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Residents are being asked to have their say on a new way of delivering activities and respite for children with disabilities (short breaks)

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

18 October 2023

Poster with text that reads: We want to hear your views! Families, staff and other professionals, please have your say on a proposed new way of delivering activities and respite for children with disabilities

Throughout October and November, a final consultation will be launched on the proposed new way of delivering short breaks in Northamptonshire.

Short Breaks are breaks for children and young people who have a disability giving them rich opportunities while also allowing carers to have a break from caring to carry out other vital activities.  They include daytime activities, overnight residential breaks, personal care and support, holiday clubs, sensory impairment services and sleep support. 

The short breaks service is jointly funded by North and West Northamptonshire Council’s and the NHS Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board. Northamptonshire Children’s Trust oversee the ‘Short Breaks Service’ which is provided on a county wide basis to children with disabilities as part of our shared responsibility to support children with SEND under the Children and Families Act 2014. 

We know how important these services are to disabled children and their families which is why it is critical that we collaboratively consider any potential changes to services.

It is imperative that we gain as much feedback as possible during this final phase of consultation to ensure that the future services are fit for purpose and deliver the best possible outcomes for children and families.
Julian Wooster, Chair of Northamptonshire Children’s Trust
It is so important to get feedback on this potential new model. By looking at doing things differently this may mean the current services need to change as we look to improve support for families and at the same time make better use of resources.

We would encourage as many families as possible to take part in this consultation so we can continue to work together to come to the best possible model for these services.
Toby Sanders, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire ICB

The first phase of a three-stage consultation began in 2021 to understand what was working well and what improvements needed to be made to the service as identified by parents, practitioners, and organisations. This feedback informed and helped to develop a potential new model for the service in future.

The second phase in April - May 2023 was about engagement, to gain feedback from  parents, carers, practitioners, and other members of the public on how they felt about the potential model and the service offering in the future.

The third and final part of the consultation process is now commencing, and this involves a wider public dialogue on the proposed new model. Consultation will take place via an electronic survey, provider events, parent and practitioner workshops and attendance at community events to ensure a wide range of feedback on the proposed model is received before writing the specification and tendering the new contract in November.

The proposed model aims to:

  • bring together residential and non-residential short breaks, for better co-ordination and flexibility
  • have a single referral and assessment pathway to make it easier to access services and better oversight
  • build community links and support for children to access activities in the community with buddy support and support so children with more complex needs can access daytime activities

The final phase of consultation is now live, and residents are encouraged to give their feedback via the survey which can be found on the North Northamptonshire Council Website

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