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Your health and social care

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We can provide you with information and practical advice about your physical and mental health, and social care.

Physical wellbeing

It's important to know how to keep healthy and look after yourself properly. This includes eating healthy food and taking regular exercise to keep our bodies in good physical and emotional health, so you can stay well to do the things you want to do.

See further information and advice on healthy eating and keeping active from local and national organisations:

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Mental wellbeing

Looking after you mental health and wellbeing is as important as looking after your physical health.

If you're concerned about your mental health, make an appointment to see your doctor.

York's Young People Information Service provides information to any young person living in York up to age 25 years. No matter what your question you can contact them on telephone: 01904 555400 (Monday to Friday, 10.00am to 4.00pm), or email:

You can also ask for support from your current school or college; they may be able to help you access different resources and services that you need.

See further information and advice on social, emotional and mental health difficulties from local and national organisations:

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Health and attendance at school or college

Most children or young people miss school or college on occasion due to short term illnesses such as colds or sickness. Your parents should report this type of absence using the school’s absence procedure.

Some children may not be able to attend school or college because they have a medical or mental health condition which affects their school life.

If you're struggling to go to your school or college because of anxieties or difficulties that may be related to your special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), the first thing to do is to speak to your teacher or school Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). You could ask for a meeting with your school or college to talk about your concerns, discuss what support might be needed, and decide next steps together.

By law schools must work with you to identify and support any special needs that you may have. You can see more information about this legal requirement in the .

Every school should have a policy about how they support pupils with medical needs. This policy should explain what your school can do when you have medical needs. You should be able to view this policy on the school's website. If not, you can ask the school for a copy.

You do not need a formal diagnosis for your school to offer support. If your medical condition is unclear, they should seek further medical advice about what support may be needed.

You could speak to your doctor about your concerns. If the doctor agrees that you should not attend school they may be able to speak with school or college, or give you a letter to give to your school or college.

If you have a long term medical or mental health condition, your school or college can seek advice from the Specialist Teaching Team at the council. See more information about the and how they can support pupils with physical difficulties and medical needs.

If you would like further information or advice on attending school or college with health or medical needs you can contact us and we can talk to you about this and offer some help and advice.

See further information and advice on your health and attendance at school or college:

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Health and care plans

Individual Health and Care Plans (IHC Plans) are for children and young people who attend school or college and have a medical condition.

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans) are for children and young people if they have special educational needs (SEN).

An EHC Plan is a legal document and an IHCP is not.

Individual Health Care Plans

An IHC Plan is a document about a child or young person’s medical condition and how they would like to be supported to have good attendance and do their best in school.

IHC Plans are written for students with long-term and complex medical conditions such as:

  • allergies
  • asthma
  • diabetes
  • epilepsy

You don’t need to have a diagnosis of a medical condition, as long as you have medical needs which require you to need help or support to take part in school life you can have an IHC Plan. For example some students with IHC Plans need more help in physical education, on a school trip, or have to take medicines while they are at school.

IHC Plans are written with you, your parent or carer, your school and the healthcare professional who supports you. The IHC Plan is used by school to know how to support your health condition so that you can achieve and remain in school.

An IHC Plan is not a legal document but it is good practice to have one to support a child with a medical condition at school.

An IHC Plan should be reviewed at least once per year.

Education Health and Care Plans

Sometimes schools or colleges may not be able to give a child or young person all the support they need. If you're not making expected progress and you do not already have an EHC Plan then you may need an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) to find out what support you need. It may be helpful to think about when an EHCNA would be helpful to better understand your needs.

Additional support provided through an EHC Plan could be through things such as:

  • work being sent home
  • an IT application for learning
  • home tuition
  • an Individual Health Care Plan (IHCP)
  • a referral to the Specialist Teaching Team at City of York Council

If you have an EHC Plan it might be helpful to ask for an early review of your plan to see if your needs have changed and if further help or support is needed.

See more information about , and .

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Care and support needs assessments

If you have a named social worker you can contact them to talk about your care needs and any further support you think is needed.

If you are unsure who your social worker is you can contact the appropriate team at City of York Council:

  • If you're under 18 - Children's Services Team, or the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
  • Telephone: 01904 551900
  • Email:

If you're under 18 and you don’t have a social worker, you're still considered a child under social care law. This means your care needs are assessed under the Children Act 1989, and by the Children’s Services Team, or MASH.

If you're under 18 and feel that you have care needs, or you find it difficult to look after yourself, contact the Children's Services Team or MASH. They can provide more information about assessments, determining what your needs are, and how you can be supported.

An assessment is the start of the process to decide if services are needed and for you. It's your opportunity to tell the Children’s Services Team or MASH about your needs, or your family’s needs.

See further information about (City of York Council).

If you have an EHC Plan you will transition from the Children’s Services Team or MASH to adult social care services at the age of 18, but it can happen from age 17.

If you have a social worker they will talk to you about this and help to make a plan for the transition into adult social care.

If you have an EHC Plan and you're approaching 18 years of age, it might be helpful to ask your social worker to come to your next review.

If you're likely to have some social care needs when you turn 18, you should be offered a transitions assessment. A transitions assessment is carried out to get the right care and support plan in place for you before you become an adult. For more information about this contact the Children's Services Team or MASH.

If you're 18 or over and believe you have care needs and find it difficult to look after yourself, you can contact the at City of York Council to ask for an assessment.

See information and advice about moving from children’s health to adult health teams, as part of our advice about how we can .

See further information and advice about care and support needs assessments:

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Annual health checks

An annual health check can help you stay well by talking to a doctor or nurse about your health and finding any problems early, they can be sorted out.

You can have an at your doctors if you are aged 14 or over. You don't have to feel unwell to have an annual health check.

A health check would give you a chance to get used to visiting the doctors, or ask any questions you have about your health. The doctor will offer you a physical check and will talk to you about your emotions, well-being, lifestyle and diet. They will also talk to you about any medications that you take and check that any health conditions you have are well managed.

The National Development Team for Inclusion, working in partnership with Mencap, have produced an .

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Personal budgets and direct payments

We can provide you with advice about .

We can help you to understand:

  • Personal Budgets and Direct Payments
  • Eligibility for Personal Budgets
  • Use of Personal Budget funding
  • Other available Personal Budget funding

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Young Carers

A young carer is a young person, under the age of 18, who provides care for another family member because they have:

  • a physical illness
  • a disability
  • a mental health condition
  • a drug or alcohol problem

If you're a young carer in secondary school and you're finding school difficult because you're looking after someone at home, you can carry a Young Carer’s Card with you and show it to teachers when you need support.

See further advice and support for young carers in York:

A young adult carer is a young person aged between 18 and 25, who helps to look after a family member or friend who has a physical or mental illness, a disability or an addiction.

See further advice and support for young adult carers in York:

If you're a young carer or a young adult carer, you can contact us for more help or information, or if you would like to talk to us about your concerns and get information about what you can do next.

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