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We want the Local Offer to be as good as it possibly can and that’s why your feedback is so important to us.

On this page we regularly publish the comments we've received about the Local Offer and the actions we've taken in response. This feedback can help up improve and develop:

  • the accessibility of information on the Local Offer website
  • how local service offers have been developed or reviewed
  • the quality of existing provision and any gaps in the provision

What is 'co-production'?

The Local Offer is a collaboration between parents, carers, young people, SEND professionals, health professionals and us- Hertfordshire County Council. Co-production is the process of involving all parties in the planning and design of the Local Offer website and our local service offer in order to help shape SEND services.

Read more about co-production.

Website feedback reports

In 2020 we gratefully received over 1150 pieces of feedback about the Local Offer website and suggestions from you about how we can continue to improve the information available. Over time we have been able to group these individual comments into wider themes and have been working on tackling some of these issues ever since

Website feedback report 2020-2021

You said

When schools first closed due to Covid, you said you needed more online resources for home learning.

We did

We set up an enhanced resource area on our website and as a result we saw our web traffic increase significantly on these pages. You can read more about this on our 'resources area re-visited' blog.


You said

When people were asked to wear masks due to Covid, you said you needed more information on face-covering exemptions.

We did

We created a separate face-covering exemption webpage with information on who is considered exempt from these rules, and downloadable printable forms for you to use.


You said

You needed more information about the role of a SENCo in schools

We did

We created a new webpage about getting help at school from your SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator), co-produced with 16 of our parents from our SEND Online Feedback Group.


You said

You were finding it hard to find contact details for the teams they needed

We did

Services have created new duty lines during the pandemic and we are working to make these easily available to people by sharing the details on the website and on social media. We are building a ‘contact’ page so people can find everything in one place.


You said

You were finding it hard to keep up with the ever-changing situation in the coronavirus pandemic

We did

We created a new coronavirus section of the website, which evolved throughout the changing pandemic to disseminate messages, and which we also shared via social media.



You said

You thought the Preparing for Adulthood section of the website was not detailed enough and information was missing

We did

We conducted a full co-produced review of the Preparing for Adulthood webpages, adding brand new pages and topics and working with both parents and young people.  You can find out more about this on our blog post about improving our online content for PFA.


Website feedback report 2019-2020

You said

You told us that you want to see information that is relevant to specific educational needs such as Dyslexia and Dyscalculia.

We did

In order to make sure that we are providing relevant information for everybody, with any kind of need, we constantly refer to our website analytics to make sure that we are picking up on specific search terms. We then make sure that those search terms will take a person straight to the correct support pages.


You said

You told us that you needed more clarity around Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).

We did

Last year we only had one webpage dedicated to EHCPs. After listening to your comments, we have gone on to publish information about the entire EHCP process and the support available to you, resulting in an additional 5 webpages of information.


You said

You told us that you would like to see some sentences reworded or rephrased in order to make them more factual.

We did

We have reconsidered our language and word choices in situations where an action is compulsory to reflect our legal obligations.


You said

You told us that you wanted to see all the different services, organisations and support groups listed on webpages that are relevant to your child or young person.

We did

We are currently working with the Hertfordshire Directory team to ensure the quality and maintenance of organisation and service information and shall continue to link to this information from our webpages wherever possible.


You said

You told us that contact details for services or teams are not always obvious.

We did

We will continue to ensure that relevant contact details on individual service pages are presented clearly, and during times of disruption we make sure to display any details of advice lines or other temporary support networks that can help with quick queries and concerns. Where it’s not possible to provide specific contact details, we have our general Local Offer email address, where there will always be someone who can help with your query.


You said

You told us that you wanted to see more information about helping your child or young person prepare for the next stages in their life.

We did

We are constantly working with relevant teams and individuals to ensure that the information on our Preparing for Adulthood pages is up-to-date and accurate. We also have two ‘Experts by Experience’ on our team who are the voice of young adults with SEND, reviewing first-hand the accuracy of the information in this area of the Local Offer.


You said

You told us that you needed resources to help you support your child or young person with their learning from home.

You told us that you wanted to be able to have the option to leave more detailed feedback.

We did

We published our Resources Area which is full to the brim with usable documents, websites, apps and printable materials for families and professionals.


You said

You told us that you wanted to be able to have the option to leave more detailed feedback.

We did

We have a pop-up feedback poll on all webpages that allows you to both rate the webpage and add additional details. We also have our own online research group composed of parents and carers of children or young people with SEND and young people with SEND aged 16 – 25.


You said

 You told us that you needed to know whether you could get childcare help.

We did

 We know that it is vital that parents of children with SEND are able to access regular childcare and wraparound care options and so we have a webpage specifically dedicated to this information.


You said

You told us that you needed more information and looking and specific definitions of types of special schools.

We did

We are constantly updating our information on special schools. You can view our updated special schools information here.


Our Experts by Experience

Excitingly in 2020 we also recruited two ‘Experts by Experience’ to join the team. Our Experts by Experience are two individuals with learning needs who we work closely with to help inform our decision making and understanding of exactly what it is our users need.

Read our Experts by Experience blog to find out a little more about the people behind the title and exactly what it is they have been up to.

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 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

Early Years

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:

  • A new role of SEND Champions has been created in family centres.  The SEND Champions have all received training from HPCI into how to signpost parents to access better information and advice. They will also be receiving training from our Specialist Advisory Teachers in autism awareness and basic awareness of SEND.
  • Making it clearer to families the different pathways of Early Years support a child may access

 CAMHS

The CAMHS service are working hard on improvements they have identified after feedback from their service users and are finding ways of  transforming mental health services for children and young people.

Integrated Services for Learning

When the pandemic hit last year and schools were closed, we all had to find new ways of working.  To help support children at home, the Integrated Services for Learning Specialist Advisory Teams created and provided new resources which were made easily available to parents, carers and teachers on our website. 

They also extended their Advice Line service to help support parents of children with SEND who were struggling with the home learning.

Where appropriate, the teams were able to set up video-call meetings with children and support them remotely. 

Short Breaks, Overnight Stays and Homecare

Short Breaks

Our short breaks service offers disabled children and young people the chance to spend time out with others socialising and doing activities, whilst giving their families a break and providing them with the confidence that they are safe with trained carers .  In the last year, HCC has been working hard with the organisations who provide the Short Break Local Offer (‘SBLO’), to ensure that these services have adapted to be Covid-safe.  

Due to Covid,  the planned recommissioning has been put on hold and in the meantime we have been focussing on making sure existing services are safe for children, as well as working with our providers to improve their virtual offer.   We will be reviewing the virtual offer and use the learning post-covid to decide whether it will be valuable to families to continue running a virtual offer in the future.  

Overnight Short Breaks

We have responded to service-users feedback and have been working hard during the pandemic to keep this important service open.   The service provides a break for parents and carers, whilst their children stay, for a short amount of time, in a safe and suitable setting. Having access to this support has important benefits for both carers and their children, helping the carer continue to care for their child and providing the child with a change from daily routine and an opportunity to develop new skills and mix with their peers.

The recommissioning of the service (which we were planning as a result of feedback from service users) has been put on hold to avoid extra pressure on the service in these difficult times, and will now go out to tender in 2021, for a new service to be put in place in 2022.

In the meantime, we have been able to carry out other improvements to the service:

  • All staff have received infection-control training
  • We have re-viewed the health training of our providers to enable access to more users (e.g. gastrofeeding and epilepsy)  
  • In April, we set up a Covid isolated suite for children with Covid who can’t be looked after at home  
  • We have worked together with parents and carers to update the current delivery model and ensure that the services are consistent across the county, that they are of good quality and are delivering best value.

Home Care

Homecare provides support to Children and Young People with SEND and their families in their home and community and is another priority service which we have kept running throughout Covid.  The impact of the pandemic on families in the past year has proved challenging and some families chose not to receive their homecare, whilst others found they needed more support.  We have met these families’ different needs and have also ensured the home care market was supported during the lockdown so that these services will still exist to families post-Covid.  All of the staff working in our home care providers have been fully trained in infection-control and are given all the PPE needed to keep themselves and their clients safe.


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 NHS England or you can view the easy read leaflet.

Page was last updated on: 15/04/2021 10:13:46

Cookies

Like many other websites, we place small information files called 'cookies' on your computer.

Why do we use cookies?

To remember your settings, for example your language and location. This means you don’t have to keep entering these details when you visit a new page.

To find out how you use the site to help us update and improve it.

How do I change my cookie settings?

You can change the settings of your web browser so that it won’t accept cookies. For more information visit AboutCookies.org.

But, doing this may stop you from using some of the online features and services on this website. 

Cookies we use

Cookies do a lot of different jobs, and we use 2 types of cookies:

Required functionality cookies – these cookies are essential for the website to work.

Performance and feature cookies – these cookies help to improve the performance and feel of this website, for example providing you with personalised services.


Take a look at a list of cookies we use on our website:

NameTypeHow we use itHow long we use the information for

ASP.Net_Sessions

 

Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.

ServerID

 

Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.

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Required functionality

To track the effectiveness of our website using Google Analytics. 

2 years

saved-pages

Performance and feature

To save the pages that you visit by clicking the heart at the top of the page. 

1 month

geoPostcode

Performance and feature

This stores your postcode (or partial postcode) when we ask you for your location.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).

geoCoordinates

Performance and feature

This stores your location as a pair of latitude / longitude coordinates.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).

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Performance and feature

This keeps a history of all answers submitted to the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.

reckonerName-content

Performance and feature

This keeps a history of what content cards are clicked on when using the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.

SQ_SYSTEM_SESSION

Required functionality

This used to track user sessions on forms hosted on eservices.hertfordshire.gov.uk

Just for the time you are on our website.


Third party cookies

There are links and content from other sites and services on our website. These sites and services set their own cookies.

Below are a list of cookies that the other sites and services use:

Service namePurposeMore information

Google analytics (_utma/b/c/z)

These are used to compile reports for us on how people use this site.

Cookies of the same names are also used for the same purpose by other websites such as Building FuturesCountryside Management Service and Hertfordshire LIS.

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You can prevent data from being collected and used by Google Analytics by installing Google's Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Google Translation - googtrans

This cookie is used to remember which language to translate each page into if you have chosen to do so.

It expires at the end of your browser session.

Bing

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Google

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We have a YouTube channel, which we may link to. YouTube may set some of its own cookies if you follow those links.

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HotJar

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