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Initial health assessment

This page explains the reason for an Initial Health Assessment and what happens.

You might find this video explaining Initial Health Assessments made by Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group helpful. Select the link Health Assessments – What to expect – YouTube

Why do I need an Initial Health Assessment?

Your health and wellbeing are very important. A health assessment helps you to have good physical and mental health. Being healthy can make other things in life easier like school and friendships. And being healthy when you are young means you are more likely to stay healthy as an adult. The health assessment helps you and those who care for you know how to look after your health.

Because being healthy is important, the law says that all children and young people who are Looked After should have a health assessment.

Before my appointment

This appointment is for you, so have a think if there is anything you are worried about, want to ask or talk about. Sometimes it helps to write it down. The doctor is here to listen to you.

The doctor will ask you and your carer to bring your red book, if possible, that has information about you as a baby like vaccinations. And to bring any hospital letters you might have from other doctors that you see.

To make sure the doctor has as much information as possible they will look at your hospital and GP records before your appointment.

Who comes with me?

Your carer and social worker usually come with you to the appointment and you choose who comes into the room with you and the doctor. You will be offered time in your appointment to be seen on your own so you can talk about your health, but you can say no if you prefer.

Consent (permission for health assessment) and Confidentiality (privacy)

If you are able to make decisions about your health (capacity) or are over 16, you will be asked for your permission (consent) for the health assessment. If you are under 16, consent will have been provided before your appointment. The doctor will still explain and answer any questions and make sure you are happy to go ahead.

Anything you tell the doctor is confidential or private. But if something you say means you or another person is not safe then the doctor must tell someone.

What happens at my appointment?

Where: Level 2 Centenary House, part of the Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

When: The appointment date and time will have been agreed with you, the person/s who you live with and your social worker.

Who: A specialist children’s doctor who works in the Looked After and Adopted Child Health Team.

How long: 1 hour (or 1 hour and 30 minutes if you need an interpreter).

The doctor will talk with you about:

  • Any worries or questions you might have about your health
  • Your physical and mental health now and when you were younger
  • How things are at home and what you enjoy doing
  • School, college or work
  • People who are important to you like friends, family and relationships
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol, drugs and sexual health
  • How to stay healthy like visiting the dentist, exercising and eating and sleeping well

Will I be examined?

The doctor will offer to examine you:

They will check first if you want anyone with you or would prefer a chaperone (another healthcare worker). An examination can involve checking your height and weight, listening to your heart and chest and checking your eyes, ears and teeth.

At the end, you and the doctor will make a plan for any health needs you might have.

What happens after the appointment?

The doctor will prepare a health report which advises how best to look after your health. This report is shared with your GP, any other health professionals you see and your social worker. You can let the doctor know if there is anything you do not want included and it will not go in your report. A copy of your health plan will be offered to you and/or your carer.

Afterwards, you will be offered a Review Health Assessment at least once a year with a specialist nurse to monitor your health and wellbeing.

What happens if I am a young person seeking asylum?

The health assessment and health report will not affect your asylum application in any way. The report is not shared with the organisation processing your asylum claim.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: MH82

Resource Type: Article

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