National Network of Parent Carer Forums

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NNPCF co-chairs meet with Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Health

April 27, 2018

On Monday 23rd April, NNPCF co-chairs Maureen Morris and Mrunal Sisodia met with Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Health. We were joined by Gail Walshe from Contact and Lorraine Mulroney from NHS England. In what was the first dedicated meeting the NNPCF have had with a Minister from the Department of Health, we explained the work and value of parent carer forums and how they rolled up to a national voice through regional networks.

We also had the opportunity to highlight some areas that forums have raised with us about their experiences in dealing with health organisations.

We raised the experience of many forums that children and more specifically children with SEND do not appear to be high on the agenda for many health organisations. We used the examples of the transforming care programme and the work being done by sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) to illustrate this.

We shared your concerns that co-production of health organisations with parent carer forums is patchy across the nation. Too often, engagement with parent carers is just a “tick box exercise”. The Minister recognised these points.

Finally, we discussed the engagement of CCGs and local health providers in the SEND reforms. Too often, health bodies are not compliant with the Children and Families Act. Again, the Minister recognised these concerns as evidenced by examples such as Nascot Lawn.

We asked the Minister to provide visible support and leadership for the SEND agenda in conjunction with ministerial colleagues in the Department for Education. We have made the same request of Nadim Zahawi and were pleased to note that both ministers put their name to the letter that launched the single route of redress (SEND tribunals) national trial.

We will continue to work with the Department of Health and NHS England raising your concerns and the Minister agreed that it would be valuable for her to meet with a roundtable of parents and carers at a point in the future.