2nd April 2020 Covid-19 Update

  1. EHCPs – Education Health and Care Plans
    Parents whose child either has an EHCP or who have recently applied for one are asking what is happening.  HPCI has approached Herts County Council about this and we are in the process of agreeing a response.  We will send that out hopefully early next week.  We also expect that this will be put up on the SEND Local Offer on the coronavirus updates page which you can find here: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/microsites/local-offer/coronavirus-updates.aspx
  2. Integrated Therapies Service – changes to the service due to Coronavirus

    The Integrated Therapies Service covers the whole of Hertfordshire and includes speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

    They have changed the support they are offering for children and young people because of the coronavirus pandemic.  The service needs to concentrate their resources on critical care for children and they have also redeployed staff to support vulnerable adults during this time.
    They will continue to:

  • Support children with dysphagia
  • Support children who urgently need to be discharged out of hospital
  • Support children who may require end of life care
  • Carry out urgent moving and handling assessments if needed
  • Support tribunal hearings
  • Provide an enhanced Advice Line to support parents and families

The service has paused:

  • Therapy for children with an Education, Health and Care Plan in both special and mainstream schools
  • Giving advices for any new requests for statutory Education, Health and Care assessments
  • Therapy assessments in schools

To prepare for this service change they have reviewed the needs of the children they currently work with – especially those in special schools.  They are supporting families with managing their child’s physical needs at home and have moved the relevant equipment from school into families’ homes or an alternative care setting.
They are contacting all families by phone or text message about these changes and will keep them updated about any further changes to the service.
The Integrated Therapies advice line is on 01992 823093 where you can leave a message and a therapist will contact you.

3. Hospital admissions around coronavirus and  hospital passport templates.

Nationally disability groups and parents have been very concerned about some recent guidance issued in the NHS around clinical decisions for frail patients with coronavirus.
This guidance has now been updated to include clarification that the tool should NOT be used in certain groups including those with learning disabilities or with stable long-term disabilities such as cerebral palsy.
You can find information and the Nice update via these links:
https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/nice-updates-rapid-covid-19-guideline-on-critical-care

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG159

Hospital Passport templates
Hospital admission for children as a result of coronavirus will be very rare but emergency admissions may still happen for a number of different reasons.  Over the past few years, a number of hospital passports for children and young people with SEND have been developed and families may find these useful to have to help with any hospital admission.
Here are links below to two sources where you can download a blank copy for you to complete:

  1. National organisation Together for Short Lives has one

https://www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk/resource/editable-hospital-passport-template/

  1. Cambridgeshire’s Pinpoint organisation helped develop one with parents for Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge and also a general one for admissions elsewhere you find them both here:

https://www.pinpoint-cambs.org.uk/useful-information/essentials/passport-templates-child/