Learning Disability Service for Children and Young People


This service includes staff from the NHS Fife Psychology Service, Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and the Pediatric Nursing Service. Trainee doctoral Clinical Psychologists, Assistant Psychologists and Student Nurses also work within the team, under supervision


Who do we provide a service for?


The team works with children and young people aged 0-16 years or until they leave school.  They may have a Global Developmental Delay or a Learning Disability and mental health or behavioural problems.  They may also have Autism.


A Learning Disability is defined as a significant, lifelong condition present from childhood that affects an individual’s development. This leads to difficulties understanding information, learning new skills and coping independently. We also work closely with and support families and carers.


If you require the information in this leaflet in a community language or alternative format e.g. Braille, easy read or audio please contact the Equality and Diversity Team at: fife-uhb.equalityanddiversity@nhs.netor telephone 01383 565142


 Examples of difficulties that may be referred to our team include:

  • behavioural difficulties
  • difficulties with everyday living skills
  • challenging behaviours (e.g. significant self injury, harm to others)
  • hyperactivity disorders or other neuropsychiatric conditions
  • difficulties related toAutism Spectrum Disorders
  •  behavioural problems that may indicate mental health problems
  • concern about possible mood or anxiety disorders or psychosis.


How do I make a referral?

A referral must be made in agreement with the family. Contact with our service is voluntary.  We know it is more likely to be a positive experience and a successful outcome when people have been involved in the decision to refer. They are also more motivated to attend. Referrals will be considered when the difficulties have a significant impact on everyday life. A full description of the difficulties is required. This should include nature and duration, relevant background information, social circumstances and school information.  You can detail this in a letter or you could complete our referral form – this can be foundon the NHS Fife intranet.


What happens when you make a referral?

  • We review a referral and decide if it is appropriate for our service and who is the most appropriate professional to manage the case.
  • Families may receive an opt-in letter to invite them to phone for an allocated slot in the telephone triage. They will be offered a telephone call to gather further information before being put on our waiting list.
  • If the family would like to go ahead with the referral at this point they will be placed on the waiting list. They will be offered an assessment appointment when they reach the top of the waiting list (most referrals are seen within 18 weeks). 
  • If your referral is urgent please contact us to discuss.  We are available from 9am to 5pm only and do not operate an emergency service.
  • At the initial appointment the family will be seen by one or two professionals in the team.  The family should be given a clear intervention plan.
  • Referrers will be updated following initial assessment and kept  informed thereafter.

Who do we accept referrals from?

  • We accept referrals from all health or social care professionals.


What do we offer?

We may offer one or all of the following:

  • individual work with the young person
  •  work with parents and carers, including parenting groups
  • continuing consultation with other professionals and agencies, e.g. Community Learning Disability Nurses, GPs, education, social work and respite care providers
  •  referral to, and liaison with, other agencies
  • staff training for those working with the young person


 How do I know if this is the appropriate service to refer to?

  • We understand it can be difficult to decide the most appropriate agency to refer a family or young person on to and therefore we welcome general enquiries by telephone

Data Protection and Confidentiality     

  • The Service for Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities adheres to NHS Fife’s Data Protection Policy. In accordance with Fife’s inter-agency child protection procedures, if we have any concerns regarding the safety of a child or young person, we are obliged to notify relevant agencies.



Contact Details


NHS Fife

Service for Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities

Psychology Department

Lynebank Hospital


KY11 4UW

Tel      01383 565210 (psychology)


For more information contact

Gail Walsh, Community Learning Disability Nurse 
Tel: (01383) 565205 Contact Gail Walsh online
By Post: NHS Fife, Lynebank Hospital Halbeath Road Dunfermline Fife


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