A key change to our approach to ensure continuous improvement remains a key part of our focus.
Since the joint Ofsted/CQC inspection of SEND services in 2019 highlighted specific areas for improvement, Cumbria’s SEND Partnership, which includes Cumbria County Council, local NHS health partners and SEND families, have centred work around six Working Groups, each with a different focus.
The re-visit by SEND inspectors to our area is now well overdue, but rather than waiting for their return, the SEND Partnership has decided to move to a Continuous Improvement model for SEND education, health and social care, as they know that despite lots of good work and progress, there is still much to do.
The new approach, which replaces the six Working Groups, centres around a Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP), which will be embedded across the system, with the different agencies working together with families to deliver the required changes. The CIP initially spans a one year period to June 2023, which will take the work into the new Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness councils once they become operational in April next year.
Although there is much still to do, the CIP will initially focus on 4 key areas where change has not been delivered at the pace and scale which the Partnership know is needed. These themes are:
• The quality of Education, Health and Care plans and timeliness of annual reviews.
• Implementation of support for autism and the ASD pathway.
• Arrangements for aspects of transition, particularly from children’s to adult’s services in health and social care.
• Outcomes in education and the sufficiency of education provision.
In addition to this, we’re paving the way for the 2 new councils in Cumbria to establish new Cumbria Children’s Commissioning Partnerships once they take over in April 2023. These new Partnerships will enable commissioners from the local authorities and local NHS bodies to work together to identify needs and deliver services to meet those needs in a timely and fitting way, and will include services for children and young people with additional needs and their families.