Monthly Archives: April 2022

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Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission local area Special Educational Needs and Disabilities inspection – the results

Between 28 February and 11 March 2022, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) conducted their first inspection of the services and support provided across Education, Health and Care in Buckinghamshire for children and young people with SEND.

The report published today, 29 April 2022, identifies strengths and areas for development across the local area.

During the inspection, inspectors evaluated how effectively we:

  • identify the needs of children and young people with SEND
  • assess and meet the needs of children and young people with SEND
  • ensure positive outcomes for children and young people with SEND

The inspectors visited seven education settings covering all ages and received feedback from over 1,000 parents and carers. They met with children and young people of all abilities in education settings and focus groups. They spoke to a wide range of professionals across health, education and social care, reviewed a number of children’s Education, Health and Care Plans and received over 150 documents and supporting evidence.

Cabinet Member for Buckinghamshire Council’s Children’s Services, Councillor Anita Cranmer said:

“Children’s Services are firmly at the heart of the new unitary Buckinghamshire Council and in recent years SEND has become an increasingly prominent priority for us and there is now a considerable amount of co-ordinated activity taking place. We are pleased that the inspectors recognised the following areas of strength:

  • In Bucks we have a clear local area SEND Strategy and strong leadership that prioritises services for children and young people with SEND.
  • Our youth engagement is strong.
  • There is effective joint commissioning of services with health colleagues.
  • We have a good track record of identification of SEND across Early Years settings and children are well prepared for school.
  • Statutory assessments and Education, Health and Care plans are more timely and have improved in quality.
  • Virtual schools for Looked After Children (LAC) have been expanded so more pupils can benefit.
  • Interventions for children with Social, Emotional, and Mental Health needs are extensive. There is good access to health visitors’/health checks and Children & Adolescent Mental Health Services. School nurses deliver a helpful school readiness programme.
  • In Bucks we have strong education, good academic outcomes and low exclusions. There is a successful use of internship programmes contributing to positive employment, engagement and training figures.”

Councillor Cranmer added:

“However, we do know that for too many children, young people and their families, we do still fall short of what they deserve and I want to reassure them that we are not shying away from the crucial areas where sometimes much improvement is still required. Areas we know we need to improve on are:

  • The identification and meeting of the needs of those in receipt of SEND support.
  • The Annual Reviews and ensuring the social participation needs of children and young people are integrated into Education, Health and Care Plans.
  • Recruiting and retaining staff to ensure effective and consistent communication with families.
  • Improving how we involve families, working collaboratively with them to meet the needs of their children.
  • Developing a more coherent approach to Preparation for Adulthood, including increased options at post 19.

We are looking forward to working with our colleagues in Health to improve the services we provide to children with SEND.”

Dr Raj Bajwa, Clinical Chair for NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities is an essential part of our work across the Buckinghamshire health and care system and a priority for the CCG.

“We welcome the inspectors’ findings and while we are pleased to see the areas of strength they have identified, we recognise we have significant work to do to deliver the level of service our young people deserve. Along with our local partners in health, social care and education, we are committed to addressing the priority areas raised by inspectors and continuing to improve the waiting times and quality of our care for young people and their families.”

What happens next?

  • The Council and NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group are in the process of developing the Written Statement of Action in response to the inspection findings. This action plan must be submitted to Ofsted by 8 August 2022.
  • The Children’s Services Continuous Improvement Board will oversee the Written Statement of Action, providing appropriate external challenge and rigour to drive improvement at pace and scale.
  • Monitoring arrangements are being confirmed with the Department for Education, which will meet with us every 4-6 months to assess and support our progress.
  • We will maintain our Quality Assurance work and improvement programme activity, overseen by the SEND Integrated Services Board.
  • We will continue with our recruitment and retention plans.

The full Ofsted/CQC inspection letter/ report can be found by clicking here.

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May Bank Holiday pharmacy opening times for Buckinghamshire

Please click here for details of which pharmacies will be open, and their operating hours, across the NHS Buckinghamshire CCG area over the May Bank Holiday weekend (Monday, 2 May).

Where possible, please also plan ahead to make sure you get any repeat prescriptions ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend.

If you do go to a pharmacy, please follow the social distancing guidelines and any other measures that are being taken to protect both you and any members of staff.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you should stay at home.

If your symptoms worsen, please refer to the NHS111 online coronavirus service.

Please note – pharmacy opening hours on Bank Holidays are voluntary and are, therefore, subject to change. Patients are advised to check if pharmacies are open by telephone before making a journey.

Local pharmacy details can be found at www.nhs.uk under ‘NHS Services’.

If you are still not sure what health service option to use, and it is not an emergency, you can go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111 for advice.

You can also view details of pharmacy opening times for Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

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Help us help you this Bank Holiday weekend

This Easter, Buckinghamshire’s health and care services will be working hard to make sure you stay safe and well – and you can help them by making sure you are prepared for the bank holiday weekend and by using the right service at the right time.

With COVID-19 still spreading and causing disruption to health and care services, we are providing information on where you will you get the most appropriate care should you need  help this weekend.

If you are not sure what health service option to use, and it is not an emergency, go to 111.nhs.uk for advice and support. Due to high levels of demand, the 111 telephone service is currently extremely busy and is expected to remain so over the weekend. Please use the online option where possible.

Please also make sure you have all the medicines you may require ahead of the Easter break. Whether it is everyday medication like paracetamol or cough remedies, or getting your prescription filled. It is also worth making sure you have any other items you might need in hand – for instance, plasters, other treatments or contraceptives.

If you do need to access a pharmacy this weekend, please be aware that many will be operating reduced hours. Local pharmacy details can be found via the NHS ‘Find a pharmacy’ service or on the Buckinghamshire CCG website.

If it is a serious or life-threatening emergency, please do not delay – call 999 or go to A&E if you can safely do so.

People in Buckinghamshire are also being urged to support their loved ones to leave hospital and come home in time for Easter if they can. Some patients no longer need hospital medical care but cannot return to their own home to continue their recovery without having some additional support for things like washing, dressing, shopping, cooking and cleaning. Not having this support delays their return home and leads to a shortage of beds for those in urgent need of hospital treatment. By supporting them you will be helping both your loved one and anyone else in need of emergency care.

Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “By making sure you use the right service at the right time you will help to ease pressure on your health services to make sure the people who need treatment most urgently get it sooner. It may also help you to avoid needless waiting times or travelling to use a service that may not the right one. So, please choose your services well this Easter. By working together, we can help to keep each other safe and well.”

Karen Bonner, Chief Nurse for Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said, “No one wants to spend longer in hospital than they need to and once people are over their initial medical emergency we know that our patients recover faster if they are in their own homes in a more comfortable and familiar setting. If you have a relative or loved one in hospital who is well enough to go home, but is waiting to be discharged with home care and community health support, you may be able to help them to get home more quickly. If you and your family are in a position to support a loved one at home over the Easter break please speak to the ward manager or nurse in charge if this is something you can help with.”

The health and care options available in Bucks include:

  • A&E – remember, A&E should be used for serious and life-threatening conditions. If it is not an emergency, or you are not sure, please check with the NHS 111 service first. But if it is, don’t delay – call 999.
  • The 111 online service at 111.nhs.uk is a great source of information and advice, especially if you are not sure which service to use for your illness or injury.
  • The Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) in High Wycombe is accessible from 8am – 8pm via 111.
  • Pharmacies are staffed by healthcare professionals and offer excellent advice. At the first sign of illness, check to see if an over-the-counter treatment or medicine is suitable. Don’t wait until you are really unwell.
  • Contact your GP surgery for an appointment – this will probably be over the telephone or remotely at the moment, but your GP can still invite you for a face-to-face appointment when they think it is medically appropriate. And if you are concerned about possible cancer symptoms, don’t delay – contact your GP today.
  • Self-care – many minor injuries or ailments can be treated at home, with medicines or treatments you may already have. Make sure you keep some of these in stock.

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Vaccinations available for all 5 -11 year olds

All children aged 5 – 11 are now able to get a vaccination against COVID-19.

The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that 5 -11 year-olds are offered paediatric (child) doses of the vaccine, which has been approved by the UK’s medicines regulator, to boost immunity and increase their protection against any future waves of COVID-19.

Children aged 5-11 with no other underlying health conditions will be offered two paediatric doses of the vaccine, at least 12 weeks apart.

The NHS wants to support families to make an informed choice and there is a comprehensive information leaflet available on the Government website.

Parents and guardians can go online https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/  or call 119 to book an appointment from Monday 4 April at:

  • The Guttman Centre, Stoke Mandeville
  • Kassam Stadium, Oxford
  • Broad Street Mall, Reading

To make things convenient and child-friendly for families who decide to have their children vaccinated, appointments at several other Buckinghamshire sites (including children and family centres and pharmacies) will be available for booking online or by calling 119 from Thursday, 7 April. Please keep checking the national booking system.

These vaccination clinics will be in:

  • Amersham
  • Buckingham
  • High Wycombe
  • Wing

Dr Raj Bajwa, Clinical Chair at NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The COVID-19 vaccine is already making a big difference to help protect us all. The vaccine does not remove the virus, but research and experience in countries around the world shows it can prevent the worst effects of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of infection to your child and those around them.”

If a child has had COVID-19 they will still get extra protection from the vaccine, but they will need to wait 12 weeks before getting vaccinated.

If parents or guardians do not know the child’s NHS number they can get it:

  • by checking the child’s personal health record (the red book given to the family when the child was born)
  • by checking any NHS letters, prescriptions or test results received for the child
  • by going to the NHS.UK website
  • by asking your GP practice to help you

Those 5-11 year-olds who are more at risk from the virus can already get two paediatric doses, eight weeks apart, and their GP or hospital specialist should be in touch to arrange this.

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Pharmacy opening times for the 2022 Easter Bank Holiday weekend

Please click here for details of which pharmacies will be open, and their operating hours, across the NHS Buckinghamshire CCG area over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend (Good Friday, 15 April – Easter Monday, 18 April).

Where possible, please also plan ahead to make sure you get any repeat prescriptions ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend.

If you do go to a pharmacy, please follow the social distancing guidelines and any other measures that are being taken to protect both you and any members of staff.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you should stay at home.

If your symptoms worsen, please refer to the NHS111 online coronavirus service.

Please note – pharmacy opening hours on Bank Holidays are voluntary and are, therefore, subject to change. Patients are advised to check if pharmacies are open by telephone before making a journey.

Local pharmacy details can be found at www.nhs.uk under ‘NHS Services’.

If you are still not sure what health service option to use, and it is not an emergency, you can go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111 for advice.

You can also view details of pharmacy opening times for Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

Public
NHS Doctors Urge Eligible Muslims To Have Spring Booster Jab This Ramadan

Leading Muslim NHS doctors are today stressing that having a life-saving covid vaccine during Ramadan does not break the daylight hours fast with the NHS spring booster campaign now underway.

Resident TV doctor Dr Nighat Arif, a GP in Buckinghamshire, and Dr Farzana Hussain, a senior GP in East London and 2019 GP of the year, are among the doctors urging people to roll up their sleeves and have their jab.

People aged 75 and over and those who are immunosuppressed are now able to book their spring booster via the National Booking Service as part of the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in health service history.

Tens of thousands of people have already taken up the offer in order to protect themselves and their loved ones, including 95-year-old grandad of two, Devraj Jhalam, who was one of the first to get a spring boost last Monday in Slough.

Recent research from the UK Health Security Agency has shown that the NHS booster programme has helped prevent around 197,000 hospitalisations since mid-December.

The NHS in England made history when Margaret Keenan received the first jab outside of a clinical trial, in Coventry in December 2020 and since then has delivered over 119 million jabs since rollout began, including over 32 million booster vaccines.

 

Dozens of Mosques around the country will be hosting pop-up clinics either inside the mosque or nearby, including East London Mosque, Darus Salam Mosque in Leicester and Assunah Mosque in north London, making it easier than ever to get a life-saving covid jab.

Meanwhile, a number of NHS vaccination sites are extending their opening hours so that Muslims can receive the jab after they have eaten if they would prefer to do so and make it easier for people to find a convenient slot.

People who are invited can book in online or by calling 119, which is free from mobiles and landlines. Lines are open every day from 8am to 8pm, and 119 can provide support in 200 languages.

 

Dr Nighat Arif, who regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and ITV This Morning, said: “Having your jab in Ramadan is permissible and it does not break your fast because it is not nutrition.

“So when offered please get your spring booster as this will help increase your protection from the rising covid transmission rates and cut your risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 and being admitted to hospital – I would urge anyone invited for a spring jab to come forward as soon as possible.”

Dr Hussain, a practising Muslim who works at The Project Surgery in East London, said there was no problem with taking up the spring booster during daylight hours.

Dr Farzana Hussain said: “There is absolutely no reason why you should not come forward for your life-saving covid-19 jab if you are eligible and have been invited a spring booster because it does not break your fast“The Koran says saving your life is the most important thing: to save one life is to save the whole of humanity. It’s a responsibility of a practising Muslim to get their vaccine when invited in order to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“Getting your spring booster will help increase your protection from the rising covid transmission rates and cut your risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 and being admitted to hospital – I would urge anyone invited for a spring jab to come forward as soon as possible.”

This year local NHS teams will also be setting up some mobile vaccine clinics near mosques, which has been found to a more effective way of reaching those eligible.

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA), an affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain insists it is okay to have during Ramadan as it is not nutritional. Nor does it contain any animal or foetal products.

Dr Amer Hamed, member of the BIMA Council and Covid Response Group, said: “During the month of Ramadan BIMA encourage Muslims to keep wearing masks, ventilating your houses and Mosques, washing your hands regularly & getting appropriate booster vaccine dose so that you can save more lives than before.”

Full ingredient lists are published by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA): AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna.

Meanwhile, a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has said the NHS Vaccination Programme met “stretching and unprecedented targets” as it helped save lives and reduce hospital admissions – all while making effective use of public money.