Working together across BSW – your stories

In last month’s issue of #BSWTogether we asked you to share your stories of how your teams have been working together with others across BSW since we came together as an ICB last July.

We’ve received some great examples we’ll be sharing with you in the next few issues of this newsletter. To get the ball rolling, we hear from Hazel Malcolm, Senior Commissioning Manager for the Children’s Services Team at BSW ICB.

Team: Children’s Services, BSW ICB.

Team profile: The Children’s Services team consist of staff across the various localities and departments of BSW ICB who work together to develop, implement, and improve children’s services across BSW. The team consist of Commissioners from health and the local authority, Designated Clinical Officers for Special Educational Needs and Disability, Designated Nurses for Children Looked After, Designated Safeguarding Leads, Service Transformation Leads, plus colleagues leading on Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing. The team primarily focus on working together to meet the needs of the children, and where appropriate, supporting the wider family and implementing services that address the health, social care, and educational needs of children.

Working together: Children and Young People Commissioners had begun to work together before the formation of the ICB in 2022, and we have been able to build on this over the past year. We have been able to engage a broader range of colleagues including those in primary care, quality, nursing and local authority representatives.

The Children and Young People’s collaborative network across BSW has provided formal opportunities to engage with Executive Leads and partners on strategic issues and has also enabled informal professional relationships to flourish and provide access support and guidance to individuals and teams.

Collaborative working now takes place across BSW to share practice, facilitate creative solutions, and explore emerging opportunities and the network has made a number of achievements over the past year.

The BSW Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) programme was reviewed, which enabled an  effective response to queries from NHS England, aligning some areas of practice across BSW and developing and implementing guidance across BSW to provide clarification on national guidance and legislation.

The network also championed the development of services of Children Looked After across health services. Partners are currently working together on an innovative speech and language project for Children Looked After. The pilot is currently being run in Swindon and provides screening for speech and language difficulties for Children Looked After and ensures they are signposted to appropriate services. It is hoped that the pilot will be expanded across BSW.

The network is also addressing variation in children’s services across BSW. They are currently working together to produce guidance on jointly funded packages for children. The aim is to align the principles for jointly funded packages of care for children across BSW so that all children receiving a joint package of care are subject to aligned principles and core practices. Over the next 18 months, they will continue to work together to align children’s community health services to provide a core BSW offer.