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Designated Medical/Clinical Officer

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) must provide a designated medical officer (DMO) or designated clinical officer (DCO). The DMO/DCO plays a key part in implementing the SEND reforms and in supporting joined up working between health services, local authorities, schools and colleges. The DMO/DCO provide the point of contact for local authorities, schools and colleges seeking health advice on children and young people who may have SEN or disabilities. 

The Council for Disabled Children have provided some advice and guidance on what the two roles could look like here:

In Swindon we have both a DMO and DCO who support in the following ways:


DMO, Dr Teresa Carter,

Teresa provides ½ a day a week in her DMO role in addition to her community paediatric work at Great Western Hospital. She fulfils her duties through:

  • Attendance/advice to SEN review/Assessment Panel on a weekly basis, in close liaison with DCO
  • Advice to local authority about specific questions related to health conditions and interventions
  • Advice on individual cases as requested by schools/local authority
  • Monitor and audit provision of health information related to SEND and suggest improvements where applicable.
  • Supporting the DCO with SEND strategic workstreams as required.


DCO, Fiona Corless,

Fiona started in post on 5th August 2019 and is employed for 37.5 hours per week. She supports the CCG and LA with strategic and operational aspects of SEND through:

  • Attendance and input at relevant strategic partnership boards within the CCG and LA
  • Attendance and input at relevant operational groups supporting SEND within the CCG and LA
  • Providing clinical comment and SEND perspective on the development of policies, pathways and services as required by the LA and CCG
  • Supporting liaison and developing relationships between health and other partners; social care; local authority education teams; nurseries, schools and colleges etc.
  • Advice to local authority about specific questions related to health conditions and interventions
  • Advice to health providers about specific questions related to SEND pathways and processes
  • Support and advice to parents and SSFV on health related aspects of SEND
  • Advice on individual cases as requested by schools/local authority/health.
  • Supporting joint working, assessment and commissioning for individual complex cases and the development of systems and processes for joint funding panel, children’s continuing care and care and education treatment reviews.
  • Supporting and developing the health advice/information in relation to the EHCP processes at all stages
  • Supporting the LA with health aspects of SEND tribunals as required.
  • Supporting the CCG to fulfil health related actions from the Written Statement of Action

You can find out more about Fiona (DCO) in this issue of Swindon SEND Family Voice Newsletter 

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