Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Special educational needs and disabilities

Many Children and Young People (CYP) with SEND will have health needs. The CCG works in partnership with the local authorities in Birmingham and Solihull to ensure that commissioning works in the most appropriate way to meet health needs under the SEND code of practice. This often involves complex cross-agency and cross-system working with partners.

The CCG funds a team of Designated Clinical Officers (DCOs) and Designated Medical Officers (DMOs) to support the CCG to meet its statutory responsibilities for CYP with SEND from 0 – 25 years under the SEND Code of Practice. This involves maintaining oversight of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and processes, ensuring that health assessments, planning and support is carried out by health providers in accordance with SEND code of practice and quality assuring the health input into both the graduated approach as well as within EHCPs.

The DMO/DCO team is involved in SEND improvement work across Birmingham and Solihull and works collaboratively across both local authorities and with all relevant health provider organisations to improve the service offered to our population.

Rix Wiki pilot scheme for Birmingham

Birmingham City Council, Birmingham Children’s Trust and the local NHS are working together to improve Birmingham Children’s Services. To find out about the Rix Wiki pilot scheme, please click here

Meet the team

Dr. Orlaith Byrne (DMO Birmingham)

Dr Orlaith Byrne


Dr. Manjeet Raina (DMO Birmingham)

Dr Manjeet Raina


Ali Beard (DCO Birmingham)

Ali Beard


Maria Kidd (DCO Solihull)

Maria Kidd

The Children and Families Act

The Children and Families Act 2014 transformed the SEND system of support for children and young people (CYP) and extended the legal SEND support framework to up to 25 years of age.

With a strong emphasis on CYP achieving good outcomes, becoming independent and being included in the community, the Act requires education, health and social care to work closely together as equal partners in SEND support.

The SEND code of practice (within the Act) provides detailed statutory guidance for education, health and care services and makes explicit the need for joint commissioning, integrated support across agencies and access to personal health budgets, as well as giving parents/carers and young people a greater say in their own care and support.

You can watch the film below to hear what the changes mean and how young people and their families get more of a say in their support.

The code of practice describes a ‘graduated approach’ to SEND support, where services work together for CYP who have additional support needs via SEND support plans and health care plans. A small minority of CYP will benefit from an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). You can learn more about what an EHCP is here.

 Other useful links related to SEND services include:

The Local Offer

As part of the new SEND code of practice, local authorities are required to publish and keep up to date information about services from education, health and social care which they expect to be available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) aged 0-25. This is known as the Local Offer.

The Local Offer aims to improve choice, flexibility and transparency for families so that they can be clear about what services are available to support them and their child with SEND. By setting out the local provision available, both families and professionals are enabled to make informed decisions and plan for the future.

The Local Offer clarifies what provision is normally available from Early Years settings, all types of schools (including academies, independent and free schools), post 16 colleges and other services including health and social care as well as the third sector providers.

Please follow the links to view information on your local offer:


In Birmingham, the two Designated Medical Officers (DMOs) are Dr Orlaith Byrne and Dr Manjeet Raina, who share the DMO role alongside their work as Consultant Community Paediatricians in Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust. Ali Beard brings her clinical background in speech and language therapy and works full time in the role of Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) within the CCG. 

The Birmingham DMO/DCO team act as a link into the range of health providers in the city: Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Forward Thinking Birmingham, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital as well as local GPs and the acute hospitals.


In Solihull, Maria Kidd works part time as Designated Clinical Officer (DMO) for SEND, combining this with her role as Clinical Lead for Children and Young People’s Continuing Care across the Birmingham and Solihull footprint. Maria brings her experience of commissioning in both health and local authority and has a clinical background in health visiting. Dr Renu Jainer, Consultant Community Paediatrician for University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is the interim DMO.

In Solihull there is close work with Solihull MBC as well as health providers such as SOLAR, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital as well as local GPs and the acute hospitals.

For more information on health services in your area, please go to:

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