Many children and young people who have additional needs require support from a range of services, including health.

Under the Children and Families Act 2014, the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice sets out the statutory duties for health, education and social care to listen to families and provide the right range of services so that children, young people and young adults up to the age of 25 years can achieve their potential.

Our Integrated Care System (ICS) enables greater integration across agencies and improved sharing of good practice and common solutions across Gloucestershire by having more joined up work and shared responsibility for outcomes for children, young people and families.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) is a priority within NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB), as recognised in the following ways:

  • ICBs must consider how they will meet the needs of children and young people aged 0-25 and set this out in their Forward Plans
  • ICBs must consider how to ensure a diverse skill mix of leadership, which should include a consideration of whether there is knowledge and expertise related to children and to SEND
  • Each ICB must have an Executive Lead responsible for SEND and accountable for how well SEND support by partners is delivered
  • ICBs have to work with children’s system leaders, children and young people and families when forming their strategies and have to show how they have met their statutory responsibilities relating to SEND in their annual report.

NHS Gloucestershire works in close partnership with the local authority to ensure that health commissioning is effective in meeting the health needs of children and young people with SEND.

This involves many aspects of cross-agency and cross-system working with partners and families, including support for medical needs in schools, access to therapies and transition to adulthood pathways.

Commissioning leads and clinicians from across NHS Gloucestershire are involved in many programmes of work that impact on the experiences of children and young people with SEND. NHS Gloucestershire is a core member in SEND improvement workstreams and programmes in the county.

Examples of the ongoing work to improve local SEND provision and processes across Gloucestershire, include:

  • Improved multi-agency working across the SEND system at locality to support better and faster access to services for families
  • Acting on parent / carer feedback and embedding co-production with parents, carers, and young people as part of all service improvements
  • Establishing systems so that health providers can submit essential health advice to the LA for statutory assessments for Education, Health and Care plans (EHCPs)
  • Ensuring that the health support commissioned by NHS Gloucestershire is delivered in a co-ordinated way with other services to improve life outcomes for children and young people with additional needs
  • Establishing joint commissioning across the area where appropriate with a focus on developing integrated approaches to service delivery, greater efficiency and improved person-centred care for children and young people and their families
  • Supporting awareness of statutory SEND responsibilities across the health system

NHS Gloucestershire has a Designated Clinical Officer (DCO), which brings clinical leadership to support NHS Gloucestershire to meet its statutory responsibilities under the SEND Code of Practice.

These responsibilities involve maintaining oversight of the health contributions to Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), working across different parts of the health system to ensure that health assessments, planning and support is delivered in accordance with SEND code of practice and in a family-centred way. The DCO and SEND Leads in NHS providers, quality assure the health inputs in relation to SEND within new EHCPs as part of Local Authority Quality Assurance systems.

The DCO also plays a crucial role as point of contact for schools, partners and LA colleagues both into and between different parts of the health system, with a focus on improving the quality of experience of health support for children, young people who have SEND support needs. This involves links across the health system including GPs (Primary care), health visiting and school nursing services, mental health services and community services as well as the more specialist health services delivered from hospitals in the area.

NHS Gloucestershire has robust governance, leadership, and management arrangements in place for SEND. Leaders are fully committed to the SEND agenda and improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND and their families.

The SEND service forms an integral part of all services for Children and Young adults aged 0-25 years, and the NHS and supports the vision in Gloucestershire to improve the lives and outcomes for all children and young adults and their families in Gloucestershire.

Useful links