Welcome to our FAQs section. We understand there are many questions for each of the categories, areas of concern and services we offer. Below are the most common questions to assist you in the first instance, however our staff in the services we offer will be more than happy to assist by phone or email.

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How can I be referred to the Children and Family Services?

Please see each of our services pages to view the information on who is eligible and how they can be referred.

How long will my child wait for an appointment?

The period of time before your first appointment will vary depending on which service your child requires but we aim to see all children as soon as we can. Each service will triage all referrals according to clinical need and more urgent cases will be prioritised.

Will my child be seen virtually or in person?

Provide children and family services offer a mix of virtual and face to face appointments dependent on clinical need.

How are you minimising the risk of COVID-19?

All of our staff have been offered 2 vaccines and are encouraged to test themselves twice weekly for Covid -19 using lateral flow tests.  In all our buildings, social distancing measures are in place and all staff will be wearing Personal Protective equipment – please see our video 

How can i give feedback or comments about the service

You can give feedback directly to staff members or by completing the quick and anonymous Friends and Family test here

Your feedback is a key source of information and we encourage you to get in touch if you have any questions, concerns, compliments or would like to make a complaint relating to our services. We can:

  • Resolve your problems or concerns
  • Provide advice and support
  • Answer your questions
  • Point you in the right direction of useful information and support

The Customer Service Team operates Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and aim to respond to all queries within 3 working days.

0300 303 9951


Provide Customer Services Team, 900 The Crescent, Colchester Business Park, Colchester, Essex, C04 9YQ

For further information please read our complaints leaflet and easy read complaints leaflet

Is there a cost for your training?

There is no cost for our training as long as you meet our referral criteria. This includes;
• Schools within Essex
• Clubs who receive funding through Action for Children
• ECC managed care homes
• Foster Carers employed by ECC
• ECC approved care providers

I have been trained for a named child, if I then look after another child is my original training valid?

The competencies we complete are child specific. This means for example if you are trained to administer Buccal Midazolam to one child and then you look after another child with this need, you will need to complete another competency. This allows you the opportunity to discuss details specific to the named child and so you can be competent and confident in care delivery.

How long will my training be valid for?

Your awareness certificate is valid for 2 years and any competencies for a named child are valid for one year.

Can I access your training if I don’t meet your commissioned areas? (e.g. direct payments carer’s private agencies or nurseries?

At this current time we are only able to deliver training to services who meet our referral criteria.

Do you deliver training on manual handling and first aid training?

No. We only provide training in healthcare tasks listed on our service page

I am a parent and would like to source training for staff supporting my child in my own home.

At this current time we are only able to deliver training to services who meet our referral criteria. Please discuss this further with your Social Worker or Continuing Healthcare Team.

Who do I contact if I have any further questions that are not answered on this page?

Please email any queries to provide.specialisthealthcare@nullnhs.net

How can I refer a child for speech and language therapy?


  • Eating and Drinking Difficulties If your child is above the age of 1 and have eating and/or drinking difficulties you can phone the Care Coordination Centre or they can be referred by their school, nursery, health visitor, social care or GP.
  • Communication Difficulties If your child is aged 2-5 and you are concerned about their communication skills, please bring your child to a Communication Station drop-in clinic – for more information please click here. This includes children who are in Reception at school.
  • Communication Stations involve meeting a speech and language therapist for a short 15-minute triage appointment to assess your child, or review their progress if we have seen them before. We can also refer onwards to other professionals if needed.
  • If you would like more information about what your child should be doing at their age, please visit the ICAN website here.

School aged

  • School aged children (Year 1-6) are referred by their school, please view our referral formand Information pack.
  • Children with an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) whose specified therapy is over and above the core provision commissioned by health are seen by the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) team – for more information click here.
  • We do not currently provide a service for secondary aged children, unless they attend a special school, or the Speech and Language Centre at Notley.
Will I have to pay/Can I pay for extra sessions?

We are an NHS provider and UK citizens do not pay for our service. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for any of our services or require additional support, Wellbeing offers a range of flexible, affordable and high-quality self-pay services including Children's Speech and Language Therapy. To find out more visit the website.

What will happen at my first appointment?

During the appointment you will be asked some questions about your child and how they are communicating. The speech and language therapist may ask you:

  • How your child currently communicates e.g. what words do they say? Do they point to things? Do they use gesture? It helps if you have a few examples of things they do and say
  • What your child talks about e.g. Do they make requests? Do they tell you about what they can see and ask questions?
  • Whether your child can follow instructions, point to things in books or know what happens in routines at home like mealtimes and bath times. If your child is older, can they follow stories and conversations? Do they interact with others?
  • About your child’s play and interests. How your child plays with toys and other people. Again, it helps to have an example of a few things they like to do
  • If you are worried about your child stammering
  • If you are worried about your child’s eating and drinking skills
  • Whether your child’s talking is clear

The speech and language therapist will also need to ask you about:

  • Other professionals who see your child e.g. doctors, physiotherapists or occupational therapists
  • Who lives at home so our records are up to date
  • The name of your child’s school/nursery if they go to one
  • If you give your consent to share information with other people that know your child e.g. school, health visitors
  • For some children, we may need to ask more detailed information about their medical history, their hearing and vision and developmental milestones (first steps, first words etc.)

At the end of the phone call, the speech and language therapist will let you know about what will happen next

  • If we are not worried about your child’s skills we will discharge them
  • We may give you some advice to help your child’s communication. We may direct you to some training on our website.
  • We may offer some more specialist therapy or intervention.
English is not my first language – how can I be supported?

If you need support in understanding spoken English at an appointment, you can ask a family member or friend to attend with you or we can arrange for an interpreter to support you at your child's appointment.

Will I always see the same therapist?

In order to provide the most equitable and efficient service, appointments could be offered by different therapists. However, we will always endeavour to keep your child with the therapist that knows them, where possible.

What if my child refuses to talk?

Do not worry at all. We understand that many children feel anxious to talk with unfamiliar people. We can get lots of information from you and can still give advice. We might try talking to them another day.

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