Decision details

Lancashire Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Partnership - Update on the Accelerated Progress Plan

Decision Maker: Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Board - SEND Sub-Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No


Update report on the Lancashire Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Partnership - Draft Accelerated Progress Plan.


Sarah Callaghan, Director of Education and Skills, Lancashire County Council, and Zoe Richards, Senior Programme Manager for SEND, Lancashire and South Cumbria and Hilary Fordham, Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), introduced the item.


It was noted that the first monitoring visit had taken place, as shown in the report and monthly reports would be produced for the Committee containing the progress made for each action since the last meeting of the Committee. The report for this meeting was in reference to progress made to the actions for October and November 2020


Each action in the report were taken in turn and members' provided comments to each action:


Action One: Leaders' Understanding of Local Area


In terms of Action One, the following key messages were noted:


  • Good progress had been made with regard to the leaders' understanding of the local area and that the new SEND Partnership Manager and Local Officer Development Officer posts, jointly funded by Lancashire County Council and the NHS, would both commence their employment on 4 January. 


  • A joint County Council/Health data team had been established and strong scrutiny and challenge processes are in place, including the data dashboard, which is currently being developed.  The Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET) survey had now been reviewed and the relevant action was being taken.  The survey Monkey Quiz was being developed and the agreed focus of support was in place.


  • A feedback mechanism would be piloted from January and most health providers within the Lancashire and South Cumbria footprint have engaged with the Data Quality Improvement Programme.


Members' requested that a key of the colours used for Red – Amber – Green (RAG) ratings should be included in the document, along with a glossary of abbreviations and terms. The report should also be amended to identify which key milestones referred to which of the particular priorities.


Action Two: Joint Commissioning


In terms of Action Two, the following key messages were noted:


  • A report had been sent to the Children and Young People's Commissioning Network, which looks at the strategic element of commissioning arrangements across Lancashire and South Cumbria, and a Lancashire Commissioning Group, which considers tactical arrangements particular to the county, have recently been convened.  School Nurse Practitioner Workshops had been held in November and December and the Special School Nursing Task Group had been reconvened. A review of Specialist Children's Nursing Services had also been completed, with parent and carers asked for feedback.  Continence policy arrangements had also been reviewed and would shortly be sent out to stakeholders.


  • All key milestones for this quarter are on target and progressing well but it was noted that the implications of the response to Covid-19 had made an impact on the commissioning capacity.


Action Three: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Pathway


In terms of Action Three, the following key messages were noted:


  • All providers and Clinical Commissioning Groups had engaged in a recovery plan approach and a request for recovery plan funding had been made to the Integrated Care System for support for a whole system improvement plan for all local authorities within Lancashire.


  • Links had been made with the National Autism Team and the Autism Spectrum Disorder National Clinical Lead had undertaken a gap and demand analysis and feasibility study, the report for which is expected at the end of December 2021. 


  • A Neuro-Developmental (ND) Pathway Group to deliver the Autism Spectrum Disorder Project Plan across the Integrated Care System had been established in December 2019.  This Group has agreed that the Autism Spectrum Disorder Project Plan would be the priority for the duration of the Accelerated Progress Plan (APP) and an update would be provided at a future meeting of the SEND Sub-Committee.


  • It was reported that three of the key milestones had been completed, but there were concerns over not being able to appoint private sector Digital Assessors, the quality of output from private providers and data requirements not being met by private providers.


  • There were still key issues and gaps that remained which included the Neuro-Developmental (ND) Pathway Co-ordinators that had not yet been appointed, although it was noted that this should be resolved by January/February 2021. 


Following the presentation, the following were clarified:


  • That in relation to the response rate from parent carers regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder and Neuro-Developmental (ASD/ND) support, a 30% response rate should be achieved within the next three months, 50% within six months, with the final expectation being a 70% response rate.



  • Following a suggestion to invite the National Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical Lead to the next meeting of the SEND Sub-Committee in order that they could present their report to the committee directly, members' were informed that their report information would be fed into a report that was to be presented to the SEND Partnership Board and a suggestion was made that members' of this Committee could be invited to that particular meeting.


  • Following a query regarding the red RAG rating around the quality of output from private providers and a request for assurance that there were not a backlog as a result of this, it was stated that a proposal will be developed by 4 January to include three different trajectories that would identify the impact on the delivery of the Accelerated Progress Plan. 


  • It was confirmed that Zoe Richards was taking the lead on communications and engagement and, in responding to a query, she confirmed that all Clinical Commissioning Groups are involved in the SEND agenda through the Children and Young People's Commissioning Group and there is a SEND Improvement Board for Health, to which all the SEND Commissioners from all the Clinical Commissioning Groups are invited to attend.


Action Four: Transitions in Health Care


In terms of Action Four, the following key messages were noted:


  • All health care providers have engaged with transition in health care and SEND Improvement Groups had been established in several providers and other providers setting up SEND Improvement Groups, early in the New Year.


  • The key milestones are all on target and the main risk was the engagement of Adult Services.  Data requirements were also identified as a risk but this is being addressed and an update will be provided at the next meeting.  It was also noted that the response to the Covid-19 pandemic is a risk in terms of ensuring that everything is in place in the timescales required.


Responding to a concern over the target of achieving the 45% positive feedback from children and young people regarding their transition process, members' were informed that a benchmarking exercise on transition arrangements in health care had taken place prior to the Accelerated Progress Plan (APP) being in place.


Action Five: Local Offer


In terms of Action Five, the following key messages were noted:


  • The Local Offer Development Officer will take up employment on 4 January. Their role included developing the local offer website and the ways in which local offers are made available across Lancashire. 


  • A soft launch of the local offer directory of service had taken place and a decision to renew the open object software licence had been taken. This would enable the directory to be in place.  A feedback form had been uploaded onto the website.


  • Three of the four milestones were on target, with the directory of services being addressed in the New Year.


Following the presentation, member's requested the following:


  • The minutes from the SEND Partnership Board be sent around the Committee, as the minutes published to the website were not up-to-date.


  • The monitoring feedback from the Department of education / NHS England and NHS Improvement (DfE/NHS EI) be seen by the Committee. However, in response to this request, members' were informed that feedback was given both verbally and formally, with formal feedback being received in March and September.


Concerns were also raised the possibilities of equality impact assessments not being undertaken as services evolved. In response, members' were informed that should significant changes to the services take place, equality impact assessments would be carried out by the commissioners, with any major changes being taken through the formal relevant governance processes.


Resolved: That;


i.  The progress of the Accelerated Progress Plan (APP) to date on the five areas of concern, including those areas highlighted in 'red' or 'amber, be noted;

ii.  That the highlight report be amended to include a key of the colours used for the RAG ratings, a glossary of abbreviations and terms, and a section to identify which key milestones refer to which particular priority;

iii.  The report that was sent to the Children and Young People's Commissioning Network, to be circulated to Committee members for their information;

  1. The National Autism Team work streams would be circulated to members of the Committee;
  2. The possibilities of members' being invited to attend the SEND Partnership Board, be investigated; and
  3. The minutes from the previous meetings of the SEND Partnership Board be sent to the Committee.

Report author: Sarah Callaghan

Date of decision: 18/12/2020

Decided at meeting: 18/12/2020 - Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Board - SEND Sub-Committee

Accompanying Documents: