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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.

The views of parents/carers and of children and young people with SEND are important. 

We want to make sure that your views about services are heard and make a difference.


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 at least once a year.

The drop down boxes below show what has been done in response to previous feedback and queries raised to the Local Offer.

There are also drop down boxes showing our responses to concerns / issues that have been raised at Bedford Borough’s Parent Carer Coffee mornings.

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

 

"You Said, We Did" Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum Coffee Morning 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