Skip to main content

Working Group 5 - Emotional Health and Wellbeing

Chair - Amanda Boardman

Vice Chair - Alison May

Written Statement of Action (Area 6) – Aims to strengthen and develop the approach to support the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), particularly those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), who face challenges in relation to their social, emotional and mental health.

Key message

How does this impact families? How does it link to the Written Statement of Action (WSoA)?

Waiting times are down since the inspection. Face to face appointments are still happening where needed, and remote appointments via phone and video call are being used as well.

This has led to improved access to services for families. Feedback from families has found that some young people, especially some with ASD, prefer remote appointments and find it easier to engage this way. Therefore access to remote appointments via phone and video call will continue to be offered where the child or young person is more comfortable engaging this way and where it is clinically appropriate after Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Learning Disability Services are working better together, and training and support has been taken up jointly between the teams.

There are now weekly referral discussions for any new referrals where it is unclear which service would best meet the need. This has led to individualised assessments, joint appointments, and joint working with psychology, psychiatry, CAMHS practitioners and learning disability practitioners. This is reducing the time that families are waiting for support and can reduce anxiety as families do not have to retell their story to new professionals.

COVID-19 has had a big impact on Mental Health across the county. We are already seeing a rise in referrals. We don’t yet have data on the number of referrals of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), but it’s to be expected that referrals for this cohort will rise too. Work is underway to prepare for this expected rise.

Joint working will improve triage of cases and more resources have been put into digital support platforms. Kooth is available to offer support for children and young people, and in addition, both North and South Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have commissioned Together All, a digital support service for people aged 16+, which will offer support for our 16-25 years age group.

A Deep Dive was done into the information we have available on Emotional Health and Wellbeing (EHWB) of children with SEND, with special focus on autistic children. The results were discussed in 2 recorded conversations between senior system leaders and parents (1 in the South of the County and 1 in the North). The events were well received by all involved. Parents and leaders alike said that the sessions were enjoyable, positive and worthwhile, and they were in agreement in calling for action to translate the good ideas discussed into action. It was agreed that leaders would make a plan to outline the actions being taken forwards, who will do what and, where there are gaps, what needs to be done as next steps.

The recorded conversations have improved understanding of local need and has improved senior leader’s understanding of families lived experiences. They have also increased parents opportunities to design and shape service improvements. We are starting to change mindsets and cultures, so that children and young people with SEND who have emotional wellbeing and mental health needs will have those needs met by services that are better equipped to do so.  The North Conversation and South Conversation are now available to view.  

Back to top