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What is the Designated Clinical Officer?

Each Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) must appoint a designated clinical officer (DCO) dedicated to children with special educational needs and disabilities.

 The DCO plays a key role in implementing the Children and Families Act 2014 and supporting collaborative working between health services and local authorities

Role of the DCO

The role of the DCO is to:

  • provide a point of contact for local authorities, schools and colleges seeking health advice on children and young people who have been identified as having SEND and when specialist health advice is required
  • work in joint collaboration with schools, local authorities and health services to support pupils with complex medical conditions and life limiting conditions
  • ensure that assessment, planning and health support is carried out for children and young people with SEND, recognising the requirement to incorporate the transition to adult services and up to the age of 25
  • provide advice to the CCG and local authority in relation to strategic planning and the commissioning of services in relation to children and young people with SEND
  • ensure that co-operation between health services and the local authority is working in the best interest of the child/young person and the families/carers


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