24th June 2020 – updates – therapy services, face masks, Broxbourne behaviour base

Three updates for you in this email covering: Therapies, Face masks and a consultation on the primary support base in Broxbourne area.

Therapy services for children and young people in Hertfordshire

HPCI has, on a number of occasions, raised concerns with HCC about the impact of the substantial reduction in access to therapies for children and young people (CYP) in Hertfordshire.  This was due to the therapists at Hertfordshire Community Trust (HCT) being redeployed to support the Covid-19 pandemic.  We became aware that elsewhere in the Eastern Region as the number of coronavirus cases had reduced other areas were resuming therapy services for CYP.  However, in Hertfordshire that didn’t seem to be happening.   HPCI took those concerns to NHS England who, through their regional advisor, HCC and the CCGs (clinical commissioning groups) have been able to work with HCT to start resuming services.  They will of course have to operate differently due to the coronavirus.  This will be good news for those families who have not been able to get an assessment for their child from a therapist or receive any therapy.
You can read the full update on the Coronavirus page on the SEND Local Offer under the tab ‘Our services’.  It includes links to details for Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy as well as the advice line for urgent or new enquiries.

Via the same link you will also be able to find a number of useful resources to support you with educating from home.

Face masks update:

Following on from our email and Facebook posts last week we are pleased to say that, as a result of HPCI raising the issues for families around the wearing of face masks with HCC at our weekly SEND Cluster Covid meeting, there is now a dedicated page on the SEND Local Offer where you can find out who is exempt from wearing one, download an exemption card onto your phone or to print out along with information on how to make a face covering and ways to encourage a child to wear one.  https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/facecoveringexemption

Broxbourne area: consultation on St Andrews Lane Primary Support Base

This consultation is about the proposal to commission a new primary support base for the area based at the Rivers Education Support Centre in Hoddesdon.  This will include an outreach support service to mainstream schools and the closure of the St Andrews Lane Primary Support Base.  You can download a copy of the consultation and give your response here: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/consultations/schools/consultation-on-the-proposed-alteration-to-primary-behaviour-support-services-in-broxbourne.aspx#
HPCI is submitting a response of its own which is broadly in favour of this approach as the current situation in the area is not working for primary age children.

Another update specifically for those of you with children aged 16 and over will follow soon.