Responding to feedback in other services
Children and Young Person's Therapy Services
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) provides services like Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Physiotherapy to children and young people in Hertfordshire. Responding to feedback they have received about the service, they have made the following improvements:
- There is now a single point for referrals to the Therapy Service making it easier for parents, carers and professionals and allowing a quicker response to queries. This also allows for services to work to statutory timeframes and improved monitoring systems
- They have made improvements in the quality of the service, including increasing the number of appointments available
- They have introduced an Integrated Advice Line for parents and professionals for all 3 therapy disciplines with a message facility available 24/7, and with daily call back from therapists
- Universal Sensory Information sessions are now available for parents and carers without the need for a referral to the OT service. This will give parents a greater understanding and confidence to support their child earlier in their journey, minimising risk of longer term impacts.
- Various training sessions and workshops have been developed for parents, carers and professionals that can be accessed virtually
- You said: you wanted more multi-disciplinary working and better access to follow-up therapies.
We did: we piloted a new integrated therapy clinic for children with Down's Syndrome
- You said: you wanted an easier way to book into virtual screening clinics
We did: we replaced eventbrite with a new process where families can contact us directly.
- You said: our website is too wordy and difficult to navigate
We did: we streamlined the information on our webpages and are engaging users to redesign our pages to make them more user friendly.
- You said: you wanted school staff training to include specific info about your children's sensory needs
We did: we created a new sensory training package for school staff to be delivered this summer
- You said: the provision in EHCP reports was sometimes not clear enough
We did: we have updated our EHCP reports to improve the specificity in the health provision
- You said: you sometimes have to wait too long at the SLT drop in clinics
We did: we now offer bookable virtual screening clinics for SLT and OT
- You Said: it takes a long time to get the letters from the therapist which set out the support needed, and the school doesn’t know how to help my child.
We did: Since 2022 we have emailed the assessment letter to schools so that they have our report more quickly.
- You said: you wanted more information and support about how to access our centres.
We did: We created a CYP Therapies video to help guide families and CYP around the Peace Children's Centre
- You said: you wanted an initial telephone consultation to reduce the amount of time for home visits and to clarify what to expect in an assessment
We did: we now use initial telephone consulations before planned social care home visit assessment
- You said: you wanted to understand the Speech and Language Therapy service referral criteria and pathway for all school aged children and young people.
We did: we now offer bookable virtual SENCo refresher training sessions across the locality.
- You said: The model of Speech and Language Therapy ‘episodes of care’ mean my child is discharged when their needs have not been completely met.
- We did: In 2022 we changed the pathway and now after a period of support, the therapist discusses with the parent/carers if the need has been met. Where a parent agrees that the support needs time to embed, we will watch and wait for an agreed period before re-assessing. If the need has not been met support will continue.
You said: that you were waiting too long for autism diagnoses.
We did: The Educational Psychology service, in partnership with West Herts Health Service, has trained EPs to undertake autism assessments to address some of the backlog.
You said: Schools/parents were finding it difficult to address some of the presentations with ADHD.
We did: As an EP service, we designed and delivered to schools, training on executive functioning difficulties and provided resources for schools to use.
You said: that schools and parents needed more support around Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA)
We did: The EP Service piloted workshops in the West, for parents and schools regarding EBSA
In response to feedback from their service users, our Early Years team have been making improvements to the Early Years offer for children with SEND and/or additional needs. Here are some improvements they have recently made to better support families of young children with emerging needs:
You said: You don’t understand the processes for support and referral routes in to the SEND system.
- Family Centres introduced SEND Champions in 2018 to support families and signpost parents to access better information and advice.The SEND Champions have all received training from HPCI into how to signpost parents to access better information and advice and have also received training from our Specialist Advisory Teachers in autism awareness and basic awareness of SEND.
- Set up SEND drop ins in Family Centres where parents have an opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have, find out information about local support groups and meet other families.
- Started Early Support Sessions. A multi-agency initiative which brings together Public Health Nursing, Integrated Services for Learning (ISL) and the Family Support Service in one place to provide support for children with an identified or emerging need who are not accessing free or privately funded early years education.
You Said: My child isn’t ready to access early years education or groups
- We started Early Adventurers in 2022, an 8 week course for children with either a diagnosed or emerging SEND. The course aims to promote parent confidence and the children’s basic skills to help them become ready for the next stage of education.
SEND Commissioning continue to develop the Short Breaks services listening to families feedback.
You said: There aren't enough short breaks on the Local Offer, or the right kind of activities my child enjoys.
We Did: We set up a group to work with parents/carers to work out how we can better allocate the funding that is available. We have developed a new model and secured 37% additional funding from April 2023 to ensure we can provide more accessible community activities and better support children and their families.
In 2021, we launched a survey with HPCI that was open to parent carers of children and young people (CYP) with SEND in Hertfordshire. 91 parent carers completed the survey from across the county. 60% said that the type of short break service that would add more value to their child and family was sporting and exercise activities, and Hemel Hempstead came up as one of the preferred locations. SEND Commissioning work closely with our providers to ensure the programmes delivered continue to meet the demands of families and in 2021 this has included working with a new provider - Sport Works - to offer sporting activities in Hemel Hempstead.
Ask, Listen, Do
Ask, Listen, Do is a project led by NHS England that aims to make it easier for people with SEND and their families to issue feedback, voice their concerns or make a complaint. The initiative aims to support organisations to learn from and develop better ways of using feedback to help improve services across education, health and social care.
We (Hertfordshire County Council) are working in partnership with NHS England on the Ask, Listen, Do project.
For more information visit the Ask, Listen, Do page of the NHS England website or you can view the easy read leaflet (pdf 543kb).
Page was last updated on: 05/09/2023 15:47:03