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"You Said, We Did"

We want this Local Offer website and the information on it to be helpful and meaningful to you. Parents/carers, young people and staff worked together to design this website, and to test its content and layout to ensure that it worked for those people who it is aimed at reaching.

The views of parents/carers and of children and young people with SEND are crucial if we are to continuously improve the SEND system in Bedford Boroughand so we want to hear your views on what is working well (so we can do more of this and share the learning), what can be improved and any ideas you might have for services or support that you feel would make a difference in improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND and their families.

We  use your comments and feedback to try to make things better.  

If you would like to get involved with developing Bedford Borough’s Local Offer website then please contact us

We publish responses to your comments here throughout the year.

The drop down boxes below show what has been done in response to previous feedback and queries raised regarding SEND in Bedford Borough in various forums.

If we get a comment about something that has not worked in a service we will tell the service managers. 

 

"You Said, We Did" No search results on the local offer November 19 to June 2020

We all know how frustrating it is when you got 5 minutes in your busy day to search for something on the local offer and you result is no results have been found for your search. 

We run a monthly report showing all the searches with no results return.  In the table below we have reported on and what action  that we have taken (for example; if someone searches for “Feeling down” and it has a nil return we add that as a search term for some of our mental health services).

We will going forward capture this as a ‘you said, we did’ section every quarter 4 times a year. 

As ever if you have any feedback regarding the keyword search terms or services you think we need to add from the nil return searches, please email local.offer@bedford.gov.uk  

Query Location Count Action taken 
November       
Grange    4 We have now created an entry in the directory for this service
https://localoffer.bedford.gov.uk/kb5/bedford/directory/service.page?id=OuwgL02ejiQ
the haven 2000 nurseey   1 We have now created an entry in the directory for this service
https://localoffer.bedford.gov.uk/kb5/bedford/directory/service.page?id=3WNQTHLxA2Q
ready steady roll   1 We have now created an entry in the directory for this service
https://localoffer.bedford.gov.uk/kb5/bedford/directory/service.page?id=Xl0xCwPQ4CI
       
December       
cinema card   1 When searched linked to CEA Card and Autism Friendly Screening 11am first Sunday of the month at Cineworld Bedford
pip   1 When searched linked to Personal Independence Payment 
SWITCH    1 When searched linked to the SWITCH directory record 
       
January       
education welfare service   10 We have now created an entry in the directory for this service  
https://localoffer.bedford.gov.uk/kb5/bedford/directory/service.page?id=WQljRc7dzME
dco   6 We have added dco as a keyword search term for the Designated Clinical Officer  directory record 
self harm   5 When searching"self harm" the directory bring up IST, Kooth, CHUMS, crisis café services 
free school meals   4 We have now created an entry in the directory for this service
https://localoffer.bedford.gov.uk/kb5/bedford/directory/service.page?id=1Pw4LTUFeKo
bold   3 When searching "bold" all 5 of the BOLD services that are in the directory came up in the search  
 send jsna   2 We have now added a section on the document page regarding  the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)
https://localoffer.bedford.gov.uk/kb5/bedford/directory/advice.page?id=DIOI7rT1-n4
       
Feb       
childminder mk43 9sg 6 When searching childminder and the postcode MK42 9SQ the results are 81 childminder so maybe best to search on a particular area such as Kempston, Elstow etc
autism beds   4 We have added autism beds as a keyword search for Autism Bedfordshire directory record 
music therapy   1 We have added music therapy as a keyword search for first note directory record 
       
March       
coronavirus   9 We have created a specific page with a range of help and advice which can be viewed here
https://localoffer.bedford.gov.uk/kb5/bedford/directory/advice.page?id=uXbCI7TfmJ8
you said we did   4 We have now created an entry in the directory so you can search the range of you said we did
https://localoffer.bedford.gov.uk/kb5/bedford/directory/advice.page?id=yB0HOZ8ji2U
broadmead   3 We have added broadmead to the keyword search for broadmead primary school  
lavenders day nursery   2 We have added lavenders day nursey to the keyword search for lavenders day nursey record in the directory   
solution focused   1 We have renamed the directory record to Early Help - Solution Focused and updated keyword search to include solution focused  
       
April       
adlt   1 We have added adlt to the keyword search to the keyword search for the adult learning disabilities Team directory record 
food parcel   1 We have added food parcel to the  keyword search  to the keyword search for the foodbank directory record 
education psyhocolgy   1 We have added education psyhocology to the  keyword search for the Educational Psychology Team directory record 
sendias   1 We have added sendias to the  keyword search for the SENDISS directory record 
       
May       
msk self assessment form   2 We have now updated the entry to include the Musculoskeletal (msk) self assessment form  to the document section of the MSK page
We have added msk self assessment form and self assessment form to the keyword search for the Patients who have musculoskeletal or ‘MSK’ conditions page 
sendis   2 We have added sendis to the  keyword search for the SENDISS directory record 
cams   1 We have added cams to the  keyword search for the CHAMS directory record 
educational physcology   1 We have added education physcology to the keyword search for the Educational Psychology Team directory record 
cwdt   1 We had added cwdt to the keyword search for the A Children with Disability Team directory record 
       
June       
merlins    2 We have added merlins to the keyword search for the Marlins directory record
grab and go   1 When searched this is linked to the hospital passports directory record
online triple p   1 We had added online tripe p to the range of online triple p directory records 
sgo assessment    1 When searched this is linked to Special Guardian Support Service directory record 
speech and languge   1 We had added speech and languge to the keyword  for Speech and Language directory record 
educational psychology   1 We have added educational psychology to the keyword search for the Educational Psychology Team directory record 
cpuncil tax   1 Council tax - search need to be on the main Bedford Borough  Council website 
snediass   1 We have added snediass to the  keyword search for the SENDISS directory record 

"You Said, We Did" Feedback from Bedford & District Cerebral Palsy Society (BDCPS) Friday 22nd of May 2020

We received an email with feedback from BDCPS members on Friday 22nd May.

Feedback

Response

We have received some feedback from our members regarding entries under T as they are term time only when looking for our service.  I understand the need to include this for clarity of when the sessions are running but wonder whether someone looking for a particular group within the section might think aren’t offering anything, for example if they’d heard of JJ’s they wouldn’t necessarily continue to T to find it, hope that makes sense.  (So wondered whether the name first and then term-time.)

 

 

 

Thank you to the BDCPS members for their feedback.  I have amended all term times services to name of the service then if it a term term service.   

"You said we did" Bedford Borough Parent Coffee Zoom Tuesday 19th May 2020

You said we did Bedford Borough Parent Coffee Zoom Tuesday 19th May 2020

Three particular themes came from the zoom coffee morning on Tuesday.  If you like details on joining the parent carer forum and attend their informal zoom coffee morning, please visit https://www.bbpcf.co.uk/.

 

My child is not coping with home schooling, is there any support available? 

Bedford Borough Educational Psychology team are offering 30 minute drop ins on the phone to offer advice and guidance to parents on their child/young person’s wellbeing. To access a 30 minute phone slot, parents can email school.support@bedford.gov.uk detailing their name, telephone number, and brief description of query / advice needed. We will email back with forthcoming available slots for parents to book.

Will I be fined if I don’t send my child back to school in June

Answer from the government publication Opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June: guidance for parents and carers Updated 20 May 2020

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june

If my child is eligible, is it compulsory for them to attend school?

We strongly encourage children and young people in the eligible year groups and priority groups (such as children of critical workers) to attend, as requested by their school or college, unless they are self-isolating or there are other reasons for absence (such as shielding due to health conditions).

You should notify your child’s school or college as normal if your child is unable to attend so that staff are aware and can discuss with you.

Parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time.

 

How do I access the speech and language team currently?

  • The SLT service is still offering appointments via phone and video, for new assessments, reviews, and some workshops. To contact the service please ring  01234 310712 or 01234 310163.
  • Speech and Language Therapists and Support Practitioners are calling families who have existing appointments and letting people know that their appointment has been changed to a phone review due to the current guidance around Covid -19.
  • Existing appointments are carried out via phone or video .
  • The service is piloting a videoconferencing facility to further improve this experience for families.
  • The service has collated a range of videos and advice (webpages / YouTube videos) to  
  • share with parents / carers.
  • The service is liaising with Education staff, in the case of school-aged children, to gain information about progress in school.
  • Worksheets and advice can be emailed to families and schools.
  • EHCP Assessment report requests – These are still being written, based on the information the clinician has, together with detailed discussions with parents / carers and if possible with schools / pre-schools.  Reports will  start and end with  a caveat that the child was not seen face to face, and documentation can be updated as necessary when face to face contact is possible
  • Children with Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) - the service is  continuing to offer our dysphagia patients telephone consultations ( aiming to move to video consultations soon) We  can only be offer a face to face appointment to patients that are considered to be at high risk. The service has access to appropriate  PPE to see children with dysphagia face to face if necessary.
  • Videofluoroscopy clinics are suspended at present at both the L&D and Bedford Hospital, but we will let families know when the situation changes.

Please go to the Bedfordshire Paediatric Speech and Language Service website where there are further links depending on need.

 

Coronavirus and SEND Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) – May 2020

We know how important it is to remain in contact and provide updates at this uncertain time. Due to this we have been working closely with Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum to collect the most common frequently asked questions and to provide answers to these.

The current situation is changing on an almost daily basis so we do advise families as much as possible to go to the Local Offer for updates, support and guidance during this time. Please also follow the Local Offer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.

The below answers have been provided by Bedford Borough Children’s Services, SEND Team, Education Psychology Service, School Improvement Service, East London Foundation Trust (CAMHS), and Bedfordshire Community Health Services. This information was correct as of 18th May 2020.

Health related FAQ’s

My child's bedwetting has got worse since the crisis has begun, what can I do to help?

 

 

Contact Nurse-Led Clinic Advice Line 01234 310271 9.30-11.30 Mon to Fri (& Thurs 1.30-2.30pm) for support and advice.

ERIC website is a really helpful site. https://www.eric.org.uk/pages/category/bedwetting

 

Simple Measures:

  • Drink at least 1.5 litres a day (most of this drunk before the end of school day)
  • Avoid blackcurrant, fizzy drinks, orange juice and caffeine (bladder irritants)
  • Stop drinks 2 hours before bed
  • boys sit to wee
  • Attempt 2 wee’s before bedtime (double voiding)

 Emotional wellbeing:

Chums website

Social stories – contact Nurse-Led clinic

Coronavirus ebook https://nosycrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Coronavirus-A-Book-for-Children.pdf

Young Minds website https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/supporting-your-child-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

 

I am concerned we need an ADHD Assessment but can't get a referral, what can I do to get support? 

School SENDCO’s, the School Nurse Team, Health Visitor, Therapist or  GP (although GP may not be the best source of referral as GP may not know your child well enough to give sufficient information) can make referrals.

Refer to https://www.cambscommunityservices.nhs.uk/Bedfordshire/CDC/resources  for up to date sources of support or call Nurse led advice line for further advice 01234 / 310271, 9.30-11.30 Mon to Fri (& Thurs 1.30-2.30pm).  Make notes of your concerns.

 

Maintaining a routine is proving difficult in all areas of behaviour, sleep, learning and exercise my child needs routine any advice, please?

Contact the Nurse-Led Clinic Advice Line 01234 310271 9.30-11.30 Mon to Fri (& Thurs 1.30-2.30pm) for support and advice.  Refer to https://www.cambscommunityservices.nhs.uk/Bedfordshire/CDC/resourcesSimple Measures:

  • Use visuals to support day’s routine
  • Give warning of activities / routine
  • Find motivators (rewards) for after activity is finished
  • Use timers so child understands when an activity ends
  • Make sure child is comfortable – regular mealtimes, drink breaks, comfortable at table to work,
  • Stick to same bedtime routine – stick to same order each evening. 

Preparing For Bed

  • Maintain a ‘quiet time’ 1 hour before bedtime
  • Dim the lights; ideally turn off the TV and choose activities that help to unwind. Story tapes/book or calming music may be helpful
  • This would be a good time for your child to have a drink of milk and a biscuit
  • Go ‘upstairs’ to the bathroom. Once upstairs, never go downstairs again, this provides an environmental cue to your child that it is time for sleep
  • A relaxing bath would be beneficial. The aim of the bath is to provide an unwinding routine and once again, an environmental cue
  • Prepare the bedroom for bedtime. Encourage your child to take an active role in preparing the bedroom for sleep. For example, closing the curtains, pulling back the duvet and covering any toys with a blanket
  • Placing a photograph of yourself beside the bed and a blanket or an item that your child associates with you, may help your child to feel safe and secure
  • Settle your child into bed; say ‘goodnight, kiss etc (whatever is your routine). Avoid extending the bedtime routine (for example, one more story, one more cuddle). Say the magic phrase, such as ‘time for sleep’
  • Turn off the light and leave the room. A night-light may be used if necessary to assist your child to feel secure. Ensure that the night-light remains on all night as your child will need the same environment to re-settle should they wake during the night
  • If possible, close the bedroom door. For some children it may take a series of nights to gradually close the door
  • If closing the door is not tolerated, ensure that any lights on the landing are dim

 

In the first instance parents should be discussing support regarding learning / education matters with their child’s school and in particular the SENDCO. Work being sent home should be differentiated to best suit the individual child’s needs.

Bedford Borough’s Education Psychology Team will be supporting through daily telephone drop in support and advice which may help with how to develop a good routine. To book a slot with an Educational Psychologist please call 01234 228693 or Email: school.support@bedford.gov.uk

If you are having difficulties with managing your child’s behaviour and would like Early Help Support please call 01234 718 700 or email EarlyHelpHub@Bedford.gov.uk

Practitioners can offer telephone, text or Skype support and we are still meeting regularly as a management team via Skype to prioritise any requests for support

The Local Offer also has details of support and advice that is available. https://localoffer.bedford.gov.uk

I am on a waiting list for a therapy service, where are useful resources I can use until someone makes contact?

For Speech, Language and Communication difficulties, the Bedfordshire SLT Service website has lots of useful information and resources - https://childspeechbedfordshire.nhs.uk/

For Occupational Therapy, the service page on the CCS NHS website has useful information and resources that parents can download: https://www.cambscommunityservices.nhs.uk/Bedfordshire/services/occupational-therapy

There are lots of other sources of information and resources on the CCS website that may support and the Local Offer also has details of support and advice that is available: https://localoffer.bedford.gov.uk

 

I am concerned my child's speech is deteriorating and will fall behind socially and educational what is available for us to do?

 

  • The SLT service is still offering appointments via phone and video, for new assessments, reviews, and some workshops.
  • Speech and Language Therapists and Support Practitioners are calling families who have existing appointments and letting people know that their appointment has been changed to a phone review due to the current guidance around Covid -19.
  • Existing appointments are carried out via phone or video .
  • The service is piloting a videoconferencing facility to further improve this experience for families.
  • The service has collated a range of videos and advice (webpages / YouTube videos) to  
  • share with parents / carers.
  • The service is liaising with Education staff, in the case of school-aged children, to gain information about progress in school.
  • Worksheets and advice can be emailed to families and schools.
  • EHCP Assessment report requests – These are still being written, based on the information the clinician has, together with detailed discussions with parents / carers and if possible with schools / pre-schools.  Reports will  start and end with  a caveat that the child was not seen face to face, and documentation can be updated as necessary when face to face contact is possible
  • Children with Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) - the service is  continuing to offer our dysphagia patients telephone consultations ( aiming to move to video consultations soon) We  can only be offer a face to face appointment to patients that are considered to be at high risk. The service has access to appropriate  PPE to see children with dysphagia face to face if necessary.
  • Videofluoroscopy clinics are suspended at present at both the L&D and Bedford Hospital, but we will let families know when the situation changes.

Please go to the Bedfordshire Paediatric Speech and Language Service website where there are further links depending on need.

 

We are worried missing therapy will have a long-term effect on our child are there plans in place to help with the missed appointments going forward to lessen long term damage?

 

As outlined above, to reduce the impact of missing appointments, therapy services are contacting their caseload and, where possible, sessions are taking place over the phone or video conferencing. Families are welcome to contact the service if they have any specific concerns; Please call our single point of access for all Bedfordshire children’s services on 0300 555 0606

 

We were waiting for physio will we still be contacted and given some support?

The Paediatric Physiotherapy Staff have been redeployed to various locations within Bedford Hospital Trust.  All Parents have access to their physio’s emails and programmes/activities where possible have been provided to the families. The service has written to those on their waiting list explaining the situation and when able they will offer an appointment as soon as possible.

 

There are inconsistencies with Melatonin prescriptions - what letters do the CDC send to parents to give to pharmacists?

We recognise there has been confusion around this since July 2019 when a newly licensed melatonin product entered the market.  The new product contains alcohol and propylene glycol and is not suitable for children’s use, however strict drug licensing laws prioritises its licence against other more suitable products to prescribe. Clinicians now prescribing melatonin liquid (free from alcohol and propylene glycol), have to justify why the new licensed product is unsuitable for children’s use. 

A standard letter is available on Community GP’s electronic record systems and is easily accessible for use

 

Can GP surgeries manage the automatic medication reviews (maybe a text messaging service?) Are GP’s flexible at the moment about the reviews? Currently they have to be carried out by EL/ CDC and without a review the medication will potentially be stopped.

We have a local system whereby drugs for ADHD are prescribed by GPs under a shared care agreement in line with agreed policies.  The drugs require careful monitoring and GP’s have a duty of care to carry out the prescribing in line with established procedures.  If monitoring checks agreed within the procedures aren’t achieved, then GP’s will be unable to continue to safely prescribe medication.  Whilst most GPs will try to be a little flexible with the timings, in certain situations decisions may be made not to prescribe on the grounds of patient safety.  An example could be if patients regularly ‘do not attend (DNA) their appointments and the benefits and risks of the medication are unable to be fully reviewed, resulting in an overall increased risk and the medication is stopped.

 

Is there a way of enabling pharmacies to deliver medicine directly at the moment despite it being classed as a controlled substance?

Pharmacists have been commissioned to deliver to individual patients who are shielding during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The service does focus on very high risk patients that are required to shield and pharmacists may have to prioritise.  We would encourage Patients are kindly asked to consider other opportunities prior to requesting a pharmacy delivery including;

  • Family and friends as an initial resource if available, followed by
  • NHS volunteers and finally
  • Pharmacy delivery service as the last option

We would encourage parents to collect medication directly from the pharmacy for their children if they can. Alternatively to use friends and family/other reliable options prior to requesting a pharmacy delivery.

The pharmacy can deliver controlled drugs. This is routine practice built into the standard operating procedures of all pharmacies that deliver, however please be mindful that delivery is usually prioritised for vulnerable patients.

 

 

Education and Social Care FAQ’s

 

My child is transitioning to a new education provision, and we were advised that we would receive additional support and transfer day visits, what will be the arrangements now?

Currently in development is a document to support schools with supporting effective transition for Nursery to reception for pupils with additional needs. 

The secondary schools have worked together to agree a transition package and support for parents and pupils. Secondary school SENCo’s have coproduced and agreed to work on 5 minimum strategies. This was agreed on the back of a paper around 6-7 transition with resources discussed with SENCo’s on our Keeping in Touch Meeting.  This will be followed up at this weeks meeting – 14/05

5 strategies are:

  • Have a conversation with all parents/carers of learners with an EHCP due to start with them in September 2020
  • Create a short video of the school, or provide some photos, and email this to EHC plan learners parents/carers with a welcome message
  • Ask their learners to create a short welcome video message
  • Invite Year 6 learners, including those with SEND, to attend any online assemblies or suitable events.
  • Write to families committing to take all reasonable steps to support transition, despite the challenge of school closure. Include key information for new parents.

SENCO’s are receiving up to date advice re CPD and resources to support transition in light of COVID 19 and regular updates through a SENCO newsletter.

Return to school plans for pupils with an EHCP are currently being devised

Educational Psychology service are developing guidance and support for pupils going back into school.

 

As a parent, I am struggling with my mental health; my child is SEN, what support is there, is they a way to get some respite?

If you are having difficulties with your mental health and this is impacting on your ability to manage your child’s behaviour, you may be able to access Early Help Support. Please call 01234 718 700 or email EarlyHelpHub@Bedford.gov.uk

If you feel that your mental health needs are resulting in your need for respite in the family home, you may wish to discuss this with the safeguarding officer at your child’s school who can discuss potential options of your child attending school.

You may be entitled to a parent carer assessment; if you feel that you might qualify for a parent carer assessment from social care then please call 01234 718 700 to discuss your family’s situation, however this does not guarantee respite unless your child meets the criteria for Children With Disabilities Team. You can read more about the thresholds for accessing support through children’s social care can be found on the Local Offer here

 

We are financially struggling we don't have a computer to access a lot of support, what is available locally?

If work is being set online but you do not have access to a computer or the internet then this should be discussed with your child’s school so that alternative work can be sent home. All schools have reported that they have provided physical copies of work to every child if access to on line materials is not possible and many schools have provided laptops or other devices on a loan to parents that might not be eligible via any government schemes.

Where this has not happened please contact your school in the first instance and let the PCF know if this remains an issue as additional funding has been sourced to enable schools to provide this facility.

FACES is a local charity who is supporting families with reconditioned laptops. More information can be found at https://www.facesbedford.org/

A good website to look at what grants are available is https://www.disability-grants.org/

If you or your child has an allocated Early Help or Social Worker then it would be advisable to discuss this issue with them so that they can advise on any other support that might be available locally.

 

My child behaviour is escalating; it's getting worse. Who can help us we are struggling to cope?

We are able to offer parents the opportunity to speak to an Early Help Practitioner.  Please call 01234 718 700 or email EarlyHelpHub@Bedford.gov.uk

 

For parents who are have access to technology we are able to offer access to an online parenting programme with some practitioner support via telephone at points during the online programme. 

The Local Offer also has details of support and advice that is available. https://localoffer.bedford.gov.uk

 

What reassurance will SEN support parents get that our SEN children will be a priority when schools reopen so that they are still achieving and part of school life?

The latest Government advice regarding schools reopening can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june

The school improvement service is working closely with all schools to consider the arrangements needed to support children and staff as schools reopen, this involves consideration of vulnerable learners and those with SEND.

If your child falls into one of the year groups identified for returning to school upon reopening then you should discuss arrangements with the school at that time.

 

My child has been assessed for an EHCP. We are now in the 20-week time frame waiting for it to be done, in the meantime, could my child be in school like a child with an EHCP child, as a family we are struggling to cope at home?

If your child is being assessed for an EHCP and you as a family are struggling to cope at home you should contact your school’s head teacher to discuss the situation. The advice remains that most children are safer at home however head teachers will consider each family and child’s circumstances and has the discretion to identify a child as a ‘vulnerable learner’ who should be in school in exceptional circumstances.

"You said, We did" - Coronavirus and SEND Frequently Asked Questions March 2020

We know how important it is to remain in contact and provide updates at this uncertain time. Due to this we have been working closely with Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum to collect the most common frequently asked questions and to provide answers to these.

The current situation is changing on an almost daily basis so we do advise families as much as possible to go to the Local Offer for updates, support and guidance during this time. Please also follow the Local Offer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.

The below answers have been provided by Bedford Borough Children’s Services, SEND Team, Education Psychology Service, School Improvement Service, East London Foundation Trust (CAMHS), Carers in Bedfordshire and Bedfordshire Community Health Services. This information was correct as of 30th March 2020.

My child is waiting for an early help assessment what do I do ?

There are limitations on what the service can offer due to Government instructions however for Early Help Support please call 01234 718 700 or email EarlyHelpHub@Bedford.gov.uk

Practitioners can offer telephone, text or Skype support and we are still meeting regularly as a management team via Skype to prioritise any requests for support.

How can I gather information to not delay a diagnosis and support?

Many functions of the Community Paediatric services continue despite current Covid 19 challenges this includes booked medical assessments which can be facilitated over the phone. Receipt of a diagnosis may be delayed with Community Paediatrics nationally being facilitated as a non-essential service matched to current Covid 19 criteria, except for Child Protection Medicals & Looked After Children Initial Health Assessments which are essential (and may require a face to face assessment).

Nurse led clinics are being offered via telephone consultations and the local offer is available for information throughout this time. More information can be found on the Local Offer here

Outreach and medical needs what support are we getting going forward?

The medical needs team are still available and have prioritised support based on need. They also have access to online resources and teaching remotely.

 

Worried about behaviour outburst, where can I go for support?

We are able to offer parents the opportunity to speak to an Early Help Practitioner.  Please call 01234 718 700 or email EarlyHelpHub@Bedford.gov.uk

For parents who are have access to technology we are able to offer access to an online parenting programme with some practitioner support via telephone at points during the online programme. 

The Local Offer also has details of support and advice that is available. https://localoffer.bedford.gov.uk

 

What support can siblings get from a distance?

 During this time the young carers service has increased telephone support to all young/sibling carers who are receiving one to one support and/or have been assessed at level three and are in need of additional support. 

New referrals for BBC and CBC will continue to be completed via a telephone assessment with additional information posted out or accessed via the website. Signposting to relevant agencies will continue, however for all new referrals in this period, a call will be scheduled again once the full service provision resumes to encourage engagement and remind families of what support is available.  

We are currently exploring the following options:

  • A weekly newsletter with tips, advice and guidance that all young/sibling carers in both LA's can access through the website. 
  • Providing one to one support which may include video calls and a resource of information that carers and their parents can access via email or the website. This will take a bit of time to pull together.

Support workers are reviewing all young/sibling carers who regularly engage in BBC through clubs and events;  even those assessed at a lower level of need and following this we will be moving on to making the regular review calls for all young carers in BBC and CBC. 

 

Will we now have longer waiting lists for services?

Bedford Borough Children’s Services:

Children’s Services staff are still working although in a very different way.  Face to face work is impacted but we are still working to look at Early Help Assessments and any support that can be offered using technology.  Safeguarding remains are top priority and Children’s Services staff will respond as quickly as possible to priority contacts.

CAMHS:

CAMHS focus is to continue to provide essential and critical services to young people and their families and a gradual reduction and management of non-urgent work.

CAMHS are currently going through the process of ensuring that every young person is rag-rated based on risk/need and consequently developing plans that ensure young people are managed in a safe way through the crisis. This will include a combination of face to face contact as well as use of other mobile technologies.

We are also reviewing our staffing capacity in line with government guidance to ensure we support those staff with underlying medical conditions to work effectively from home as well as reviewing the daily impact of staff that might be self-isolating.

We are prioritising the provision of the following critical services and will remain under review;

  • Crisis and home treatment intervention including admission avoidance and supporting discharges from Tier 4
  • Daily Duty system
  • Face to face review of ‘Red’ cases at clinics / diverting crisis from A&E to be assessed at clinic
  • Daily triage functions for all new referrals (including CHUMS referrals)
  • Assessment of urgent referrals.

CAMHS are also in contact with young people and families to ensure that they are fully informed of the plans. CHUMS, our Tier 2 providers, will continue to provide a service to their children and young people via telephone and skype where possible.

This will mean that any new referral with a rag rating indicating they do not require a face to face assessment will be provided with a range of self help materials and on line support throughout this period.

Community Health Services:

Within this challenging time our staffing resource is being dedicated to facilitate our essential services, however medical assessments and follow up appointments will continue where possible over the phone. New referrals continue to be triaged, however assessments requiring face to face Medical appointments will experience a delay. There has been a clinical review of caseloads to ensure children are seen as per clinical need continues. 

Who can I talk to regarding Education/health /social care issues, where are useful numbers and contacts?

SENDIASS are offering telephone support during this time. SENDIASS details are

01234 276 267

E-mail:  sendiass@bedford.gov.uk

Bedford Borough’s Local Offer has updates regarding useful contact numbers, information for children and young people and their families and also has updates on each service’s offer of support during the coronavirus pandemic. https://Localoffer.bedford.gov.uk 

 

We have used social care before but are not anymore, how if required, can I get support?

If you feel that your family requires support from social care then please call 01234 718 700 to discuss your family’s situation.

More information regarding support through children’s social care can be found on the Local Offer here

Information regarding thresholds for accessing support through children’s social care can be found on the Local Offer here

 

SEN support how can I get support and keep evidence for my child so he/she will get help going back to school?

In the first instance parents should be discussing this with their child’s school and in particular the SENDCO regarding the support in place for the child currently as well as plans for support when returning to school.

If it is felt that an EHC Needs assessment is required then the school can still complete an EHCNAF or parents can also request an assessment. More information on the processes can be found on the Help and Advice section of the Local Offer which can be found here

Bedford Borough’s SEND Teaching and Learning Advisors are in regular contact with SENCo’s and are sending out weekly information that can guide SENCo’s to co-ordinating the support of SEND pupils.

Bedford Borough’s SENDIASS service is also available for telephone support should families have any other queries or questions relating to SEN Support and the EHCP process. More information can be found on the Local Offer here

EHCP review going forward are the local authority going to support us?

If schools are able to, they can continue to hold EHCP Annual Review Meetings with parents via telephone or video conferencing. Completed paperwork is to be sent into the SEND Team inbox as usual and it will be processed in due course electronically. Parents can still email the SEND Team for advice on these meetings, or they can contact SENDIASS for support.

The latest Government advice regarding supporting children and young people with EHCP’s and potential temporary changes to legislation can be found here

EHCP assessment I am waiting for an assessment, what should I do?

For children and young people currently going through the EHC needs assessment process we will complete it with the advice received so far. Co-Production Meetings are now held by telephone with schools/settings and parents separately on the same day if at all possible.

Virtual SEND Panels are continuing to be held fortnightly. If an EHC Needs Assessment is agreed the Local Authority will request advices as normal, however it may be unlikely that the LA will receive any meaningful advice from the professionals usually approached, especially health and social care advice, due to their other responsibilities during this current coronavirus pandemic.

The latest Government advice regarding supporting children and young people with EHCP’s and potential temporary changes to legislation can be found here

How am I going to get CAMH to take a referral with no one else involved?

 

CAMH continue to operate with a Front Door service who will be triaging and RAG rating all new referrals into the service.

Support is also available online through Kooth. More information can be found on the Local Offer here

Chums are also still accepting self referrals. More information can be found on the Local Offer here

 

I have no diagnosis for my child and now I am at home and no support where do I go?

If you are having difficulties with managing your child and would like Early Help Support please call 01234 718 700 or email EarlyHelpHub@Bedford.gov.uk

Practitioners can offer telephone, text or Skype support and we are still meeting regularly as a management team via Skype to prioritise any requests for support.

If you feel your child may have an underlying condition which is impacting on their behaviour, toileting or sleep and would like advice you can speak to a Nurse from the Child Development Centre. More information can be found on the Local Offer here

I am worried I will support my child wrongly at home where can I ask for support?

In the first instance parents should be discussing support regarding education matters with their child’s school and in particular the SENDCO. Work being sent home should be differentiated to best suit the individual child’s needs.

Bedford Borough’s Education Psychology Team will be supporting through daily telephone drop in support and advice. To book a slot with an Educational Psychologist please call 01234 228693 or Email: school.support@bedford.gov.uk

If you are having difficulties with managing your child and would like Early Help Support please call 01234 718 700 or email EarlyHelpHub@Bedford.gov.uk

Practitioners can offer telephone, text or Skype support and we are still meeting regularly as a management team via Skype to prioritise any requests for support.

If you feel your child may have an underlying condition which is impacting on their behaviour, toileting or sleep and would like advice you can speak to a Nurse from the Child Development Centre. More information can be found on the Local Offer here

In the first instance parents should be discussing support regarding education matters with their child’s school and in particular the SENDCO. Work being sent home should be differentiated to best suit the individual child’s needs.

Bedford Borough’s Education Psychology Team will be supporting through daily telephone drop in support and advice. To book a slot with an Educational Psychologist please call 01234 228693 or Email: school.support@bedford.gov.uk

If you are having difficulties with managing your child and would like Early Help Support please call 01234 718 700 or email EarlyHelpHub@Bedford.gov.uk

Practitioners can offer telephone, text or Skype support and we are still meeting regularly as a management team via Skype to prioritise any requests for support.

If you feel your child may have an underlying condition which is impacting on their behaviour, toileting or sleep and would like advice you can speak to a Nurse from the Child Development Centre. More information can be found on the Local Offer here

"You Said, We Did" Feedback from my place in the community Feb 2020

Question

Answer

I would like to visit the library

All local libraries are now on the local offer

Bedford Central Library https://tinyurl.com/ydhjwtvj

Kempston https://tinyurl.com/tfp283s

Bromham https://tinyurl.com/sxseh6h

Wootton https://tinyurl.com/y7qx8sed

 

 

I like to go to London

Disabled Persons Railcard https://tinyurl.com/yy2kch6b

National Rail SEND Support Train Travel https://tinyurl.com/yyy4v2f3

 

I like to go somewhere to play video games

 

Oasis Club  https://tinyurl.com/wlhu9wy

 

I like to find out about volunteering

 

Outdoor Volunteering https://tinyurl.com/v57kxfw

 

I like to access a Swimming group for additional needs

Marlins swimming club https://tinyurl.com/y7xcnsj7

 

 

I like to play football

 

SSG Celestials https://tinyurl.com/y738ph4w

 

I would like to access parks in Bedford

Parks https://tinyurl.com/w9z2r9d

 

I would like to go to the cinema

 

Vue Cinema  https://tinyurl.com/tok5bun

Cineworld Bedford  https://tinyurl.com/wdyqw6w

Cea Card https://tinyurl.com/woqkq95

 

I would like to access public transport

 

Bus passes https://tinyurl.com/wducq8l

Disabled Persons Railcard https://tinyurl.com/yy2kch6b

National Rail SEND Support Train Travel https://tinyurl.com/yyy4v2f3

 

"You said, We did" Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum Coffee Morning 16th January 2020

As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency we now have a regular 'You Said, We Did' slot at Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum's Coffee Morning.

At this slot the SEND Programme Manager for Bedford Borough responds to any issues raised at the previous Coffee Morning and gives feedback on any action taken or any clarification points that may be needed.

Below is the feedback given on the 16th January 2020 to concerns that were raised at BBPCF Coffee Morning 2nd December 2019:

Concern / Issue Raised

Response

At the meeting a concern was raised regarding the lack of a ‘Sensory OT’ offer in Bedford Borough

Bedford Borough Council and Bedfordshire CCG have jointly commissioned additional training for parents around Sensory Processing Difficulties. This training has also been delivered to school staff. So far 87 parents have attended this training and 47 school staff have attended or are booked on to attend.

 

In addition to this training, the Paediatric Occupational Therapy Service deliver training to parents and education staff for children who have been assessed as having a sensory processing difficulty which is impacting on their functioning.

 

We are working with the Parent Carer Forum and Community Health Services to coproduce further training on this topic and we are hoping to hold some focus groups in 2020 to start to coproduce the requirements that local parent and carers would like to see from a training offer.

 

A parent queried whether they would have to complete a school admissions form for their child who is due to start in Reception 2020. The child is in the process of having his EHCP finalised

I confirmed with the parent that as her child had an EHCP this process would name the school they attend and arrange the school place and that she did not need to go through the usual starting school criteria. Further information can be found in the ‘Starting school 2020’ booklet .

 

If you have not already had discussions with the SEND team regarding your school preferences it is helpful to do this first, however if you also notify school admissions of your intentions they can also liaise with the SEND team regarding your preferences.

Parents spoke about wanting to find telephone numbers for services more easily and in one place

We have added a ‘Useful Phone Contacts’ page to the Help and Advice page on the local offer

"You Said, We Did" - Feedback to Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group in 2019

Below are some of the issues raised to Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) through its working with the Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum as well as through other engagament and participation activities throughout 2019.

Concern / Issue Raised

Response

The waiting list to be seen by a paediatrician was too long as it is was taking more than 20 weeks for your child to be assessed.

 

Thanks to our coproduction with Parent Carer Forums, this issue was highlighted through qualitative feedback even before the data being available at our regular contract meetings with the provider. Due to this we were able to address the situation before it escalated.

 

We worked with Cambridgeshire Community Health Services to develop a recovery plan to address waiting times.  More staff were recruited into the service to meet the increased demands. Saturday Clinics were also held to increase the number of children and young people who can be seen by the service. 

 

This has ensured that all those currently within the service and overdue a medication review have been seen and there is a plan in place to continue to reduce Referral To Treatment (RTT) waiting times for community paediatrics and complete a review of all those currently on the caseload who are overdue a review appointment.

 

You wanted more training and information on sensory processing difficulties

Working with our partners in the Local Authority and with Bedfordshire Community Health Services we have commissioned additional training on Sensory Processing Difficulties for parents and carers. This training has also been delivered to schools staff. In 2019 87 parents and 47 education staff accessed this training.

 

We are exploring additional training in 2020 and working with our parent carer forums to coproduce new training to be delivered by community health services in this area.

You thought the CAMH School Service was working well and wanted this to be made available in local primary schools as well as Secondary Schools

BCCG were successful in a bid for a team of Education Mental Health Support Teams. This team will be working with 10 schools in Bedford Borough with 90% of those schools being Primary Schools. This is in addition to the CAMHS School Service which will continue to provide a linked CAMHS worker for every Secondary School in Bedford Borough.

There was a delay for children and young people accessing the Speech and Languages Therapy (SALT) services.

Working in partnership with Bedford Borough Council we jointly identified additional resources to put towards clearing the backlog of children and young people overdue a Speech and Language Assessment as described in the provision of their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This project has now been completed and all children who were overdue an assessment have now been seen.

 

We have continued to work with the community provider of Speech and Language Therapy and the Local Authority to review pathways to support and undertake a supply and demand analysis. We are delighted that our colleagues in Bedford Borough Council have committed funding to jointly commission additional Speech and Language Therapists and Therapy Assistants to work in the Bedford Borough schools and early years settings.

You were concerned that families had not responded to the invitation from the Speech and Language Therapy service (SALT) to contact them to make an appointment for an assessment.

 

Working in partnership with the Parent Carer Forums and Cambridge Community Services we co-produced a letter which was sent to families.  Arrangements were made for the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) for schools to contact these families and encourage them to respond to the letter so that their child could be seen by the service where appropriate.

 

"You Said, We did" Feedback from St. Joseph's & St. Gregory's Coffee Morning - 3rd December 2019

St. Joseph's & St. Gregory's Coffee Morning 

Question

Answer

How do I apply for the Card that enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema

Cea Card https://tinyurl.com/woqkq95

Vue Cinema (Autism showing details) https://tinyurl.com/tok5bun

Cineworld Bedford (Autism showing details)

 https://tinyurl.com/wdyqw6w

 

How do I obtain a Bedford Borough Children with Disability Register card

Information on the register and the form to apply  https://tinyurl.com/yyeafafo

 

How do I apply for a carers in Bedfordshire discount card

Carers in Bedfordshire discount card

https://tinyurl.com/rz5pe3z

 

 

How do I apply for a concessionary bus pass for my child/young person

Bus passes https://tinyurl.com/wducq8l

 

"You said, We Did" Feedback from Oakley Primary School SEND Coffee Morning - 26th November 2019

Questions

Answer

Are OT’s  still going into special and mainstream schools?

Children with a physical disability – mainstream and special schools

  • School access visits when starting school, moving school or any changes in child’s condition
  • Monitor of  seating and toileting equipment that we have recommended.
  • Independence skills where appropriate – dressing, feeding, recommendation on hand activities to develop these skills where required

 

NB CDC OT’s have regular input into R’way, St John’s and Ivel Valley School based on the needs of the children at any one time.

 

Other mainstream children

  • o       Where required observe a child in school and share information with  school staff in supporting child’s OT needs following assessment or review

 

Is Bedford Borough providing Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) training for non verbal children?

 

CCS NHS Trust has 'Using picture exchange' and 'communication books' training as part of their core training packages. Staff and parents would be invited to attend if the therapist felt this was needed as part of the child's care but typically the training is provided to the key staff and parent/carer during visits to the school by a therapist or support practitioner. The training can then be specific to that child.

Is there any funding for schools to access training in schools such as Helen Long SENDCO in Flitwick who provides a 8 week programme with staff? 

Helen Long offers training on ASD. The Borough  offer this under our ASD team so  we would offer this rather than funding someone else to offer this input

Is there a phone list guide for CAMHS, CDC, SEND team on the local offer

One will be added to the Help and Advice page of the local offer this week.

Please let us know if we are missing any services from the list once completed.

Is the picture of me training being shared with schools across Bedford Borough

Not currently. This is training that can be bought in by schools if required. Bedford Borough is constantly reviewing it’s CPD and has a range of training from Autism Bedfordshire available to schools through the Early Help Workforce Development Offer, but it may be that ‘Picture of Me’ is training that can be considered for future CPD.

This will be discussed at the next SEND QA Board

"You Said, We Did" - Feedback from Autism Bedfordshire Conference, October 2019

Concern / Issue Raised

Response

Education

More Training for school staff

 

Autism training has been offered by Early Help as part of their CPD offer. Some was planned/delivered this term with more planned for the spring and summer term.

Specific CPD is also offered by Autism Advisory teachers.

 

To avoid duplication, the Early Help offer includes Autism training the same aspects have not been offered by SIT, but other aspects have been included in the CPD offer.

 

Specialist Educational Psychologists are also able to offer training which can be requested by schools to provide more bespoke CPD.

 

School Improvement Team projects involving Inclusion Expert or Whole Education are focussed on developing school practice to meet a range of specific needs, including Autism/Aspergers.  Input can also be accessed from Special schools e.g. St Johns via outreach agreed by the SEND team.

 

Talking Success has been commissioned as a program of training for all schools around Speech, Language and Communication needs. This will be rolled out to all schools in Summer 2020.

 

IPSEA and NASEN have been commissioned to deliver training to school leaders.

 

SEND CPD Offer being streamlined and coordinated.

 

More outreach needed to teachers and TA’s on PDA strategies for difficult cases

 

We (LA and NHS) do not see PDA as a recognised disorder so would provide strategies for ASD which is the disorder that would typically cover this area. 

The LA ASD team are  now offering TEACCH & SPELL available biannual at a cost

 

In addition the team now  offer bespoke training :

 

Autism Awareness & Practical Strategies

Sensory Perceptual Differences

Autism in girls

Social skills

Structuring the unstructured

Comic strip conversations

Friendships

 

Note bespoke training tailored to the school and child in question.

 

Request can be made direct to the team to access the above when required

OT training required in special schools

 

OT Support for Children with a physical disability – mainstream and special schools

  • School access visits when starting school, moving school or any changes in child’s condition
  • Monitor of  seating and toileting equipment that we have recommended.
  • Independence skills where appropriate – dressing, feeding, recommendation on hand activities to develop these skills where required

 

NB CDC OT’s have regular input into R’way, St John’s and Ivel Valley School based on the needs of the children at any one time .

 

Sensory Processing Difficulty Training has been commissioned to provide free training to all schools – over 36 school staff have booked on / attended this training already with future dates being arranged.

School not communicating properly

 

If the issue relates to a specific complaint parents are advised to follow school procedures and complaints processes in the first instance, as relates to all pupils, including initial meetings with the SENCO and /or the Headteacher. If the school is an academy/MAT prescribed processes should be followed which may include contact/complaints to the Trust Board.

 

The School Improvement Team, including SEND Advisers for Teaching and Learning (ATLs) work with schools in a number of ways relating to development of practice, including communication with parents. A school SEND self-review toolkit has been launched and provided to all schools. This includes questions regarding meeting a range of needs and communication with parents. Individualised input and follow up is being provided to all schools by SEND ATLs (Jon Foster, Sue Riley. This involves face to face meetings, support and challenge around a range of identified issues including closer communication with parents and their involvement as per the Code of Practice, CPD. A number of projects – Inclusion Expert, Whole Education also include a focus on working with parents. ). 

A number of schools have identified the need to develop parental communication and are looking at new ways of developing parent voice and then using it to develop SEN provisions – specific schools can be identified if required.

 

Furthermore a group of schools have identified this need through the SEN PSG and were looking at how parental voice can feed into schools Information Report. The schools held a common theme of struggling to effectively communicate with parents. There will be a small group of schools who are prepared to develop a novel and new system for sharing the Information Report on line but at this moment this was only at a general discussion level.

 

Where issues are of an Autism specific nature or relate to a specific child with Autism/Aspergers Educational Psychologists, ASC Advisory teachers, the SEND team and SENDIAS can also provide advice/guidance and promote improved communication.

 

Health

Lack of SEN fitness club, need to approach mainstream clubs to offer training support to enable them to provide this service to SEN families individuals.  Means siblings can attend same club. 

 

Samsons Academy the registered charity arm of  Samsons Fitness  a gym in Midland Road are offering sessions for people with SEN and partnered up with BOLD

 

Bedford Borough has a SEND Leisure Group which focuses on increasing the range of activities available for children and young people with SEND. They are working with Bedford Borough Sports Development and Fusion Leisure to explore increasing the range of available clubs and activities.

 

‘No Limits’ is Bedford Borough’s inclusive sports programme for people of all ages with a disability.

 

The No Limits programme offers people with disabilities lots of opportunities to take part in regular sport and physical activity.

https://www.bedford.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/sports-and-physical-activity/activities-for-people-with-disabilities/

The waiting list to be seen by a paediatrician is too long; it is more than 20 weeks to be assessed.

 

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Bedfordshire Community Health Services are aware of the issues around the length of time between referral to treatment for community paediatricians.

There is a project taking place to address this with Saturday Clinics being run to increase the amount of children and young people who can be seen by the service.

Increased staff have been recruited into the service to meet the increased demands and a review of staffing is being undertaken to explore whether a ‘skills mix’ of staff would be beneficial in better meeting the demands being placed on the service.

Regular updates on this position are being provided to BCCG by the commissioned provider.

Anxiety post 16 support needed

 

"Bedford Open Door offers up to 12 sessions of free confidential face to face counselling for young people aged 13-25 years experiencing anxiety, with a number of counsellors who are trained to work with young people with ASD and can support in transition between child and adult services"

 

MIND BLMK work with people with ASD but do not have a dedicated service for any age group.  People will attend any of the services so group activities, peer support, mentoring   as they will be addressing their mental health often due to their ASD and yes anxiety is one of the main issues but socialising and building relationships is also an area of need.  

 

CAMHS run a series of psycho-education workshops aimed at parents / carers and professionals to raise awareness in a variety of emotional mental health presentations.

 

Working with our CYPs we have trialled and tested a variety of self-help apps to explore coping strategies which we can also signpost CYPs when they would like to access self-help. These digital platforms are available using the links on our CAMHS website.

 

CAMHS have dedicated transition workers to support young people when they are approaching the age of transition from CAMHS into other services.

Social Care

Road safety course for autistic individuals and training for parents

 

Bedford Independent Living Team (BILT) offer bespoke Independent Travel Training to service users within Adult Learning Disability Team. We are currently exploring increasing this offer to support other children and young people with SEND who may benefit from accessing Independent Travel Training. This training includes information on road safety and awareness and it can be commissioned if required for individual cases within other social care teams.

 

As part of the work being undertaken to increase access to this training, guidance is being produced around how to prepare, plan and do independent travel training and steps that parents can take to prepare their young person for this.

 

If specific road safety training is required this can be discussed at the Independent Travel Training Task and Finish Group to explore opportunities for delivering this.

 

This is a helpful website from Brake regarding road safety for children with SEN:

http://www.brake.org.uk/educators/21-facts-a-resources/resources/567-road-safety-resources-for-children-and-adults-with-sen

 

Voluntary/Community

Cookery courses for autistic individuals

MIND BLMK did offer cookery classes but these have ceased due to funding changes.

 

BOLD offer volunteering opportunities in their café A Different Brew and this includes training in relation to cookery.  I think it is best to contact them directly to find out their current offer as their activity programme changes on a regular basis.

 

Green Light Community Food Workshops work with isolated people to expand their cooking and healthy lifestyle choices. They are working in cooperation with Bedfordshire Lifestyle Hub and this may be accessible for autistic individuals https://www.greenlightcfw.co.uk/

LOAF summer scheme- great, need more holiday scheme set up.

 

Ongoing discussions between Local Authority and Autism Bedfordshire regarding the Holiday Scheme and its current capacity. Bedford Borough Local Offer working on promoting all available inclusive holiday clubs and activities to support families during the school holidays.

"You Said, We Did" - Feedback from October 2019 SEND Virtual Team Meeting on What's Working Well and What is not Working Well

What is working well

Improved training for both school staff and parents

Improved Communication

Co-production between services has improved greatly leading to better quality EHCP's

Parents are invited to be involved and informed

Much better joint working

Increased focus on SEND in main stream schools

Range of services available to support SEND

Director of Children Services, reply’s to emails and met in person

Virtual team meetings

Multi agency working

Parent Carer forum coffee mornings are so informative

 

Local offer user friendly website

 

 

What not going well

Response

Use of Jargon and terms that hard to explain

We have a ‘SEND Glossary of Terms’ on our Local Offer which helps to explain any frequent terms or acronyms that are used.

We are auditing all new EHCP plans with one of the key questions being “Is the plan easy to read and understand” and we are targeting the use of jargon in EHCP’s to ensure that any acronym is explained and any description of strengths and issues is written in an easily accessible way.

Need to hear the voice of the child/young person

So far this financial year we have engaged with over 120 children and young people with SEND through our ‘Hub and Spoke’ Model of engagement. We have also created a Young People’s reference group for our Local Offer where we engage with groups of Young People to continually improve our Local Offer.

We are auditing all new EHCP’s with one of the key questions being “Is the voice of child / young person and family clear in the EHCP”.

We are planning a Pupil Voice Conference in 2020 with a focus on SEND.

Still issues with timescales when parents request extra advice like OT

Bedford Borough’s EHCP completion rate within the 20 week timescale is currently 100% both with and without exception this financial year.

CCS have now introduced a weekly Multi Disciplinary Team phone call to co-ordinate EHCP report completion for any complex EHCP requests i.e. multiple services and professionals involved. This is working well to speed up the process of gathering reports when advices are requested for children not currently known to a service.

Personal budgets understanding remit and how best these can be used to best effect

Our Personal Budget page on our Local Offer is the information that was coproduced with our Parent carer Forum. We have also created a new Personal Budget leaflet and reviewed our Direct Payment Policy. In 2020 we are looking at developing further workshops and training for staff around Personal Budgets.

SALT - not seeing children/young people not able to provide intense therapy needed

All children with SaLT written into their EHCP will have been seen for an assessment in the past 6 months. All those children who are under SaLT ‘Tier 2’ have been written to and offered appointments; in Bedford Borough only 39% of parents have responded to this letter to book an appointment. We are now writing to SENCO’s with a list of children who are being offered appointments to try and support with uptake of appointments – this was a solution coproduced with parents at BBPCF coffee morning.

Parents expecting similar provision from primary and secondary

“Transitions” is a focus of the work of the SEND Advisory Teachers within School Improvement Service and is on the agenda for the SEND Support In Education Group. At recent SEND Professional Study Group SENCO’s worked on an agreed set of values and principles to use when supporting SEND pupils to ensure consistency across settings.

Secondary schools refusing to provide the support that worked in primary

As above we are working on ensuring consistency across Secondary and Preimary settings and supported transitions between phases to include sharing of strategies to be used where possible.

Documentation for assessments/transfer to next school can be weak or non existent

SEND Support In Education Steering Group is exploring how we might be able to further support transition arrangements and documentations. Exploring the possibility of a ‘Transitions Fair’ for SENCO’s to meet and plan transition arrangements – this has worked in other areas.

All areas need to be preparing for adulthood at a much earlier age

EHCP Review forms being reviewed currently with a view to creating a Preparing for Adulthood Review template to be used when a young person is 14. Bedford Borough takes the approach that we should be preparing for adulthood from early years all the way through and this is reflected in the Early Years and School age graduated responses.

There is a task and finish group currently reviewing our Preparing for Adulthood guidance and literature to try and produce a PfA guide for parents / young people and practitioners.

PfA was the focus of the engagement work with Young People over the Summer Term with over 90 Young adults feeding back on what they would like more support and knowledge on regarding transition to adulthood; this has been shared with the PfA Task and Finish group to help steer their work.

Timing of the virtual SEND meetings going forward afternoon might be better

The next 2 Virtual SEND Meetings have now been planned with dates to be shared so that these can be booked into people’s diaries.

"You Said, We did" - Feedback from Bedford College Students October 2019

Concern / Issue Raised

Response

Information about Santa Pod raceway

 

We have the below information from Santa Pod Raceway to the local offer

  • Disabled Access
  • Ambulant Disabled
  • Disabled Parking
  • Wheelchair Viewing Areas
  • Disabled Toilets
  • Personal Assistant Ticket Concession
  • Claiming your concession ticket 
  • First Aid and Medical Assistance

The page can be accessed here: https://tinyurl.com/yz8dr4vg

 

Information about Transport museum in Higham Ferris

 

We have added Rushden Transport Museum to the local offer the page can be accessed here

https://tinyurl.com/yj5cbbfc

 

 

 

Information about model railway clubs 

 

 

We have added East Bedfordshire Model Railway Society who meet every Tuesday in Sandy on the local offer https://tinyurl.com/yjoh6qcd

 

Information about how to find a job / CV writing support

 

The jobs hub is an existing service on the local offer and can be accessed here

https://tinyurl.com/yz8y3nze

They offer the following range of services

  • Individual help with CVs, job applications and interviews
  • Access to job vacancies through our relationships with local employers, including apprenticeships
  • Free internet access for job searching and completing applications online
  • Weekly Jobs bulletin sent to your email with up to date vacancies available locally
  • Back to work events including jobs, skills and enterprise fairs
  • Access to training accredited and non-accredited
  • Help to access other opportunities including employment, volunteering and work experience
  • Linking to other partner services to help with specific issues, such as redundancy, housing, health, benefit or debt advice

There is also information on the the Disability Employment Advisers at Jobcentre Plus that can be accessed here https://tinyurl.com/ygbodrce

 

Specialist Driving Instructors

UPDATE 11th December 2019  - James Hinkins has registered his driving school Specialist Disability and Cognitive Driving Lessons on the local offer you can view his page here.

I have contacted 3 specialist-driving instructors, one is registered  on the local offer  in the next couple of weeks, the other two unfortunatly don't cover Bedford 

Star Wars and Comic Book Club

I have found a comic book store in Bedford so need to visit to find out if there are any clubs held locally.

How to find somewhere to live?

There is information on the local offer for supported living and residential homes.

"You Said, We Did" Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum 9th September 2019

Concern / Issue Raised

Response

A number of parents raised concerns around the difficulty in finding information about how to access support. It was asked whether it would be possible to make it easier to find:

  • ·        Criteria for each service
  • ·        How to access the support
  • ·        Information regarding thresholds to be easily accessible
  • ·        Whether a family requires Early Help or Social Care

This has been raised at both Children’s Services Departmental Management Meeting and with community health service providers. It was felt that Bedford Borough’s Local Offer should provide this information in a clear and accessible way for families.

A separate page on Bedford Borough’s thresholds has now been added to the Local Offer and can be found here

There will be Parent Carer Steering Groups for Bedford Borough’s Local Offer to consistently provide feedback and challenge on the Local Offer as well as developing new ideas as to what information should be included on the Local Offer.

Bedford Borough is introducing an ‘Integrated Front Door’ for all referrals into Children’s Services. This will streamline the process of identify the correct support pathway for each referral.

Some parents felt that they were having to direct the support their child received and that there were limitations in the support / knowledge they received from the school with regards to what their child should be receiving,.

The Local Offer should be used by all practitioners, SENDCOs and Families and is being raised and discussed with frontline staff, health professionals and at SENDCO conference and Virtual Team Meeting.

There is a wide range of training being developed for schools;

  • ·        Sensory Processing Difficulty Training for Education Providers
  • ·        IPSEA training for Headteachers and Senior Leaders in Schools
  • ·        SEND Toolkit being launched for schools in Bedford Borough
  • ·        Future plans to develop Speech, Language and Communication Needs training for all school staff

All of this should start to support with widening the knowledge of what support and strategies can be used as well as ensuring there is a common language being used by parents and those supporting their children (there are also parental training sessions on these topics)

Some parents raised concerns about the lack of ‘Post Diagnoses’ / ‘Post Assessment’ support. There had previously been a binder of information given that had been helpful but it wasn’t clear whether this was still used

Bedford Borough Local Offer will work with practitioners and the Parent Carer Steering Groups to ensure there is sufficient information on the Local Offer to support parents post assessment.

Through better advertising of the Local Offer more parents should be directed there to locate support

The Neurodevelopmental Diagnostic Pathway is being reviewed currently and support for families pre and post assessment is a key feature of this pathway. Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum are key partners in developing this pathway and will be ensuring the views of Bedford Borough Parent Carers are heard and listened to when shaping any new support developed.

"You Said, We Did" Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum Coffee Morning 1st July 2019

As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency we now have a regular 'You Said, We Did' slot at Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum's Coffee Morning.

At this slot the SEND Programme Manager for Bedford Borough responds to any issues raised at the previous Coffee Morning and gives feedback on any action taken or any clarification points that may be needed.

Below is the feedback given on the 1st July to concerns that were raised at BBPCF Coffee Morning 10th June 2019:

Concern / Issue Raised

Response

A parent raised concerns regarding her child being permanently excluded in Year 11 and various circumstances leading to the child not sitting any GCSE exams. The Manager for Early Help and Intervention was present to hear this parent’s story.

The parent and her child were invited in for a meeting with the Head of Early Help and Intervention and the Inclusion Manager. The child was spoken to and their best hopes for the future were discussed. The young person has now gone away to think about what they want to do next year with a commitment of support from Bedford Borough to help him achieve his goals.

A parent spoke about the good support her child had received at their Primary School and the support the whole school puts in place. The parent spoke about the school bringing in a trainer to deliver training to the whole school around ADHD; and how even the lunchtime supervisors were present for the training. As a result the whole school has a greater understanding of her child’s needs and this has had a positive impact on her and her child. The parent wasn’t sure how the school accessed this training

This training was accessed through Bedford Borough’s Education Psychology Service. This training is available to all schools who buy back the service (96% of schools buy back the service) and there is a range of subjects that can be delivered to a whole school setting.

"You Said, We Did" Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum Coffee Morning 10th June 2019

As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency we now have a regular 'You Said, We Did' slot at Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum's Coffee Morning.

At this slot the SEND Programme Manager for Bedford Borough responds to any issues raised at the previous Coffee Morning and gives feedback on any action taken or any clarification points that may be needed.

Below is the feedback given on the 10th June to concerns that were raised at BBPCF Coffee Morning 20th May 2019:

Concern / Issue Raised

Response

Due to funding cuts outreach staff had been made redundant who had provided positive support to a parent’s child. There had been a negative impact on this child when the funding and service had been withdrawn

The funding for this service was provided through the Education Improvement Support Grant (Bedford Borough Schools Funding agreed by a panel of Headteachers) which is a time limited funding source. Following the ending of this funding some staff did leave their positions, however the staff referred to by the parent query do have a service level agreement with the Local Authorities Early Help Service and therefore this support can still be received.

Access to this support is through an Early Help Assessment, which is the same referral route as how to access the outreach support referred to. Should there be any concerns around a child’s behaviour at school, risk of exclusion or additional support being required then an Early Help Assessment should be considered.

Concern that Carers in Bedfordshire have had to change the time for some of their sibling project groups depending on room hire. Due to this some siblings who had attended previously are now no longer able to attend

Carers in Bedfordshire have been contacted about this and their response is below:

 

‘Thank you for asking about Carers in Bedfordshire’s sibling carer support services.

 

Clubs for siblings and young carers in Bedford are held monthly for each age group – clubs for children aged 4-12 yrs meet from 5-7pm; clubs for young people aged 13-15 yrs meet from 5-7pm (those coming straight from school can arrive from 4.30); clubs for 16-17 year old young people meet from 5-7pm. Our club for young adults aged 18-24 yrs meets from 6-8pm.  Clubs are held at various locations to reach more sibling and young carers.

 

We also provide Workshops for sibling and young carers. These are one off events so times and locations will be arranged according to the activity.

 

Please ring us for more information on 0300 111 1919. We have an events booklet and also use text to keep in contact about clubs and events. We’d be very happy to answer parent’s questions, so do get in touch.’

 

Concern raised that a local adult respite provision had raised its fees to the point that the Local Authority could not afford to match the funding and alternative placement may need to be found

Commissioning services from both adult Continuing Health Care (CHC) and Bedford Borough have met with the Director of this provision and their concerns were highlighted. They were given a period of time to send through their business plan and revised costs.

 

During meetings with CHC they have given assurances that all BB adults accessing this provision will not be left without support.

Concerns raised regarding long waiting times to access Chums Wellbeing Service

These concerns have been passed on to Chums who have said that there is currently not a long waiting time for their resiliency groups, however there is currently a 4 - 6 month wait for 1:1 support. The service is still open for new referrals so this wait time is remaining static at this time but the service is recruiting sessional staff to try to meet the increased demand and reduce teh waiting times.

 

In recognition of the demand for ‘Tier 2’ mental health and wellbeing services Bedford Borough’s Early Help Services have a strong offer around this:

o   A SLA with Relate for 1:1 Talktime counselling, Family counselling or Relationship counselling

o   All staff trained to deliver 1:1 Solution Focus Brief Therapy

o   2 Trained staff in CBT informed ‘Enhanced Evidence Based Practice’ (part of the IAPT training delivered to Mental Health Teams)

o   6 staff within the local area undertaking training in 0-5 Mental Health

o   An embedded CAMHS worker within Early Help Services

o   All staff trained in Protective Behaviours

 

If a child requires support around their wellbeing and it does not meet the criteria for a CAMH’s referral the above is a pretty strong offer on what could be put in place to support them. This was recognised by the CQC who identified Bedford Borough Local Authority as an area of good practice and came to inspect the work that is being done

"You Said, We Did" Children and Young People with SEND Concerns and Feedback (January - April 2019)

Between January and April 2019 39 children and young people with SEND were engaged with to discuss their views on the support they receive and what changes they woudl like to see made. Below is the list of issues / concerns they raised and the response from the Local Area:

 

You Said – We Did

Issue / question raised by CYP

LA response / plan

When will this be done by

1

Children and young would like more outside of school activities

 

  • Bedford Borough have launched their new Local Offer site to help and support CYP to identify more activities outside of school. The Local Offer was coproduced with children and young people with SEND. The Local Offer will be continuously updated and reviewed through the Local Offer Operational Group and we are also keen to develop a young people’s steering group for the Local Offer
  • As part of the Preparing for Adulthood Task and Finish Group there is a working group dedicated to enhancing the local provision of leisure activities for young people with SEND.
  • A review of both Short Breaks and Personal Budgets will be taking place over summer 2019 which will identify any gaps in provision and ensure families have the opportunities to access provision via a personal budget if they meet the eligibility criteria

Ongoing review of Local Offer through quarterly operational group.

CYP Local Offer Steering Group to be set up September 2019

First meeting of this working group is on Friday 12th July.

 

October 2019

2

Children and young people would like to know more about independence and life skills

  • There is a preparing for adulthood section of the Local Offer. We also have a preparing for adulthood task and finish group with various working groups to ensure there is good quality advice and support as well as provision for children and young people around independence and life skills.
  • Preparing for Adulthood is the theme of this terms engagement with children and young people with SEND; in particular what information children and young people themselves want to know about preparing for adulthood.

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2019

3

Children and young people want their voice heard especially within school

  • A whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing toolkit was launched in 2018 for all schools and settings which enabled schools to self assess their performance in enabling all children in their setting to have a voice. This document also directed schools to the training and support in this area that is available both locally and nationally.
  • Bedford Local Area has coproduced and launched a coproduction charter with the expectation that all schools will sign up to this charter by the end of the Autumn Term
  • A new toolkit for schools around SEND is being developed which places an emphasis on CYP and families coproducing their support plans as part of SEN Support

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 2019

 

 

October 2019

Initial Coproduction session for new Local Offer Website - 12th February 2019

On the 12th February 2019 we hosted a day of coproduction sessions with Children and Young People with SEND, Parents and Carers and key stakeholders from frontline services supporting children and young people with SEND and tehir families.

At this session we started to think about what people would want to see from our new Local Offer, we tested various Local Offers from different authorities and discussed what we liked and didnt like and we also started to think about what categories / age ranges and content we should have on our site.

The young people helped to start to think about a new logo for the Local Offer. There initial idea has now been made into a reality and we are delighted with the Local Offer Logo they helped to create (see top of the page)

An artists was present for the whole day capturing the discussions and we have used the artwork from these discussions throughout this website.

You can read more about this initial session here