HPCI Member update 4 July 2024

This week’s newsletter covers:

  • Independent Review into Hertfordshire County Council’s EHC Needs Assessment Processes – report is published
  • Reminder about HPCI vacancies – closing date is Sunday 7 July.
  • Hertfordshire Physical Disability Strategy Survey
  • Events: Early years workshops, and Mencap wills and trust services webinars
  • Information: Sensory processing podcast, and Together for short lives campaign

Independent Review into Hertfordshire County Council’s EHC Needs Assessment Processes

You may be aware that there has been an independent review undertaken by a barrister into EHC needs assessments in Hertfordshire. HPCI fed into this work, alongside a number of other groups and individuals (which included people from the council and the voluntary sector). You can read the full report here and (at 96 pages) there is a lot to digest. If you want to read the executive summary of the barrister’s findings, we’ve included this at the end of the newsletter.

The barrister says that data shows that there is “a sizeable cohort who are still being failed by the systems in place. But the infrastructure is now in a good position to maintain the improvement seen thus far at a good pace.” And he has made some recommendations that need to be implemented in the next 8 weeks.

HCC has set out these recommendations and what they plan to do to improve against these on the Local Offer website. We are pleased that they have set their plans out clearly, and moving forward, we will want to keep a focus on the delivery and impact of these. As always, what matters is how these changes will improve the experience of children with SEND and their families.

If you have any feedback on the report, or thoughts about the recommendations, please do share these with us.

HPCI vacancies – closing date is Sunday 7 July.

HPCI is currently recruiting for four or five part-time posts, and the closing date for applications is this weekend.  If you are interested, or know someone who might be, you can find further information here.

Hertfordshire Physical Disability Strategy Survey

HCC, in partnership with the Physical Disability Coproduction Board, are developing the first Physical Disability Strategy for the county. They have asked NDTi (National Development Team for Inclusion) to help gather the views from disabled people (and their families and carers) across Herts.  Click here if you would like to take part in the survey.

There will also be a series of online focus groups in late July.  Click here to choose a date and time and book your place:

Early years workshops

Contact are offering the following early years workshops and you can find further details at this link – Early years workshops | Eventbrite.

  • Intro to speech and language, Tue 9th July, 10am
  • Supporting your child with social communication challenges, Wed 10th July, 7pm
  • Toilet training, Thurs 11th July, 7pm

Mencap’s free online planning for the future webinars

Do you have a child with a learning disability?  Mencap Wills and Trusts services are running several free online webinars and can help with securing your child’s financial future.

Sensory processing podcast

Autism Central have launched a new podcast, bringing together autistic people, parents, carers and professionals. Their first series focuses on sensory processing and is hosted by Holly Sprake-Hill, a neurodivergent occupational therapist.

Together for short lives update and research study

Together for Short Lives have launched a campaign asking the government to maintain and increase the £25 million ringfenced NHS England funding for children’s hospices. To find out more click here.