Initial Health Assessment (IHA)

When a child or young person comes into care they will have an Initial Health Assessment (IHA) – this is a statutory health assessment that is required to be completed within 28 days of coming into care.

A qualified doctor in paediatrics will review the health of the young person when they come into care.

Before the assessment

Information is sourced from the local authority, parents, carers, GPs, health visitors and school nurses.

The assessment

The assessment consists of a general discussion about the child or young person’s health and general wellbeing. There will be an opportunity for the young person to discuss any concerns or worries they may have.

All children and young people need to be present for their health assessment. Parents and carers will be consulted but young people at the top end of our age range will be offered time to be seen alone.

If you are invited to the assessment as the guardian of the young person, or if you are the young person, it is important that you bring any relevant information you may have about your health including information about specialist services and appointments you may be attending such as dental, vision, hearing, speech and language, Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (EWMHS) etc.

Advice and information may be given on:

  • Child development
  • Height and weight
  • Emotional health
  • Dental health and oral hygiene
  • Vision and hearing
  • Immunisations and health promotion
  • Substance misuse
  • Sexual health and relationships

Appointment times may vary in length, this very often depends on the young person’s needs. You will be given opportunity to be involved and have your say.

After the assessment

All looked after children care plans from the initial health assessment are reviewed regularly throughout the year and health needs are reviewed and revised. The LAC Team can be contacted at any time throughout the year and may attend the young person’s LAC Statutory Review.

Keeping the young person involved is very important; the parent and young person will receive a copy of the healthcare plan following an IHA.