What we do - Have your say! - Results


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Section: What we do

Subsection: What we do - Have your say!


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Read all about it!

This page is where you'll find reports about the results of our consultations and surveys.

Wiltshire Small Grants Scheme – Update

Earlier this year, the WPCC promoted the Wiltshire Small Grants Scheme. This was a grant made available as a result of a small underspend on the Short Breaks Scheme last year (2021-22). Parent carers voted on how the budget underspend should be used and the majority said that they wanted it to fund a Small Grants Scheme.

The aim of Small Grants Scheme was to support the expansion of the provision of clubs and activities across the county for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, to support them to participate in activities that they are interested in alongside their friends and peers. Individuals and organisations were invited to apply for small grants of up to £10,000 to increase the number of opportunities available for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities in the Wiltshire area.

As a result of three successful applications to the Scheme, some of Wiltshire’s communities have been able to increase the opportunities offered to children and young people with SEND.

Barford St Martin's community is creating a playground in the village and due to the Small Grants Scheme is purchasing additional SEN equipment, which means children with SEND can play alongside their peers safely. The equipment will be installed in August. At Springfield Community Campus, the scheme means extra play equipment for inclusive play sessions can be purchased for SEND children and their family members, which are held the first Saturday of every month at the campus from 3pm to 5pm in the sports hall.

Ludgershall Parents and Carers SEN Stay and Play has been given a grant to purchase equipment including toys, games, equipment and sensory lighting. The sessions attract up to 30 children from the ages of three to 16 years.

Young People’s Report Covering Issues that are Important to them

[Leaders Unlocked] has shared the Wiltshire and Swindon Youth Commission (WSYC) report 2022 with the WPCC. This report showcases 9 months of hard work and dedication by the young volunteers involved in the project and follows the WSYC Big Conversation Conference that was held in January.

The report covers key issues and research ideas identified by young people which includes: -
1. Mental Health
2. Drug & Alcohol Misuse
3. Social Media & Online Safety
4. Relationships with the Police
5. Abuse & Violence
6. Grooming & Exploitation

The next phase of work will include the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Wiltshire Police and partners on these recommendations, giving young people from the region a stronger voice on issues that affect their lives.

[Leaders Unlocked] enables young people and underrepresented groups to have a stronger voice on the issues that affect their lives. In education, policing, health, justice and elsewhere, they help organisations to involve the people who matter and shape decision-making for the better.

Please [HERE] to read the report.

COVID Vaccinations for Young Carers – You Said, We Did…

You Said: My 10 year old daughter is registered as a young carer. She doesn’t have health needs of her own and is not classed as vulnerable, but as a registered young carer for her sibling, she plays a vital part in supporting his care and would appreciate the potential protection having the vaccine could afford. Can she have the vaccine?

We Did: We spoke to Wiltshire Public Health who advised us of the following…

As a Result: Wiltshire Public Health advised that they are currently awaiting guidance for 5-11 year olds who live in a household with someone who is high risk. They are hoping to have more information towards the end of January/early February and have committed to letting the WPCC know the situation regarding vaccinations as soon as they are notified; we will update again as soon as we know more.

COVID Booster Vaccine for 12-17 Year Olds – You Said, We Did…

The WPCC advised in last week’s newsletter (8th January 2022) that the vaccines committee recommended extending the booster vaccination programme to all 16-17-year-olds and to vulnerable children aged 12-15. This would include 12-15-year-olds who are in one of the Green Book’s clinical risk groups, live with someone who is immunosuppressed, or who are severely immunosuppressed themselves and have already had their third primary dose.

In response to this article, the WPCC has been contacted by a few parent carers who have reported issues with being able to book a booster vaccination for their vulnerable children who meet the criteria.

You Said, We Did…
You said: "I am having difficulty accessing the booster jab my son." "I am unable to book using the National Booking System." "My GP surgery is not vaccinating children."
We did: The WPCC has spoken to Wiltshire Public Health who are keen to work with us to try to remove barriers for families of vulnerable children and young people with SEND.

As a result: we have been able to agree a solution with Wiltshire Public Health to enable the parents who contacted us, access to the booster vaccine for their vulnerable children.

If you are experiencing issues accessing the booster vaccine for your 16 to 17 year old or a child aged 12 to 15 who meets the vulnerable eligibility criteria, please contact the WPCC as we may be able to help.

WPCC Annual Report 2020-2021

On behalf of the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) Steering Group, we are delighted to present our annual report for 2020 to 2021. This report aims to present and outline a snapshot of some of the hard work undertaken during 2020-2021 and some of our achievements.

[WPCC Annual Report 2020-2021]

Shaping The Future of Local Mental Health Support - Update

In June 2021, Healthwatch Wiltshire, Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living (Wiltshire CIL) and the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) hosted a series of online focus groups to create, shape and influence a new vision for Mental Health support for the future in Bath & North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire.

[The Future of Mental Health Support] aims to represent and understand the views of people with lived experience of mental health. Getting early support that helps prevent mental health issues getting worse and having a sense of purpose in life were key messages from those participating in the work.

The joint work follows the publication of the national Community Mental Health Services Framework, which looks at how support for people in the future can be delivered more locally, to help them live well. The focus groups showed that people don’t want to be defined by their mental health and they made it clear that early support will help them to lead the lives they want to. The report: [The Future of Mental Health Support], has been shared with Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BSW CCG), which plans and commissions mental health services for the region. Emily Shepherd, (Senior Commissioning Manager for Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism at BSW CCG), said: “Thank you to Healthwatch Wiltshire, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council and Wiltshire CIL for hosting these valuable sessions, and to those who took part for sharing their ideas. We’ll be using all the feedback we’ve received to help shape and develop local mental health support services.” [You can read more here].

Annual Learning Disability Health Checks Survey Results

The Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) is concerned that take-up and awareness of Learning Disability Health Checks nationally, and locally in Wiltshire, is low. To get a better idea of take-up and awareness, in October 2021 the WPCC compiled a short survey asking parent carers:

  • How old is your young person?
  • Has your young person ever had a learning disability health check?, and
  • What is your postcode area?

The WPCC would like to extend its gratitude to the parent carers who gave their time to contribute to the short survey. We will share the results with the B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group in the hope that they will inform conversations about improved promotion and uptake of learning disability health checks.

Take a look at the results in our Survey Report

Update on New EHCP Decision Making Processes in Wiltshire

In April 2021, the WPCC in partnership with Wiltshire Council facilitated sessions for parent carers to explore how the process for requesting Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessments could be improved and simplified for parent carers.

You Said, We Did, As a Result…
As a result of all the work with parent carers: -
• new digital forms and paperwork for requesting an EHC needs assessment are being produced
• the SEND Service is changing how it considers requests for an EHCP
• Wiltshire Council is in the early stages of working with the WPCC to develop a parent moderation role, so that parent carers can play an important role in how the decision-making processes in place are quality assured. We will be telling you more about this in future newsletters.

Please read our [website article] for more information.

Summer Holiday SEND Activity Day – Braeside Education Centre, Devizes

In response to parent carer feedback we received through our recent Devizes Summer Activities survey, the Directors of Braeside Education Centre in Devizes have confirmed their summer activity offer for children and young people with SEND. The Directors expressed a serious desire to make the centre and activities as accessible as possible to children and young people with SEND. This is a journey they wish to do in partnership with parent carers, and to inform their aspirations, the offer this year (see calendar link below) will be a pilot to help the Directors to learn from young people using the centre. The hope is that this will inform future SEND opportunities at the centre with a range of different activities and experiences taking place over 3 or 4 days in future summer holidays.

If you would like to read the WPCC’s survey report, please click WPCC Braeside Summer Activities Survey Report

To find out more about the activity day taking place on Friday 20th August 2021, please take a look at our [calendar]

Wiltshire Autism Assessment Service Survey

The WPCC ran a Wiltshire Autism Assessment Service (WAAS) survey for two weeks which closed on 30th May 2021. Through the WPCC’s survey, the service asked parent carers what it could do to communicate better with parent carers while they are on the autism assessment waiting list.

We are extremely grateful to everyone who took the time to respond to the survey, the results of which have been fed back to members of the WAAS who in turn have committed to present the findings and recommendations to senior managers, and they have promised to share the outcomes with us in due course.

You can take a look at WPCC’s WAAS Survey Report by clicking here.

WPCC’s Lockdown Survey 2021 – Results

Earlier this year, the WPCC ran a ‘Lockdown Survey’ for parent carers to understand some of the impact of the most recent lockdown. The survey closed on 28th February 2021 and 481 responses were received.

WPCC Lockdown Survey – brief survey overview

WPCC Lockdown Survey slides for a brief overview of the survey results.

Survey Draw
Parent carers who participated in the survey were invited to enter into a free prize draw with a chance of winning a £50 voucher. To make the draw was as random and fair as possible, we assigned a number to each person who entered the draw and we used a random name picker called: Picker Wheel. Entry number 14 was drawn and the lucky winner has been sent their voucher. You can see the draw [HERE].

WPCC’s Returning to School Parent Carer Survey

The WPCC ran a 'Return to School' survey at the beginning of September to gather feedback about what the preparation for the return to school after the summer was like for families. We have written a summary overview of the survey findings which has been shared with the Local Authority. You can read the summary here.

WPCC's Virtual Coffee Morning - 20th May 2020

A few weeks ago, we sent out a survey to ask you if we should have another go at organising a virtual coffee morning. 65% of everyone who responded said yes, please organise another one.

You can see the results of the survey by clicking on the following link – You Said, We Did

So, in response to your feedback, we are organising another virtual coffee morning. No agenda, just an opportunity to chat with other parent carers about anything and offer each other support, tips, suggestions and encouragement.

As suggested by some of your feedback, our coffee morning will take place at 12.30pm on Wednesday 20th May 2020. We don't expect it to last more than an hour, and you can drop in at any time and only stay for as long as you'd like to.

When you join, you should be able to be on screen so everyone attending can see you. However, you can remain anonymous if you want to and you won’t have to be on screen if you don't wish to share your webcam. If you don’t want to talk you should even be able to join in by typing rather than speaking, or just listen to others. We might be limited on the number of people who can join, so if we have a lot of people wanting to join in, you might need to bear with us. You don’t need to register, just join us on the day and you can dip in and out as you choose. At the moment, we would like to extend the invitation to parent carers only, and members of the WPCC team will also join.

To join our ‘coffee morning’, please see the following details…

WPCC Virtual Coffee Morning
Wed, May 20, 2020 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM (BST)

Please join our virtual coffee morning from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://www.gotomeet.me/StuartHall1/wpcc-virtual-coffee-morning

You can also dial in using your phone.
United Kingdom: +44 330 221 0097

Access Code: 738-442-621

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/738442621

Afraid you'll forget?
We can send you a text reminder! Simply use our Text Reminder link to send us your mobile number and we'll send you a reminder the day before: [TEXT REMINDER]. Please note that Text Reminder form will close at 5pm on Monday 18th May 2020.

Thank you for all your constructive feedback, look out for information about FREE CHOCOLATE in our newsletter and we hope you can join our coffee morning next week.

Difficulties with Shopping

You Said, We Did…

You Said: You told the WPCC that some of you were having difficulties getting to supermarkets at times that fitted in with your caring responsibilities. We had particular feedback about not being able to use supermarket priority times for carers, the elderly and disabled people.

We Did: -

  • We put information on our website and in our newsletters with details of different supermarkets’ delivery and priority arrangements.
  • We have worked in partnership with Carer Support Wiltshire to address this issue by writing to MPs.
  • We have worked with the Community Engagement Team to raise the issue with our Wiltshire Supermarkets and Wiltshire Council.
  • We raised the issue with the National Network of Parent Carer Forums and asked that be raised nationally.

As a Result: We have seen some supermarkets implementing additional measures to make getting shopping easier (e.g. Sainsbury’s in Melksham’s new Click and Collect service as promoted in our newsletter). Michelle Donelan has responded to the letter she received and said that she is happy to support the unpaid carers in Wiltshire and has written to the Minister of State for Care, Helen Whately MP. In her response, Michelle went on to say that she agrees it is very important the needs of carers are heard and met.

We are truly grateful to Carer Support Wiltshire in supporting this issue. In the meantime, please remember, if you are experiencing issues getting food because of social isolation and you don’t have any family etc. who can support you, help is available from the Wellbeing Hub. You can request this help by calling the Wellbeing Hub helpline on: 0300 003 4576 or via email at wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk. It's available from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday.

Transitions to Adulthood Webinar – Recording Now Available

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Transitions to Adulthood webinar on 15th January; it was a very constructive session, and we grateful appreciate all the insightful comments we received on the draft Multi Agency Preparing for Adulthood and Transition policy and procedure.

The draft policy and procedure is out for consultation, and comments are welcomed until 24th January 2020. To help parent carers access and understand the draft policy, the WPCC ran a webinar on Wednesday 15th January 2020. This webinar aimed to describe and explain the contents of the policy and invite feedback that will inform the final version.

If you were unable to join us, a recording of the webinar is now available and can be found [HERE] on the WPCC website. You can also click [WEBINAR] to go straight to the recording. We invite as many parent carers as possible to watch and listen to the webinar and comment on the draft policy. Information about how to comment on the policy is included in the webinar.

If you would like to look at the full Draft Multi Agency Preparing for Adulthood and Transition policy and procedure, you can find it here: POLICY

Comments on the policy can be submitted by downloading and completing and a FEEDBACK FORM and sending by email to FACT@wiltshire.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can simply email any comments to FACT@wiltshire.gov.uk if you prefer.

Please remember that all comments on the draft policy must be received by Friday 24th January 2020.

Community Child Health Service Q&A Sessions - May 2019

In May 2019, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) organised a series of question and answer sessions for parent carers across the County to provide an informal opportunity to ask questions about Community Child Health Services in Wiltshire, hear about service developments and provide feedback. The following shows the questions asked, comments made and answers given – Q&A Sessions May 2019.

Overview of Adult Social Care Services in Wiltshire - 2018 to 2019

A report highlighting how Wiltshire's adult care services have worked and performed in the county over the past year has been published.

The Adult Social Care Local Account 18/19, provides an overview of how adult social care services work in Wiltshire, what the budget is spent on and the service's key achievements.

The report highlights the provision of new accommodation for a further 12 people with learning disabilities, meaning they now have their own homes and are able to live independently. Other highlights within the report include:-

  • Almost 50 people took part in autism training in 2018/19
  • An additional mental health professional service is available in the north of the county, ensuring more people receive timely support
  • Mental Health In-patient Delayed Transfer of Care has been kept down to a minimum, going from up to 20 a week down to an average of no more than one.

The Adult Social Care Local Account 18/19 can be found here: 18/19 REPORT

Care Accommodation in Wiltshire – Feedback Report

At the end of last year, Wiltshire Council asked what you thought about Care Accommodation in Wiltshire: What was working well? What could be done better? This review was designed to inform provision of care accommodation across adult services and therefore does not focus solely on the needs of people with SEND. The WPCC supported this piece of work by organising a series of workshops which helped to develop an understanding of the SEND related priorities and concerns of customers and providers in more detail.

The feedback has now been collated, along with responses from providers about what their thoughts were, and a report has been produced to share the results Care and Accommodation Strategy Report.

The work carried out at the end of last year was about looking at what historical trends say about what accommodation might be needed over the next 3-5 years. In the months that followed, several projects have been identified that aimed to reduce the impact of those trends, and work is now taking place to look at the impact of those pieces of work.

Towards the end of 2019, we will enter the next stage of planning for the future, which will focus on co-designing solutions with customers and providers. At this stage we will once again be asking for your input as Wiltshire Council does the detailed design work on what accommodation they’ll be commissioning or building over the next few years, to allow them to meet customer needs at best value to Wiltshire. We will advertise these opportunities in due course.

Children & Young People's Emotional Wellbeing/ Mental Health Discussion Groups for Parent Carers Report - April 2019

In March 2019, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council ran 3 sessions in Salisbury, Corsham and Trowbridge for parent carers of children/ young people with special educational needs and/ or disabilities (SEND) about children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health; 25 attended (41 booked). The aim of the sessions was to review the new CAMHS service which went live on 1st April 2018, to explore any barriers for children/ young people with SEND when trying to access support for their mental health, and also to discuss talking therapies.

To read the full report, please click here

WPCC's SEND Transport Survey Report 2018

In Wiltshire, there is a new programme called FACT that is looking at what is working well and what could be done differently across children’s services (including health, education and social care). FACT stands for Families and Children’s Transformation.

FACT is working with many different stakeholders to begin discussions about how organisations in Wiltshire are working together and what could be done to make lives better for families. These stakeholders include a variety of health services, schools and early years’ settings, council services, family support services, voluntary organisations and the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council. FACT is working to improve all families’ experiences of accessing children’s services, not just for those of children with SEN and/or disabilities. Key to the programme is the desire to always want to improve the services provided so that children and young people can live safely, healthily and be happy in their own families and communities, and build on good work already going on and move it forward.

One of the FACT work streams that Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) has been involved in is looking at SEND Transport. From October 26th-November 14th 2018, WPCC ran a survey for parent carers to help gain insight into the current SEND transport arrangements and to help inform the service in the future, ensuring that it meets children and young people’s needs and is as economical as possible; 130 parent carers took part.

The collective survey feedback and report has been shared with Wiltshire Council to help inform the Families and Children’s Transformation work stream on SEND Transport. To view a copy of WPCC’s report, please click here.

Thank you again to the parent carers who took the time to be a part of this piece of work.

Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme Consultation Survey Report 2018

In previous years, the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) has facilitated a series of face-to-face Short Breaks consultation events with parent carers of children and young people with SEND. The purpose of the sessions was to enable parent carers to understand pressures and demands on the Scheme and provide a forum for parents to ask questions to help understanding. This meant that those attending were more informed to participate in an open and honest dialogue and offer creative suggestions, working in partnership with the local authority, to inform decisions about the Scheme for the following year.

Year on year the number of parents attending those sessions declined to the point that the WPCC took the decision in 2018 not to run face-to-face Short Breaks consultation sessions, as with such low numbers it did not consider it a responsible use of resources (both financial and time) to run sessions for very low attendances.

The WPCC therefore, for the first time, invited all parent carers to participate in its online Short Breaks consultation survey to help inform decisions about the 2019/20 Short Breaks Scheme. The survey was open from 20th August to 16th September 2018.

To view the consultation survey report, please click here.

Wiltshire Local Offer Update - December 2018

A lot of work has been taking place behind the scenes since the Local Offer website focus group sessions that took place in November 2017. Following these sessions, work began to build a new Local Offer website and we then organised focus group sessions in June/July this year to check with parent carers the progress being made on the new website.

The new Local Offer website is now nearly ready to go live and sometime over the next couple of weeks, if you visit the Local Offer website, you are likely to see a very different layout. In response to what participants told us at sessions in November, information on the front page of the new website is organised by age groups (rather than categories like Education, Social Care and Health), there are also buttons including one that takes visitors to an explanation about what a Local Offer is, and another for an A-Z list of services.

This is what you are likely to see when the new website goes live:

Local offer jpeg.JPG

The address for the Local Offer website is: https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/local-offer

Once the new website has been live for a few months, it is WPCC's intention to offer further focus group opportunities for parent carers to feedback on the new website so that any further refinements can be made if necessary.

Wiltshire Care Accommodation Report – a HUGE Thank You from Wiltshire Council!

Back in November Wiltshire Council asked for your feedback on what you thought about Care Accommodation in Wiltshire – what works, what doesn’t, and what’s important to you. They had a huge response – over 350 people from across the County – so they want to say a big thank you.

Your feedback, combined with historical trends of demand and feedback from providers is going to help decide how Wiltshire Council manages Care Accommodation over the next 5-10 years.

They will be reporting back on some of the headline feedback, and their response to it, in the New Year.

Thank you again – a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Care Accommodation Focus Group Session – Summary Report

In November 2018, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council promoted a Wiltshire Council questionnaire for people to share thoughts and feedback about Care Accommodation across the county for people who can’t live unsupported at home. This was about accommodation needs, whether due to a learning or physical disability, mental or physical health need, or due to age.

To facilitate a constructive discussion and to give parent carers an opportunity to discuss the issue in more detail, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council arranged two focus group sessions in Devizes and Salisbury. Unfortunately, due to low numbers, the Salisbury session did not go ahead.

The Devizes focus group met on 20th November and explored:

  • What do you think about what is available right now?
  • What is important to you in Care Accommodation?

To see a summary report of the focus group discussions, please click here

Additional Special School provision for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties (SEMH) in the South of the County – UPDATE INFORMATION

The WPCC recently promoted the public consultation about the proposals to address the need for increased ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) and SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health) difficulties in the south of the county. Following the close of the public consultation on 11th June 2018, the WPCC is promoting a letter that has been written to provide an update to explain some changes to the original proposal in response to some of the consultation responses. You will see in the letter that in response to feedback given through the consultation, the new provision will no longer be in Figheldean, but will instead be based at Sarum Academy.

Please read the attached letter to see the information that is currently available.

Draft Placements Commissioning Strategy 2017-22 Consultation Report

In May/ June 2018, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council held three consultation sessions for parent carers of children/ young people aged 0-25 years with Special Educational Needs and/ or Disabilities (SEND) to enable them to find out more about Wiltshire’s Draft Placements Commissioning Strategy.

The strategy covers any residential placement that Wiltshire Council makes for a child or young person with a commissioned provider both in Wiltshire and in other local authority areas which includes:

  • Independent fostering agency placements for looked after children & young people
  • Residential group-living placements for looked after children
  • Independent special school placements for children & young people with SEND (incl. post-16)
  • Accommodation & support placements for care leavers
  • Independent specialist placements for young people with SEND post-16

Please click here to view WPCC’s consultation report.

You might also like to take a look at the Consultation Presentation Slides.

Wiltshire Special School Provision Discussion Groups 2017

At the beginning of December 2017, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) held discussion groups in Salisbury, Trowbridge and Chippenham for parent carers of children/ young people with Special Educational Needs and/ or Disabilities, to hear their views on the current and future challenges facing special school provision in Wiltshire.

The WPCC organised these sessions to facilitate parent carer engagement in response to the local authority identifying that by the year 2026 there will be a need for 220 extra special school places in Wiltshire. There are a lot of issues involved in deciding how to create these new places, while at the same time making sure that provision for all children and young people with SEND is continually improved. The discussion groups gave parent carers the opportunity to consider a wide range of discussion topics to help inform future Council decision making. Representatives from Wiltshire Council, including commissioners, cabinet members, councillors and the Corporate Director for Children’s Services, attended the sessions to listen parents’ views.

To view the WPCC’s report on the discussion groups, please click here.

UPDATE - 24th May 2018
Following the Special School Discussion sessions WPCC organised before Christmas in 2017, progress has been made as a result of what parents fed back during these sessions. One of the outcomes of the sessions has been an agreement by Wiltshire Council Cabinet to go to public consultation to consider proposals for meeting the growing demand on special school places.

Wiltshire Council has shared the following information with the WPCC:

'Wiltshire Council has been collaborating with schools on how to improve special education provision and this has now reached the stage of going out to consultation with everyone next month. The consultation will help decide the future of three of its special schools. It will be live on the Wiltshire Council website and we will be sharing the detail of how you can have your say as soon as this is available.

Wiltshire needs an additional 220 places by 2026 for children and young people with special needs and/or disabilities. There is also a need to address where the schools are placed to ensure sufficient spaces are available for different needs in the north and south. Some pupils currently have to travel up to 90 minutes to attend school.

The three options are to develop a single school, develop two schools or develop/continue three schools in Chippenham, Trowbridge and Rowdeford. The results of the consultation will be considered by Wiltshire Council for any further action including the possibility of publishing statutory notices for formal consultation on any specific proposal.'

Further information can be found [here] on the Wiltshire Council website and the WPCC will promote information about how parents can participate in the consultation when the information is available.

Wiltshire's Local Area SEND Inspection Report

28th March 2018

Ofsted inspection praises Wiltshire's joint working to support children and young people with SEND

Inspectors have praised effective partnerships and the ambition to deliver the very best outcomes for Wiltshire's children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) in a report published today.

The Ofsted and Care Quality Commission letter notes the effective partnerships across education, health and care which are a strength of Wiltshire.

It adds the SEND strategy and self-evaluation are "honest and accurate and are driving improvements in Wiltshire."

The letter follows an inspection in January which involved visits to special schools and settings and gained feedback from children and young people, parents and carers through webinars and meetings.

The report notes:

  • SEND children achieve well in their early years as education, health and care quickly identify needs and put in place correct support
  • Outcomes for SEND children have significantly improved in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2 with results now in the top quartile nationally
  • Young people are well supported as they move into adult life with integrated teams working closely together to ensure post-19 learners can stay in education if required. Consequently the proportion of young people staying in education, employment or training is high and above the national average
  • Access to a personalised high quality short breaks scheme more than 1,300 children and young people access this scheme yearly with young people talking about positive outcomes as a result of the scheme
  • Close partnership working is a strength with parent carers and young people at the centre of the decision-making process. Wiltshire Parent Carer Council is recognised as an effective organisation both in supporting parent carers to access information and navigate the local offer, and enabling the parent carer voice to influence and inform
  • Special schools in Wiltshire carefully identify children and young people's needs when they join the school so they can settle in quickly
  • Health practitioners support a "tell it once" approach with greater integration of services to meet needs in a responsive and timely manner
  • Health professionals offer children with cerebral palsy intervention with their parents. The outcomes are set by children, young people and their parents
  • Children with complex needs and learning disabilities benefit from a specific children's continence service. Changes to this provision have been led by parents' participation and consultation

The report records parents' concerns about Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) provision which is already being addressed with additional provision in the south to ensure there are spaces throughout the county for all.

Commenting on the inspection, Catherine Leahy, her Majesty's Inspector says: "Today, we have published a largely positive letter about SEND provision in Wiltshire. The letter says that while there is always more to do, Wiltshire is moving in the right direction."

Laura Mayes Wiltshire Council cabinet member for children services said: "Ensuring our children and young people have everything they need so they can thrive and achieve is a driving factor for all we do."

"I'm delighted this independent report has so much good to say however we are never complacent and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure Wiltshire's children are given the right support to achieve their potential."

Ted Wilson Community and Joint Commissioning Director for Wiltshire CCG added: "I'm pleased the report recognises the strengths of the joint partnership and the importance we place on the children and young people and parents having a voice and helping to shape the support they receive."

Stuart Hall, strategic director of Wiltshire Parent Carer Council said: "The views of many parent carers and young people were heard by the inspectors during the process. Many parents took the opportunity to engage in the process by participating in the webinar, sending emails to the inspection team and talking to inspectors during visits to settings.

"This meant the inspection process was informed by the views of parent carers and young people and played an important part in informing the focus of the inspection. We are delighted that this was an independent process that has highlighted the strengths, ambition and joint working across services in the local area. It also realistically identifies challenges that the local area aspires to address in close partnership with parent carers through parent participation and coproduction."

The inspections give Ofsted and the CQC a bird's eye view of education, health and social care services for children and young people who have SEND. As well as collecting the views of local children, young people and parents, they gather evidence from a wide range of sources. These include visiting schools, GPs and other health partners. They meet with local area officers responsible for education, health and social care, as well as some school leaders.

The report is available at this [link]

Community Child Health Service Q&A Sessions - July 2017

In response to feedback and questions from parent carers about changes to services as a result of the re-commissioning of Community Child Health Services in Wiltshire, the WPCC worked with NHS Wiltshire CCG, Wiltshire Council and Virgin Care to arrange some Question & Answer (Q&A) sessions. These first took place in December 2015, with follow-up sessions in September 2016 and the latest round in Calne and Salisbury in July 2017. These have provided informal opportunities for parent carers to ask questions of commissioners and Virgin Care, to understand more about service changes and to give their feedback about changes and transitions.

Here are the Q&As from the latest follow-up sessions for parent carers of children/ young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities that were held in July 2017. Please click here to see the document containing the questions asked, comments made and answers given at these sessions.

Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme Consultation Report 2017

During June 2017, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) and Wiltshire Council organised Short Breaks Scheme consultation sessions in Salisbury, Dilton Marsh and Devizes. The purpose of the sessions was to give parent carers the opportunity to help review the current Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme, to understand the increasing pressures and demands, and suggest different ways to shape it to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND aged 0-25 years in Wiltshire in recognition of the growing pressures on the Scheme. Young people were also welcome to attend the consultations.

To view the Short Breaks Consultation Report, please click here

The helpful discussions and responses received from parent carers at the face-to-face consultations, informed a survey to gain a larger representative response and drive a mandate for the Scheme (2018/19); 199 parent carers responded to the online survey. To view the survey report, please click here.

New Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Consultation & Survey Report 2017

There has been a co-commissioning exercise across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire to tender for a new, integrated community primary and specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust have now been named as the preferred service provider and the service is due to ‘go live’ from 1st April 2018.

In April 2017, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council held consultations in Chippenham and Salisbury, in conjunction with Wiltshire Council, to provide an opportunity for parent carers to have their input into shaping the new service model. Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) would like to thank everyone who took part in our consultations. There were some excellent conversations and points raised during the sessions which have been highlighted in our report. These will now be shared with commissioners and the service provider to ensure that the views of parents and carers of children/ young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are represented when developing Wiltshire’s children and young people’s mental health services and help to shape the new CAMHS service model. Please click here if you would like to view the Consultation Presentation Slides.

We also ran a survey on the CAMHS model from Friday 5th May - 5pm on Tuesday 16th May 2017 so that any parent carers who were unable to attend our face to face consultations could also have their say or for anyone who had further comments to add to their existing feedback.

Please click here to view the full WPCC Consultation & Survey report.

Latest Community Child Health Service Q&As

In response to feedback and questions from some parent carers about changes to services as a result of the re-commissioning of Community Child Health Services in Wiltshire, the WPCC worked with NHS Wiltshire CCG, Wiltshire Council and Virgin Care to arrange some Question & Answer (Q&A) sessions in December 2015 to help parent carers get a better understanding of the changes to the service. These sessions provided an informal opportunity for parent carers to ask questions of commissioners and the new service provider, to understand more about service changes. A commitment was made at the sessions to run some follow-up Q&A sessions to review and give feedback about changes and transitions.

Three follow-up sessions for parent carers of children/ young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities took place in September 2016. Please click here to see the document containing the questions asked, comments made and answers given at these sessions.

Transition Mapping – UPDATE ON PROGRESS

The WPCC ran a series of Transition Mapping sessions for parent carers in November 2016 so that together, we could help to develop quality Transition maps or pathways in Wiltshire that can help families plan and prepare for the future more easily. As a result of the sessions and the fantastic contributions from all who attended, an interactive Transitions Map has been created. Parents told us they would find an interactive ‘map’ that you could click on, that would take you to relevant information and help you to think and plan ahead extremely helpful, as often you don’t know what you need to be preparing for until after the event. We made a commitment to all who attended the sessions that this was just the start of the journey, and once the ‘map’ was available we would revisit it in about six months’ time to explore what has worked well, and areas that may still need more development.

A considerable amount of work has taken place behind the scenes and the WPCC would like to express our sincerest thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to bring this project to fruition.

We are delighted to be able to announce that the interactive map is now available on the Local Offer website. It can be found by visiting the Post 16/Preparing for Adult section of the website and clicking on: ROUTE TO ADULTHOOD at the top of the screen. Alternatively, click [HERE] to go straight to the ‘map’.

SEN Banding Information Sessions - September 2016

In April 2016, Wiltshire Council started working with schools to develop the process for supporting the funding that schools receive to support children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN). In the past, there were several different funded banding systems which have now been merged to form one system. This does not make any difference to the support that children and young people receive from schools, but we anticipated that parent carers may have questions about the new bands and about new Education, Health and Social Care Plans (EHCPs) referring to a banding rather than a number of teaching assistant hours.

In September 2016, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council and Wiltshire Council invited parent carers and professionals to attend information sessions in Salisbury and Calne about the new SEN bandings. Judith Westcott (Wiltshire Council’s Lead Commissioner for Special Educational Needs) attended the sessions to explain the new banding system and to answer any questions. These Q&As have now been compiled into a document - please click here to view.

Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme Consultation Report 2016

The Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) facilitated a series of consultation events with parent carers of children and young people with SEND during July 2016 to review the Short Breaks Scheme; 25 parent carers attended. As in previous years, Wiltshire Council and the WPCC are committed to consulting with parent carers to help shape the scheme and to ensure it remains relevant and affordable.

The events enabled parent carers to:

  • discuss what they thought about the Short Breaks Scheme and why it is important;
  • hear feedback on the Short Breaks Scheme from Matthew Look (Wiltshire Council);
  • share feedback on the positive outcomes achieved for their children/ young people as a result of the Short Breaks Scheme;
  • hear about changes to the banding system and what this means for Short Breaks eligibility;
  • look at the challenges facing the Short Breaks Scheme 2017-18 and come up with options/ suggestions to combat the challenges.

To view the Short Breaks Consultation Report, please click here.

The helpful discussions and responses from parent carers, gathered at the consultations, informed a survey to gain a larger representative response and drive a mandate for the Scheme (2017/18); 211 parent carers responded to the online survey. To view the survey report, please click here.

Children and Young People’s Report – What Matters to You

Colleagues at Wiltshire Council would like to thank all children and young people who took part in the recent ‘What Matters to You survey’, 157 responses were received.

The report is attached and will be considered by Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) services at the local authority to ensure that what has been said is heard and taken account of.

A £30 voucher offered for taking part has been won by a 12 year old young man – congratulations!

To take a look at the report, please click here

Community Child Health Services - Q&A session report

The Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) received feedback and questions from some parent carers about changes to services as a result of the re-commissioning of Community Child Health Services in Wiltshire. In response to this, we worked with NHS Wiltshire CCG, Wiltshire Council and Virgin Care to arrange some Question & Answer sessions in December 2015 to help parent carers get a better understanding of the changes to the service.

These sessions were for parent carers of children/ young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and/ or disabilities. They were held in Dilton Marsh and Salisbury and provided an informal opportunity for parent carers to ask questions of commissioners and the new service provider, to understand more about service changes. A live Twitter feed was also available for parent carers who were unable to attend on the day, in addition to the option to submit questions in advance.

The panel who responded to questions included:

  • Susan Tanner: Head of Commissioning and Joint Planning (Children’s Services)
  • Val Scrase: Head of Children and Young People’s Community Health Services (Wiltshire)
  • Joanna Scammell: Wiltshire Transfer Lead, Virgin Care

To read the Q&A responses, please click here.

25/08/16 - UPDATE
In response to the commitment made at the previous sessions in December 2015, the WPCC has worked with NHS Wiltshire CCG, Wiltshire Council and Virgin Care to arrange follow-up Question and Answer sessions. Please click here for further information.

Wiltshire Carers Strategy Workshop Feedback

In November 2015, the WPCC worked together with Carer Support Wiltshire and Wiltshire Council to hold two workshops for carers to help develop Wiltshire’s carers vision and to identify the key priorities for the new carers’ strategy for 2016-2020.

The workshops took place in Salisbury and Trowbridge and involved:

Workshop 1 – Designing Wiltshire Carers Vision
Workshop 2 – Identifying Wiltshire Carer Outcomes
Workshop 3 – Prioritising the key work priorities

Feedback and ideas for the vision and strategy from the sessions can be found by taking a look at the Carers’ Workshop Feedback.