The Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership has been awarded £345,000 of funding to support children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both, who are at risk of admission to a specialist hospital.
The funding has been awarded after a bid was submitted to NHS England & Improvement for resources to support some of Norfolk and Waveney’s children and young people who have complex care and support needs.
The funds will pay for five Transforming Care Navigators who will support and guide families, children and young people and help them to navigate the education, social care and health systems. By getting the right help and support at the right time, it is hoped this will improve outcomes for these children and young people and reduce the risk of a hospital admission.
The bid was co-produced with families and young people with the following partners:
- Norfolk County Council
- Suffolk County Council
- Family Voice Norfolk
- Suffolk Parent Carer Network
- NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group
The NHS Long Term Plan pledges that by 2023/24 children and young people with a
learning disability, autism or both with the most complex needs will have a designated keyworker (also known as a navigator).
Initially, this support will be provided to children and young people who are inpatients or at risk of being admitted to hospital. Support will also be extended to children with a learning disability and/or autism with the most complex care and support needs, including those who have additional needs including children in care and adopted children, and children and young people in transition between services.
Norfolk and Waveney has been successful in its bid to become an early adopter site in 2021/22.
Dr Sarah Flindall, GP Partner at East Norfolk Medical Practice and NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, Clinical Advisor for Children, Young People and Maternity, said: “Norfolk and Waveney has a number of ambitious transformation programmes in progress and there is a commitment to achieve better outcomes for children and young people and to improve support for families. This was a multi-agency bid with strong partnership working and we are delighted to have been chosen as an early adopter of this programme.
“The last 18 months have been particularly difficult for families, especially for those with children and young people with complex needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional pressure on families, with access to certain support services and short breaks being paused due to national restrictions. The closure of schools during the pandemic has also led to heightened anxiety for many young people.
“This funding will enable us to recruit a team of five Transforming Care Navigators who will support some of our most complex children, young people and their families to ensure they can get the right services and support at a time that’s right for them.”
Allan Cadzow, Corporate director of Children and young people’s services at Suffolk County Council said: “We are really pleased to receive this funding and to be a part of this programme. This funding will support some of the most vulnerable children in the community and will help to ensure children and young people get the right help and support at the right time, improving their outcomes and reducing their risk of hospital admissions.”
Family Voice Norfolk commented: “We welcome anything that helps parent carers, children and young people to navigate often complicated systems of care and support. All families with children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) at times need help of this kind, but it is particularly important at times of stress for families, when multiple agencies may be involved.”