly emotional and behavioural problems may be referred to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for diagnosis and assessment. This includes children with conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as well as issues like anxiety and depression. CAMHS has a team who specialise in children’s mental health including child psychiatrists, family therapists, counsellors, and play and art therapists. If you think your child needs to go to CAMHS, it’s often easiest for you to speak to your GP first and ask for a referral. You could also be referred by another professional such as a school nurse or teacher.