11:21 am, Tuesday, 22nd November 2022

The Best Start in Life for Children with Additional Needs: Commissioning Workshop

One of the primary commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan is to give all children the best start in life.  This includes children with additional needs and disabilities.

Despite strong commitments in policy documents over previous decades (BTRS; Every Child Matters; etc) and a supposedly needs-led, child centred SEND system, families still report it to be combative, slow and fragmented; ruled by external assessments and patriarchal judgements.

To move to a system which is truly child-centred and needs-led, we need flexibility and creativity in commissioning.

Every child and family is unique and should be empowered to make decisions that work in the context of their lives and their child’s personality and broader development.

Families tell us that neither their needs or priorities can be captured by the types of assessments carried out for access to services and eligibility.

We are looking for participants to find ways forward, to improve, and hope to ensure a wide variety of representation.

The Workshop will be held on Monday 16 January 2023, 1pm-3pm for a workshop on commissioning for the best start in life for disabled children.  We will be asking questions such as:

  • What are the barriers and challenges in commissioning for this group?
  • How do we move from a medico-social model of disability, to a human rights one in our commissioning? 
  • How can training and development support better commissioning for this group?
  • What skills and knowledge are required for commissioning services for/by commissioners of services for disabled children, and does this differ for different age groups (e.g. under 5, primary etc)
  • What skills and knowledge are required by others working with young children with disabilities? Social work teams, clinicians, education settings?
  • What are the knowledge gaps? Law? Policy? (which? UPC, what else -Map out…) human rights?

Who do we want to join this workshop?

Commissioners, families and carers, front line practitioners, advocacy representation from across North East and Yorkshire.

If you are interested in joining this group, to shape improvements to service through education, training and improved collaboration and understanding, please email england.neylda@nhs.net.