SEND health and wellbeing

Hillingdon has a wide range of health services for children and young people with SEND, including:

Universal health services

Everyone can access universal health services (also called primary services); they are your first point of contact if you have concerns or questions about your child's health and wellbeing. A referral is not required. 

The following services are universal health services.

General practitioners

A general practitioner (GP) is a doctor who offers help with general health concerns and can refer you to more specialist services where needed.

Find your local GP and how to register

Hillingdon Health Visiting and School Nursing Service 

The Hillingdon Health Visiting and School Nursing service offers tailored guidance and support to families and partner services who work with children and young people within Hillingdon.

The service is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Get in contact by calling 01895 891302 or email

Annual health checks

Annual health checks are available for children with SEND from the age of 14 and can help you stay well. You can talk with a doctor or nurse about your health and find any problems early, so they can be sorted out.

If you are worried about seeing a doctor, or there is anything they can do to make your appointment better, let the doctor or nurse know. They can make changes to help you. These are called reasonable adjustments.

Annual health checks - easy read guide by Mencap (PDF) [2MB]

Find out more about annual health checks


Anyone under the age of 18 is entitled to free dental care. There is no need to register with a dentist (in the same way as with a GP) because you are not bound to a catchment area.

For children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both, there may be extra challenges, such as sensory issues around having their teeth brushed, or the texture of toothpaste. Some children and young people may be unable to describe tooth pain.

Find to find a dentist in your area

Parents' guide to dental care (PDF) [271KB]


Children with learning disabilities are 28 times more likely to have serious sight problems than other children. if you are worried about your child's sight, book a free appointment with your high street optician. For children with exceptional needs, local opticians will usually have specially-trained staff who can advise whether they can do a test, given your child's needs - they should be able to meet the needs of most children and babies. If they cannot meet your child's needs, request a referral from your GP (or from the optician) to a specialist service at the hospital.

SeeAbility has a national database of optometrists and opticians, which includes important information about the practice and facilities they have available for people with learning disabilities.

A parents' guide to eye care (PDF) [373KB]

Hearing care 

Hearing loss in children and young people with a learning disability, autism (or both) is 10 times higher than in other children and young people. They are also very likely to have a condition called glue ear. Hearing difficulties can cause, or contribute to, speech or language delays, difficulties learning and reading, and communicating with others.

Talk to your child's school, GP, health visitor, or paediatrician about any concerns you have about your child's hearing. Read more about causes of hearing problems in babies and children, spotting signs of a hearing problem and  tests for children on the NHS website.

A parents' guide to hearing care (PDF) [305KB]

Secondary services

Children with special educational needs and disabilities will need support from different health services at different stages in their lives.

Some children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities will have more complex needs and may need more specialist services (also called secondary services).

Some of the health professionals who may be involved in healthcare for children and young people with disabilities are:

Sleep difficulties

Children with SEND may have more problems with sleep than other children. Without specialist support, sleep problems can continue for years. Sleep deprivation not only affects a child's learning, behaviour, mood and health but also the physical and mental wellbeing of the whole family.

If your child has a complex medical condition, then talk to their neurologist or paediatrician especially if they are on medication as these maybe affecting their sleep.

Page last updated: 20 Mar 2024