Community Paediatrics Referral Guidance

The Social Communication Pathway

The Social Communication Pathway is made up of a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) of professionals including Community Paediatricians (United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust), Speech and Language Therapists (Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust) and Clinical Psychologists (Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust). These professionals will talk and share information about you in order to complete a thorough assessment. They will also request to access all of your child's historical medical records as part of their assessment. 

How do I refer?

Community Paediatrics recommend that referrals should ideally come from school, however if this is not possible (for example if a child/young person is out of education) then GPs, a member of the Early Years Nursing Team, or Health Visitors can complete a referral.

Referral forms can be requested by GP or a School. Other supporting information that needs to be submitted include 

  • Referral form
  • Parent Questionnaire
  • School Questionnaire
  • Consent form

This is an assessment pathway, however Community Paediatrics may signpost you to other services for advice, support or intervention, where this is indicated.  

Things Professionals are advised to consider before a referral is made

There are many conditions that can include difficulties with social communication/interaction for children and young people. This includes conditions such as hearing loss, speech and language difficulties, learning difficulties, dyspraxia, depression and anxiety, bullying and emotional worries about the home. It’s important, therefore, to consider such possible contributing factors before making a referral to the service and during the assessment process. Before referring a child for an assessment for social communication and interaction concerns, please make sure the checks outlined below have been taken.  

For children under age 4: 

  • The child has had a developmental check within the past 12 months  
  • Check that the child and family have been offered first line intervention and support. This could include parenting support and advice through Health Visitor, pre-school/nursery, school or a family support worker through Early Help. 
  • There has been a hearing test to rule out hearing difficulties where this is an identified area of concern. 
  • A referral to Speech and Language Therapy has been made where there are identified concerns about the child’s speech or language skills.  

For children aged 5-16   

  • Make sure that needs-led support is in place within the school environment. Children and young people should be able to access appropriate support in school regardless of whether a diagnosis is made.  
  • Check that the child and family have been offered first line intervention and support. This could include parenting support and advice through school, or a family support worker through Early Help. 
  • For older children, check that difficulties with social interaction, communication and restrictive behaviours pre-date secondary school and have been present since early childhood  

Community Paediatrics

For more information on Community Paediatrics visit their website on:

Please note: Community Paediatrics is a service provided by a different NHS Trust (United Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust) and is therefore not a service provided by LPFT Children and Young Peoples (CYP) Services. Details on this page for your information only, and our staff will not be able to provide any additional information.

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