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3.7.6 GPs, Dentists and Opticians


This procedure applies to all Children Looked After.


See Health Needs Assessments and Individual Health Plans Procedure for required frequency of health checks.


  1. Notifications and Registrations with GP's, Dentists and Opticians
  2. Appointments with GP's, Dentists and Opticians
  3. Frequency of Checks by Dentists and Opticians

1. Notifications and Registration with GP's, Dentists and Opticians

As soon as a child becomes looked after, the child's social worker will notify the child's GP and the Health Team for Children Looked After, and arrange for the child's Statutory Health Needs Assessment - see Health Needs Assessments and Individual Health Plans Procedure.

The social worker must ensure that the child is registered with a GP, Optician and Dentist, preferably retaining registration with a practitioner known to the child. The social worker should liaise with the provider/carer to make these arrangements. For children who are unable to be registered with a dentist, contact the Leeds Dental Advice Line in the first instance. If this is unsuccessful a Social Worker can access the Community Dental Service. Support can be obtained from the Health Team for Children Looked After.

Details of the registration or any changes must be recorded, by the social worker, on ICS.

The child's GP should be recorded on ICS.

2. Appointments with GP's, Dentists, Opticians

If children appear to require or request it, appointments should be made for them to see their GP or other medical practitioners as appropriate.

When appointments are made, account should be taken of the child's wishes, for example, to see a practitioner of a preferred gender. Also, appointments should preferably be made which do not disrupt the child's education.

Parents and the child's social worker should, if possible, be consulted before making appointments; and they should be informed of the outcome. If a young person is Fraser Competent they should be asked whether they want parents/carers to know of the appointment and or outcome.

As appropriate, ICS should be updated to take account of these appointments. For children placed in foster care and residential care, these details must also be recorded in the relevant child's Daily Record.

3. Frequency of Checks by Dentists and Opticians

Children who are looked after need to be registered with and have seen a dentist by the age of 12 months. They should have dental checks every 6 months or as directed by the dentist but no less than annually. They should also have the usual childhood checks to their eye-sight by a Health Visitor/School Nurse. Any concerns should lead to an urgent follow up appointment with an optician. If the child wears glasses, the checks should be as required by the optician.

Dates of checks should be recorded on ICS.