changes we have made

When we receive feedback from surveys, focus groups and email we demonstrate how we’ve responded to this through a ‘you said, we did’ approach. This helps you to see what impact your feedback has had directly on a service, process, or information area.  We will regularly update this section of the website to show our continued commitment to improving your family’s experience of services. There will be a compilation of these improvements published at the end of the year in a SEND annual report.

If you have comments please return to the home page to fill out the Feedback form.

Feedback Received

SEND resources suppliers requiring space on the LO website – 21st April 21

Local Offer terminology is not understood by families – 24th April 21

SEND Youth Forum asked for a correction to their name – 12th May 21

Seven Up Charity asked to be listed in the directory – 1st November 21

Action Taken

New directory of useful contacts created 

 Social Media campaign undertaken + posters created for community resource centres to help to explain the offer 

Name changed to RISE Youth Forum

Seven Up added to directory

*The following summarises the progress that the Local Area has made following previous family feedback: 

Since May 2021, the Local Authority has been working on improving the Special Educational Needs Assessments and Review Service (SENAR). In September 2021, we asked families what the most important improvements they would like to see were. From what families fed back, we did: 

You Said 

We Did/ Are Doing 

Improve communication: answer calls and emails 

  • We have appointed a Head of SENAR Operations to work alongside the current Head of Service to transform the SENAR service, by improving processes, increasing the service capacity and working more closely with families and professionals. 
  • We have received significant investment from Cabinet in July, which means that we are able to hire more people to work in the SEND Service and carry out vital casework.  We are currently recruiting for several case workers and senior case workers to ensure that all young people are assigned their own officer. We are carrying a high number of vacancies at present, so we are recruiting both internally and externally to cover this.  
  • We are working on a comprehensive accurate communication plan to all young people, families and schools so you know who to contact and where to go. We will publish this information as soon as it is finalised.  
  • We are reducing the number of contact points into the service by closing unnecessary email accounts and aligning the new contact points to our communications strategy 
  • We have realigned all the interim staff to permanent senior case officers and team managers. 

We need a named, accessible plan co-ordinator for Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) 

  • We have moved the SENAR team back into locality teams – North, South, East & West – with a clear management structure in each team. The area teams have been allocated schools and young people dependent upon postcodes. This will ensure that there is ownership of cases within the service. We will communicate this to families and education settings soon. 
  • We have aligned our Parent Link service alongside our resolutions team to provide further support to parents and young people when they have an issue – we are looking at how parents can use the service to find resolutions to their issues as quickly as possible. 
  • We have realigned our business support structure to facilitate better support to the service and we are in the process of recruiting for support staff.  

Professionals need better data, so that errors happen less frequent 

  • We are reviewing the case management system (NEXUS) to establish new more streamlined processes. A project is underway to tackle this. This will also include a parent portal and schools’ portal. More information will be shared in our next update on dates for these.  

Ensure that there is timely and appropriate provision and support 

  • We are working through the internal processes around reviews and assessment to ensure that we streamline the work to help us achieve 100% compliance with the timelines set in the SEND Code of Practice and have a more positive outcome for families and young people. 
  • We are developing our decision-making process to ensure consistency of outcomes are managed by professionals and experts within the SEND arena – working in partnership with Health & Social Care. Giving autonomy for smaller decisions back to the senior case workers who know the young person rather than everything being held up in a multi-agency panel. 

We need coproduced fit for purpose EHCP plans  

 

  • We have recruited an expert in the SEND Code of Practice to ensure that all staff are acting within the guidelines set within the code – this officer is building a comprehensive training programme for all current officers alongside an induction programme for all new starters. 

 

Health (CCG) Progress Update 

In Birmingham Healthcare services work together, alongside their partners to best support Children, Young People/Adults and their families and improve Health services across the City. From what families fed back, we did: 

You Said 

We Did/ Are Doing 

Waiting lists are too long for Community Therapy services and Autism Assessments.  

 

 

  • Extra resources have been used to support with reducing all waiting lists 
  • Transformation work is taking place to support Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) services 
  • There is active involvement in progressing a whole system autism pathway 
  • Services are using virtual ways of assessing for autism and offering therapy appointments  
  • Trialling a faster way of completing assessments for autism for children under 7yrs 
  • Services are completing reviews of the children on the autism waiting lists  
  • All waiting lists are regularly monitored to try and make sure the plans are working 
  • The average waiting times for Speech and Language Therapies initial assessments have reduced from 24.1 weeks (March 2021) to 7.6 weeks (August 2021). 
  • The maximum waiting times for Speech and Language Therapies intervention have reduced from 128 weeks (March 2021) to 95 weeks (August 2021). 

What support is available for families that are waiting?  

  • Advice lines are available for families whilst on the waiting list for all therapy services 
  • Information advice and guidance is available online 
  • Linking with the iKnow project to make intervention / support packages available for families during their wait (link with Birmingham university) 
  • https://www.bhamcommunity.nhs.uk/childrens-healthcare/services/ 

We need better access to Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) support services.  

We need more support post diagnosis 

  • A Pre-Post Autism Diagnosis support offer is in development  
  • Health are working with the Communication and Autism Team (CAT) and a few mainstream primary schools in the city to pilot ‘Autism in schools project’ 

 

Out of hours support for Mental Health crisis does not always meet the needs of Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities and Autism.  

  • Forward Thinking Birmingham (FTB) offer 24/7 Mental Health crisis support to 0-25 year olds in Birmingham 
  •  They are currently reviewing how their out of hours Crisis provision supports people with Autism and Learning Disabilities  
  • Work is happening with partner agencies to ensure that all children and young people are supported well at the right time by staff who have the right knowledge and expertise 
  • During weekday hours (9-5) FTB teams have duty lines. 0300 300 0099 

Invest more in MH support for parents and children 

 

  • Investment in Mental Health Services has taken place and is ongoing 
  • NHS, voluntary and other services are working together to make sure investment leads to better outcomes for children, young people and adults in Birmingham and Solihull  

What is the update on health appointments and social distancing guidance?   

 

How much is virtual now and what can parents expect? 

  • Most Health providers in Birmingham are offering a mix of face to face and virtual or telephone appointments  
  • The type of appointment offered to a child or young person and their family is typically based clinical need, whether it is possible for it to be virtual and if it is safe for it to be face to face.   
  • Many providers still have a one visitor/parent/carer policy for appointments however; if this is not suitable it is often possible to request for others to attend by getting in touch ahead of time.   

 

 

Birmingham Children’s Trust Progress Update 

Birmingham Children’s Trust (BCT) have invited the Local Authority and Health partners into the SEND Early Help hub, that is being established and want to deliver early November – this is where professionals can sign post families, offer EHCP advice and the help with navigating the local offer. 

Also, please follow the link https://vimeo.com/600112846/645c6b4225 to hear a podcast from Alison Montgomery, Assistant Director – Disabilities, on the redesign of the Disabled Children’s Service. 

 

How Can You Feed in Your Views? 

If you would like to comment on any of the above, please complete this survey monkey below. We very much want to hear from you.  

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XLLCWLW