Spotlight on: Individual Health Care Plans

Article source: The Adopt South West Co-Production Group

Template document for supporting toileting in nurseries, schools and colleges

ERIC the Bowel and Bladder Charity tell us that some children struggle with a bladder condition which means they need to wee urgently and frequently, others may not ‘feel’ when to go to the toilet due to trauma, sensory needs or have a bowel condition such as constipation where they leak.

Through Co-production ERIC has kindly produced a template Individual Healthcare Plan with input from Dr Eve Fleming, a community paediatrician and Brenda Cheer, a Paediatric Continence Specialist Nurse. The plan was reviewed by a school nurse, a paediatrician, and two families of school-age children with continence problems.

ERIC say:

When some children need to wee or poo, they have to go and shouldn’t be told to ‘hold on’. If they’re afraid to ask to go to the toilet or the toilets aren’t a pleasant place to be, this can make their continence problem worse and reduce their ability to manage or overcome it.

For small children it may negatively affect their ability to learn to use the loo.

Individual Healthcare Plan for pupils with continence conditions

An Individual Healthcare Plan (IHP) is essential to ensure a child’s needs are sensitively and effectively met in education settings and that all people responsible for the child understand their needs.

Download the template Individual Healthcare Plan from ERIC’s website.

This template can be adapted to your child’s needs, share this with your Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) or child’s teacher.

Access to toilets in primary school

Find out what the arrangements are for children to get permission to use toilets during class time.

Children, especially younger ones, cannot be relied upon to need the toilet only at set times like playtime and lunchtime and so there needs to be a certain amount of flexibility for them to go outside these set times.

Unfortunately, we know some schools may take a fairly inflexible approach to this, and in reception in particular, this isn’t appropriate for this age group.

Children will usually need to ask permission to leave the classroom, but can be nervous about asking out loud or worry about interrupting the teacher. If this is the case, speak to the teacher about a more discreet system for your child to alert the class teacher that they are leaving the room such as placing a magnet on the whiteboard or a codeword or hand-signal they can use.

This can be agreed in your meetings with the teacher or SENCo and included in the Individual Healthcare Plan.

If you have an EHCP this can be included in your next review.

Find out more

This great supporting resource is designed by the Bladder & Bowel UK & ERIC to support nurseries, schools and colleges; it provides all the legislation, support and recommendations to make reasonable adjustments to support children and young adults.

Find out more from ERIC they also have information on toilet policy and lots of resources online.