A service providing short residential breaks for children with special educational needs and disabilities is to be continued.
The extension to the contract to the end of the financial year will provide continuation of services for families, while giving commissioners Northamptonshire County Council and Nene and Corby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and the current provider Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) more time to review the service to make sure it is best meeting the needs of children, young people and families.
The agreement to extend the residential short breaks contract, which had been due to end in July, has been reached after both the county council and the CCGs committed to meet the funding requirements for the service for the current financial year.
Families who use the service were notified of the extension to the contract at a meeting on Friday (May 25th) and the ongoing commitment to working with children, young people and families to support the development of services over future years.
Under proposals to develop the service, partners will work together and in close co-operation with families to agree the best way forward.
County council cabinet member for children's services Cllr Victoria Perry said: “We and our CCG partners fully recognise the vital role these residential short breaks provide to families and so I'm delighted that we've been able to extend the provision of this service for the rest of the financial year.
“This extension to the current contract also enables us to continue to work with families and providers as we review and redesign the model for residential short breaks.”
Dr Nathan Spencer, a local GP and Governing Body member at Corby CCG, said: “We recognise that residential short breaks often provide a lifeline for families across Northamptonshire who would otherwise not be able to continue to care for their children at home. We're delighted we have reached a solution that ensures the service will be maintained.
“Our task now, together with our partners, is to develop a new model of care that meets the needs and expectations of children, young people and families, and is sustainable in the long-term.”
The residential short breaks service will continue to be delivered by NHFT until March 31, 2019.
David Williams, Director of Business Development at NHFT, said: “We are glad that an agreement has been reached to work together to ensure the service is funded, is safe and delivers high quality care to children, their families and carers. We are clear that a key focus for us all must be in how we can transform the service, to ensure we meet the future needs of our services users, in conjunction with commissioners and through engagement with families and carers.
“Respite breaks are very important for these families and we are pleased that we have the opportunity to continue to work alongside them.”
New contracts have been awarded for the provision of non-residential short breaks by Action for Children and for the sleep service, to be run by Scope.
Detailed information about these services is currently being confirmed with the providers and will be made available on the county council's Local Offer website soon.