What is an Individual Healthcare Plan?
Schools and education settings have a statutory duty to support pupils with medical conditions. The Children and Families Act 2014 requires these arrangements. The first step towards this is an effective and deliverable Medical Needs Policy. This clarifies the support for your child as a pupil within their school. It should also clarify their process for Individual Healthcare Plans (IHPs).
IHPs are different from Education Health Care Plans (EHCP) or Early Help Plans (EHP). But, they do sit alongside these other documents if required. A child or young person may have an IHP and not an EHP or EHCP.
IHPs are a collaborative document. They allow families, healthcare professionals and schools to clarify a child or young person’s medical need. They also consider how to manage that medical need while attending school.
An IHP is important to ensure that your child’s school:
- Knows their everyday care needs
- How to handle a medical emergency with them
- Is providing the right support for a child on an ongoing and consistent basis
All relevant staff should receive copies of and be aware of IHPs. Staff should know the procedures involved and their importance within a setting.
An IHP ensures schools will have the correct information about a medical condition. It also tells schools how it impacts upon the individual child’s needs. This ensures they can keep the child or young person safe and involved in school life.
All children with significant ongoing medical needs should have an IHP or similar document.
Is there advice on the role of parents or guardians? SHOW
What does the statutory guidance say? SHOW
What should an IHP include? SHOW
When will my child’s IHP be reviewed?
All schools must review IHPs at least annually. However, many plans will be reviewed more regularly based on:
- Information from families
- Specialist nursing teams advice
- Following medical appointments and/or medication reviews
The help a child needs is likely to change as time goes on, so their IHP will need to change to reflect this. At the very least it should be reviewed annually. It must also be reviewed when management of a medical condition changes or the level of care a child needs changes.