The statutory functions currently exercised by Lincolnshire ICB for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) will be conferred on along with the transfer of all ICB staff, assets and liabilities (including commissioning responsibilities and contracts) to the Lincolnshire ICB. This also includes the relevant duties including those regarding health inequalities, quality, safeguarding, children in care.
The Children and Families Act (2014) incorporates reforms for Children and Young People with Special Educational Need and Disability (SEND). The SEND Code of Practice (2015) means that professionals from Education, Health and Social Care services work more closely together to give children and young people from 0-25 with special educational needs or a disability, the support they need. Children and young people will have more say over what support and services are offered in their local area, and more help will be available for young people as they prepare for adulthood.
The aim of the Children and Families Act (2014) and the ICB is to bring services together, and to organise and integrate the delivery of these services at a strategic level. The Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) plays a key part in implementing the SEND reforms and in supporting collaborative system working.
Lincolnshire has robust governance, leadership and management arrangements in place for SEND. Leaders are fully committed to the SEND agenda and improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND and their families in Lincolnshire as was noted in the CQC/Ofsted inspection in 2018 which led to the Lincolnshire system supporting CQC Ofsted in developing a new inspection framework in 2021. Whilst the most recent inspection was intended to test the methodology – the inspection team fed back very positively around the system working and SEND provision in the county.
The SEND service forms an integral part of Children’s Services and the NHS and supports the vision in Lincolnshire to improve the lives and outcomes for all children and young people and their families in Lincolnshire. Senior Managers and Elected Members receive regular reports on the progress made with the implementation of the SEND reforms. The work of the SEND service is delivered through an established locality model, with 4 teams spread across the county. This comprises four SEND teams, Children with Disabilities team, Educational Psychology, Specialist Teachers, Sensory Education Support, Occupational Therapy, Early Support Care Coordination team, Home Tuition and the Young People’s Learning Provision.
The SEND Steering Group was established from the outset of the reforms and more recently the focus for the steering group has been to support the work arising from the SEND strategy, this reports directly into the CYP Transformation Board. The DCO reports into the SEND Health Committee which also reports into the CYP Transformation Board chaired jointly by the LA DCS and ICB DoN) . The DCO provides reports to the ICB Quality Patient Experience Committee on a monthly basis, to NHSE on a monthly basis and produces an Annual Report. The SEND Service Manager provides an Annual Report to the Schools Forum. The jointly commissioned Children’s Integrated Commissioning Team report directly into the CYP Transformation Board who support major programmes of work such as the Special Schools Project and the Sensory Processing Difficulties Programme. Finally the CYP Transformation Board is attended by the Chair of the Lincolnshire Parent Carer forum with whom we work collaboratively in the development of major programmes.
The positions of the Designated Clinical and Associate Designated Clinical Officers for SEND within the ICB are viewed as fundamental to the SEND system in Lincolnshire and there are no plans to change the structure or operational activity and therefore the risk management processes in relation to meeting the legal responsibilities and duties that will pass from ICBs to the ICS, will not be subject to change. At this point in time we have no plans to recruit and Designated Medical Officer (DMO).
The DCO and SEND Team Manager in Lincolnshire have worked together in co-production with young people to develop a young people’s forum ‘Lincolnshire Young Voices’ (LYV). LYV are engaged and fully integrated in strategic and operational developments and decision making. Lincolnshire is fully committed to LYV and have two Co Chairs in post and a volunteer committee of 11 young people with SEND who are all experts by experience.