Assessment and Planning

Assessment and planning must focus on the individual needs of the child and their family. Co-ordinated support is essential for getting it right for children with exceptional healthcare needs.

Getting it Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) provides the approach to assessment and planning that allows the child’s needs to be identified at the right time and supported by the appropriate professionals.


Assessment and planning should be an ongoing process whether the child is in hospital, at home or in the community and includes the following:

The assessment and planning process at any stage must involve the child and family and information must be shared between hospital and community staff, in particular the child’s Named Person.

Children with Exceptional Healthcare Needs will require a ‘Child’s Plan’ where there are different professionals and agencies involved; this must identify actions, outcomes, timescales and responsibility.

A Lead Professional must be identified to ensure that the different professionals and agencies act as a team and the help they are all offering fits together seamlessly to provide support for the child and family. For a child with exceptional healthcare needs the Lead Professional may change at the different transitions throughout their life (e.g. in the early years when the child is in hospital the Lead Professional may be the paediatrician or nurse).

Please see the Discharge Planning, Continuing Care and Palliative Care sections of the pathway for further useful websites and documents related to Assessment & Planning.

Useful web sites:

Useful documents: