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Initial Health Assessment

When a child or young person comes into care they will have an Initial Health Assessment (IHA) – this is a statutory health assessment that is required to be completed within 28 days of coming into care. It is completed by a paediatrician or an appropriately trained medical practitioner.

Before the assessment

  • Information is sourced from parents, carers, GPs, health visitors and school nurses
  • Qualified nurses, health visitors, school nurses and specialist nurses in the Looked After Children Service will review and identify health needs and actions from previous assessments and outcomes

The assessment

The assessment consists of a general discussion about the young person’s health and general well being. There will be an opportunity for the young person to discuss any concerns or worries they may have.

All children and young people need to be present for their health assessment. Parents and carers will be consulted but young people at the top end of our age range will be offered time to be seen alone.

If you are invited to the assessment as the guardian of the young person, or if you are the young person, it is important that you bring any relevant information you may have about your health including information about specialist services and appointments you may be attending such as dental, vision, hearing, speech and language, CAMHs etc.

Advice and information may be given on:

  • Child development
  • Height and weight
  • Emotional health
  • Dental health and oral hygiene
  • Vision and hearing
  • Immunisations and health promotion
  • Substance misuse
  • Sexual health and relationships

Appointment times may vary in length, this very often depends on your needs. You will be given opportunity to be involved and have your say.

After the assessment

All looked after children are reviewed periodically throughout the year and health needs are reviewed and revised. The LAC specialist nurses can be contacted at anytime throughout the year and may attend the young person’s LAC review.

Keeping the young person involved is very important; the parent and young person will receive a copy of the healthcare plan following an IHA.