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Designated Medical Officers (DMO & DCO)

The Designated Medical Officer (DMO) and the Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) have key roles to support joined up working between health services and local authorities and to implement the Children and Families Act reforms. 

Across Devon Torbay and Plymouth there are 3 DMO’s and 2 DCO’s. For Torbay these are:

  • Jane Dunlop (DMO)
  • Jo Pritchard (DCO)

The purpose of the DMO/DCO role is to have:


Across all health professionals delivering healthcare to disabled children, young people and those with special educational needs.


To ensure:

  • All health services are reflected in the Local Offer and that health providers are cooperating with the local authority in the review of the Local Offer.
  • Oversee and assure quality of Health contributions towards plans, and offer support and advice on early help and development of IHCP’s
  • Link between Education, health and social care to ensure a joined-up journey through the SEND process for children and young people.
  • Offer specialist health advice within the mediation and tribunal process, helping to coordinate health response

Strategic contribution to the development of:

  • A joint commissioning strategy that works towards the integration of services to improve outcomes
  • A participation and engagement strategy with children and young people with SEN and disability and their families
  • Engage various Health organizations in relevant SEND improvement work streams that have an interface with health services.
  • Advising on and developing local process, policy and coordination across all agencies.

In Brief DMO’s have more of a strategic oversight for SEND and DCO’s have a day to day hands on approach, but roles can interchange, and overall responsibility is shared.

They endeavor to work as a virtual team, with all officers being able to offer support and advice can be contacted at the single mailbox:

The Clinical officers should help facilitate the Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) process as well as the integrated health care plan process and link with the local health systems to help enable the best outcome for children and young people through the SEND process.