Child Development Centre - Northampton General Hospital

Type of service:
Health Services
Cliftonville, Northampton General Hospital Trust, Northampton, NN1 5BD
Telephone number:
01604 545841
Service description:
The CDC is a centre that offers multi-disciplinary assessment for children from birth up to 5 years of age. The team sees pre-school children who may have a delay in their development or some other special need. Some difficulties are identified at birth, others become apparent or develop as a child grows. This may include special needs in a number of areas, such as vision, hearing, speech, physical, and emotional development, and/or learning difficulties. Problems can be temporary and disappear as the child gets older, or they may be more permanent.

Referrals must be made in writing and supported by a medical practitioner.

The assessment usually lasts 2 days. During the assessment the child is seen by the team who assess the child's physical health, play skills, social skills, hearing, vision, speech, language, communication and movement. We can then recommend help to meet your child's individual needs and review those needs as necessary. Ongoing care may be provided to families by a number of different members of the team. This may be part of a group session or on an individual basis, and may take place in the Child Development Centre (CDC), at home, or at any pre-school group.

Following the assessment a report is produced which will be discussed with you at a meeting soon after the assessment.

What should I bring to my appointment?
Please bring your child’s Personal Child Health Record (Red Book) so that measurements can be recorded.

About the team
The multi-disciplinary assessment team is made up of nurses, nursery nurses, paediatricians, speech and language therapist, physiotherapists and administrative staff. The team may approach other professionals to gather information about your child and these reports will be discussed with you.

The Nurses and Nursery Nurses guide you and your child through the assessment and are at hand to sort out any problems. They take part in assessing your child’s play, early learning and social skills. One of the nurses will visit each family at home before the assessment.

The Paediatrician will discuss your child’s difficulties with you. He/she will examine your child and arrange any investigations that are needed. The doctor will lead the meeting where the assessment report is shared with you and discuss plans for the future.

The Speech and Language Therapist offers specialised assessment, diagnosis and help with a range of difficulties with communication. These include speech, understanding, social interaction and difficulties with eating or drinking. The therapist will give support and advice on any problems in these areas.

The Physiotherapist looks at each child’s movement and balance, how the muscles and joints are working and whether he/she needs any special footwear, equipment or follow-up treatment.

The Orthoptist checks children’s vision and is based in the Eye Department 2 floors down. If this check reveals a problem then your child would be referred to the Consultant Ophthalmologist for review.

The Audiologist checks children’s hearing and is based in the Children’s Hearing Clinic in Area K. Your child may be seen during the CDC assessment or an appointment arranged for a later date. This check is particularly important for children with a speech, language or communication difficulty though it may take more than one assessment to establish whether or not their hearing is normal.

The Clinical Psychologist may be involved in your child’s assessment if this has been requested or they may be asked to become involved following the assessment. The psychologist can help identify strategies to help with challenging behaviour. Changing how you handle this behaviour can be rewarding for both you and your child.

The Administrative Team will give you a warm welcome when you phone or visit the CDC. They will deal with your particular requirements as promptly and efficiently as possible.

Children should be referred to a Community Paediatrician in the first instance who will assess the need for a full 2-day assessment at the Child Development Centre

Age range:
0 - 5 years
Opening hours:
Monday 08:30 - 16:30
Tuesday 08:30 - 16:30
Wednesday 08:30 - 16:30
Thursday 08:30 - 16:30
Friday 08:30 - 16:30
Eligibility criteria:
  • Age
  • Live In Daventry
  • Living In South Northants
  • Northampton
Referral route:
  • Referrals Must Be Made In Writing And Supported By A Medical Practitioner
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