Children and Young People Health Services Update- August 2020
Coronavirus has affected so many lives in many ways, especially for some of our young people and children with special educational needs and disabilities. To support the pandemic local NHS health services have had to be redirected to support NHS England to care for those in urgent need. The NHS has needed to respond to the urgent need from the population, this has included staff from children's services being redeployed to help.
The NHS, Councils and its partners have been working together to provide a range of extra services and resources during this time. Including helplines that are in place in all areas. Services are now planning how they restart and carry on the delivery of children’s services across Southend, Essex and Thurrock, yet we recognise that Covid still remains in circulation and there will be a continued risk of potential outbreak.
Children’s services will continue to accept referrals and consider each one, regarding urgency and clinical need. If you are concerned about any changes to your child’s development, you should contact your local children’s services or GP. During this time, the Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service have offered a full service and local counselling. Early support services are also available. The next step is to focus on restarting children’s community health services whilst keeping everyone safe and delivering care in line with infection control guidance.
Staff are now returning from redeployment and have been working with schools and partners about the return of health services. Discussions are being held with Essex Family Forum to understand the concerns that families have and how these can be addressed at the current time.
Services will be using a variety of different ways to deliver care, but this will be focused on ensuring the best outcomes for children. We are looking at how new technology can be used to support the assessment process and the information and guidance available. Following National guidance, some NHS services will remain virtual (video calls/telephone assessments).
The contact numbers for health services remain the same and are available if you have any questions or queries about appointments or specific concerns about development. Services are starting to deliver routine appointments, yet this is happening at different times due to service demand. Referrals are still being received and are being handled in line with clinical priority.
How will the CCGs communicate with parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?
We understand that this an extremely anxious time for you and your child and we aim to ensure we provide up-to-date and accurate information. Essex is a large county and some health services will vary – we will provide updates relevant to each area as appropriate.
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