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Bills and legislations NHS England Social Care

Lords concludes examination of Health and Care Bill

The Health and Care Bill was introduced to Parliament in July 2021 and will place Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) on a statutory footing. ICSs are the structures through which NHS organisations, in partnership with local authorities, will take joint responsibility for improving the health and wellbeing of the population they serve, including children and young people.

As part of our policy work, the NNPCF are a member of the Health and Policy Influencing Group (HPIG). HPIG is leading the children’s sector’s activity on the Health and Care Bill, working with civil servants and parliamentarians to push for a greater focus on babies, children and young people in the legislation and supporting guidance.

The Government has made important commitments in Parliament that babies, children & young people will be an integral part of Health and Care Bill.

The Bill has now had its third reading, a chance to make sure the eventual law is both effective and workable.

The NNPCF welcomes the amendments tabled which include:

  • A requirement for Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) to create joint forward plans that include children and young people
  • Guidance that stipulates that ICBs must identify an executive lead for SEND and safeguarding and also appoint a children and young people’s executive lead
  • Guidance for Integrated Care partnerships strategies to specifically consider children and young people and for them to consult with CYP leaders and families.

These provisions support some of the requirements for joint planning across local areas outlined in the SEND Green Paper.

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NNPCF work Social Care

Josh MacAlister makes “The Case for Change” at joint NNPCF / Contact webinar

The independent review of children’s social care has published its case for change. You can find it here:

Home – The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care (independent-review.uk)

On Thursday 24th June at noon, Josh MacAlister, the independent chair of the review, will be joining an NNPCF and Contact webinar to talk about the case for change and what it means for children and young people with SEND.

You can sign up to the webinar here: Meeting Registration – Zoom

The NNPCF have been working with Josh and the review team to ensure that the issues most important to SEND families are included in the review.

Many of the issues we have raised with the review team are included for example:

· There is a recognition that families need support rather than “investigation”

· The inconsistency in classifying children with disabilities as Children in Need

· The lack of appropriate support for families with children with disabilities is noted

In addition, man y of the major themes that we have raised with the SEND review are also recognised in the report, for example:

· The need for a better definition of what early help and intervention (family support) is available

· The need for more multi-agency working

· The financial pressures on the children’s social care system

You can find out more about our work with the review team here: NNPCF input into children’s social care review – National Network of Parent Carer Forums C.I.C

Categories
consultations Social Care

NNPCF input into children’s social care review

In January, the government announced a review into children’s social care. Independent review of children’s social care – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The NNPCF have been working with the review team to ensure the voice of parent carer forums is heard and that the review understands and considers the unique challenges faced by our families.

NNPCF co-chairs Tina Emery and Mrunal Sisodia met with the officials leading the review in March. In our meeting, we described the work of parent carer forums and our unique role in representing the experiences of families and in coproducing improved outcomes. We also raised five issues that we wanted to make sure that the review considered:

  1. Support not safeguarding” – Much of the social care system is focussed on safeguarding and the approaches and systems are too often based in this model. CYP with SEND and their families need support from the social care system and the bias towards safeguarding means that families slip through the net and further families are reluctant to engage with social care.
  2. Input into EHCPs – PCFs report that social care input into EHCPs remains patchy- often there is no input or that input is very superficial.
  3. Consistency and criteria – there is a postcode lottery for social care services. Some areas recognise children with SEND and children in need, most do not; many areas have different (and high) thresholds for services.
  4. Availability of services – many social care services that families would benefit from are simply not available to too many. Thresholds and cuts mean that respite care, residential care and short breaks are in short supply. Children’s social care must be prioritised and funded properly.
  5. Prioritisation with the NHS integrated care systems – we must ensure that children’s social care is included in plans being developed by the new integrated care systems.

We have arranged a series of engagement events with the social care team. These include:

  • Attendance at regional NNPCF meetings in the Yorkshire and Humber and London regions to hear directly from PCFs
  • Joining the East of England and South West SEND regional leads meeting
  • Attending an NNPCF steering group meeting in June
  • Josh MacAllister, the independent chair of the review, will be meeting with the NNPCF co-chairs

After these and other engagement events, the review plans to publish a “case for change” in early June. Josh MacAllister has agreed to run a webinar for PCFs to brief them on the key areas of focus for the review and how the experiences of CYP with SEND are reflected in their agenda.

The review is also working with our partners at Contact and the Disabled Children’s Partnership to meet with a roundtable of charities and individual parents to hear their stories.

We will keep you informed of our work and will share details of the webinar with Josh once they have been finalised.