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Health services update during COVID-19

Update April 2020

The current Covid-19 pandemic and associated Government guidance has made it necessary to make changes to operational service delivery.  

Given the current situation, it has been necessary to move away from delivering services largely through face to face contact, to new ways of working using technology.

However, please note that all ways of working are constantly being reviewed by clinical and operational service leads and as the pandemic situation changes, service delivery will be subject to change. In the most urgent cases face to face support will be provided, where possible and appropriate.

During this period, the telephone lines for children’s services based at Carmelita House will remain open.

If however, you have called and your call has gone into voicemail, this does not mean that there is no one to take your call.  Unfortunately, the current telephone system does not allow for call waiting options, if the administrator/call handler is taking another call or away from their desk undertaking other duties. Therefore please leave a clear message with your contact details, so that your call can be returned as soon as possible.

Carmelita House Tel: 020 8825 8700 (main line) 

If you do experience problems contacting us by phone, please email

Conchita Pomeroy, Service Manager at the following address:

Thank you for your co-operation during this period.

EHC Needs Assessments

SEND Panel Ealing

The SEND panel in Ealing, which considers requests for EHC Needs Assessments and whether to issue an EHCP, is continuing to function as a virtual panel. 

Requests should continue to be sent to

Therapists and Paediatricians: 

Under the current circumstances (Covid-19 pandemic) it has not been possible to complete face to face assessments or complete assessments in schools and therefore, the quality of advice which health professionals provide will be affected by this. 

Health Professionals will contact parents and schools and take as detailed a case history and profile of strengths and needs as possible over the phone.  At the moment, face to face assessments are not being completed.  Health professionals will refer to their electronic data entry system to ensure they include any existing information about the child which is not more than a year old.  Only information obtained in the last year will be used with regards to strengths and needs.    

In section B of the EHC Needs Assessment, health professionals outline strengths and needs related to educational needs. 

Where a face to face assessment has been completed in the last 6 months and the health professional deems that they have sufficient up to date information about a child or young person, provision will be discussed with parents and quantified.  However, where a face to face assessment has not been completed in the last 6 months and a thorough assessment has not been completed, it will not be possible to detail the outcomes and quantify the hours at this stage.  The advice produced will be based on information and contacts available at the time and a face to face assessment will be scheduled at the earliest possible time, as changes to the pandemic restrictions allows. 

A note detailing the exceptional circumstances under which the report has been written will be added to the end of the report.


The ability to fulfil EHC Needs Assessment requests will depend on the status of the CAMHS service at the time the request comes in.  Business continuity measures and staff redeployment are being put in place in light of the need to focus on managing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

As of 30th March, all requests to CAMHS will be prioritised based on clinical needs and in light of the impact of the current epidemic on service organisation. However, the child and adolescent mental health services will continue to receive referrals by email and their duty lines are open as usual, manned by a rotating core team. The primary focus of these services has to be on ensuring that there is capacity to prioritise and meet the demands of the most urgent or pressing cases and to deliver essential care and treatment.

Children’s Specialist Community Nursing Service (CSCNS)

The team’s main aim will be to keep children with complex health conditions safe and out of hospital. The team continues to receive referrals and requests and will endeavour to complete any EHC needs assessments requests in a timely manner. However, the primary focus of the services will be to ensure that the nursing needs of the most urgent or vulnerable children are being met and that essential care and treatment is delivered to them at home.

Any assessments completed will be with information gathered via telephone calls with parents, from other services where possible, from the clinical notes. Recommendations on nursing care to be provided, will be based on this information.


COVID-19 Temporary Changes to Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans

On 30th April 2020 guidance was published which outlined temporary changes to Education, Health and Care Plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

You can read more about these changes by visiting the  Education, Health and Care Plans section on the Local Offer.

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