Therapies new Post 16 Assessment Clinic proves to be a huge success in its first year

The Academic Year 2022-23 saw the introduction of Cognus Therapies Post 16 Assessment Clinic. Emma Perridge (Occupational Therapist, OT) and Ashlea Stephens (Speech and Language Therapist, SaLT) noticed that they were getting a number of referrals into the Therapies service for the same young people. To avoid duplication for the young people and their parents, they decided to join forces and create a collaborative assessment and report template, focusing directly on the four Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) outcomes:

  1. Progression to further / higher education and/or employment  
  • Independent living and housing 
  • Friendships, relationships and being part of my community 
  • Being as healthy as possible in adult life 

Young people were invited into the clinic space at Cognus’ offices in Cantium House, Wallington for a 2-hour assessment with the OT and SaLT together. The therapists used this time to gather information and complete functional assessment tasks to ascertain the therapy needs of young people. Subsequently, a joint report was completed detailing the findings and making recommendations for any therapy provision needed. Working in such a collaborative way, meant that joint outcomes and sometimes even joint provision was recommended in order to fully meet the needs of the young people.

Across the Academic Year 2022-23, 18 slots in the assessment clinic were offered to young people across Sutton and the surrounding boroughs. On occasions when a clinic assessment setting was not appropriate, and by specific commissioning agreements, the therapists also visited individual education and residential provisions.

The therapists involved are loving the clinic: “I feel inspired, motivated and so encouraged to keep on building on our wonderful Post 16 work and assessment clinic!” and this has been recognised by their managers in feedback received:

“For the amazing work that you have completed setting up the assessment clinic which has proved to be so successful.”

A team manager for one local authority has been sharing her positive experiences of the clinic: “I was explaining to her about your PfA template and specialists so she may well be asking you to take on some ad hoc assessments.” A parent also commented: “So pleased with the help you are providing.”

The therapies Post 16 assessment clinic has proved to be such a success, that it will be extending into the Academic Year 2023-24 with new members of therapies staff keen to get involved.

If any local Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) teams would like to hear more, then please contact or to discuss.