Busy, busy, busy!

Lockdown 3 and still as busy as ever – in between parenting our SEND children & Young People, and all the other boring necessary  adult things we have to do, we’ve been attending a few virtual meetings.

SEND Capita Portal –  When this goes live, parents will be able to check on the progress of their child’s EHCP application; parent carers will also be able to request the Local Authority carry out an assessment for EHCP, and manage the annual reviews, and submit parent views form.  We were asked to put together a few parent carers to test out the portal, that first meeting should be happening soon.  In theory, the portal will reduce times while waiting for correspondence in the post as documents will be uploaded to be viewed online.  We’ll keep you updated with any further developments around this.  Many thanks to the parent carers who have volunteered to test it out.

Designated Clinical Officer (DCO)Many of you will know that Dr Karen Horridge was the Designated Medical Officer for Sunderland, but has since retired to move on to new roles.  A new DCO has been appointed – you can read more on the role of a DCO on the Council For Disabled Children Website HERE(Link opens in new window).  We met with Sunderland’s new DCO last week, to briefly introduce ourselves, explain what we do etc. Kathy Rose comes with a wealth of experience including 8 years as a SEN School Nurse and 5 years in Continuing Care, working across 6 different health authorities.  We look forward to working with Kathy, and I’m sure many of you will get to know her over the coming months.

Head of Integration for Children’s Commissioning (Together for Children / NHS Sunderland CCG) –  We’ve attended several meetings that Kimm :awson has also attended, but last week we got a chance for a sit down and chat with ourselves, Kimm and Kathy (DCO, see above).  Kimm has lots of great work in progress, which we will keep you updated on as they progress.
The first of which is the ASD waiting lists,; there is a new iniative to have it cleared in 6 months, with the new ASD Pathways going live on April 1st (not a joke, honest 🙂 ).  The South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (STSFT) will be seeing the under 5s, with Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) seeing the over 5s.  Watch this space for more news as it happens.

Kimm is also setting a potential date of October 1st  for a new neurodevelopmental pathway to go live – this is still very much a work in progress, and we’ll keep you informed as things progress.

Kimm is very keen on co-production and working with the Forum, and breaking down any barriers to parent carer involvement, and is very much looking forward to meeting more parent carers when normality returns and we can hold real live coffee mornings and events again!

Keep an eye on emails and our social media channels for ways you can input to these important changes.

As always stay safe, be kind to youselves and speak soon x

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