Health Updates August

Commissioners are working with local providers to plan and implement the reintroduction of services, taking all guidelines and local needs into consideration.

As you may appreciate, this means that there are potentially changes on a regular basis and so we would suggest that for the most up to date information on the individual service offers and how to access services then to refer to the following websites.

We asked Parents and Carers and Children and Young people on their views of the current SEND Short Breaks offer and what more would they like to see and what could potentially be improved. 41 responses came back from Parents and Carers and 11 from Children and Young People. We realise this is a low representation of our SEND Children and Young People in St Helens.  

Overall the response from the Children and Young People who did complete the survey was positive. 91% got to do fun things with their whole family. 64% said they were happy with the activities on offer, however, 36% said they would like to see more activities for those with SEND.  Some of the suggested activities included, baking, arts and crafts, swimming, singing, relaxation and outdoor activities.  

Parents and Carers survey revealed that only 59% had heard of the St Helens Local Offer website and 90% would prefer to communicate via email. The survey responses have provided us with a wealth of constructive feedback that we are keen to interpret and make improvements. 

The Children’s Community Nursing Team (CCNT ) are currently carrying out priority visits which include line flushes, injections, port flushes, supplies  and essential training such as ventilation and tracheostomy.

They are still accepting new referrals and are able to triage via telephone consultation within 24 hours of receiving a new referral.  Initial assessments are carried out over the telephone via consultation if a clinical intervention is then required this will be planned and co-ordinated with parents and they will be informed along with the child/young person of the PPE they will be required to wear and why.

All telephone consultations where possible are being booked in so families can plan consultations due to their own current needs.

We are still liaising with the local hospitals and are participating in discharge planning meetings remotely via Microsoft teams. The very complex children with packages of care are having weekly coordinated telephone conference calls to ensure that the packages are running smoothly.


Referrals are being accepted as normal and are triaged, parents are then contacted by letter to advise parents/carers to contact the service to accept or decline input. Once the call has been received the patients are placed into a virtual clinic and this is negotiated with parent/carer.

The service is completing visits to those referrals and patients who are fall into the category of urgent or priority patients. Although they are not an Urgent service, those that are categorised as urgent are new referrals in to the community from Alder Hey with patients with a complex health issues or neuropathic bladder and bowels. I.e. spina bifida patients or post op stoma patients,  the service  are picking up these patients to prevent hospital admission. They have continued to offer support for complex patients in school and respite settings.

Staff have been able to complete doorstep visits to offer advice and treatments to patients and deliver equipment (wearing appropriate PPE and or maintaining social distancing).

Staff have been committed to completing virtual clinics and are conducting these via telephone consultations; this is to avoid a delay in assessment and treatment of service users. Prescriptions have been arranged and dropped off in pharmacy for patients to collect by the nurse prescriber or the prescription request has been sent directly to the GP to be processed.

In addition information packs have been sent out to parents and families and regular reviews over the phone have been carried out to advise and plan treatment from this. We have had excellent results with some of the toilet training support packs and medication plans implemented over recent

Staff are continuing to communicate and offer care plans for children in school and have been able to conduct observations of service users whilst maintaining safe distance and or PPE.

Staff are keen and motivated to re-establishing the service and have some new ideas moving forward on how we can improve service delivery, patient engagement and improve patient care experiences.

Children under this service have continued to be reviewed and assessed virtually, and medication continues to be prescribed. We are looking to resetting clinics as soon as it is safe to do so in the next few weeks.

  1. Following the COVID-19 national guidance in March 2020 and then subsequent revisions and changes to this guidance over the following months, there have been and continue to be a number of changes for the CAMHS team. The most significant of these being the move to home working and virtual contact with CYP and their families in accordance with the guidance
  2. All cases open to the CAMHS team at the time of COVID measures being introduced have been prioritised based on their need to ensure that the most appropriate support is given to those cases in the timeliest fashion.
  3. Virtual contact via telephone contact was initially offered where appropriate and face to face appointments were offered if deemed clinically appropriate and necessary. The service will continue to increase the amount of face to face contact it carries out in line with the guidance and part of the continued recovery of the service
  4. Attend Anywhere has been introduced as an alternative offer to telephone contact and has so far received positive feedback for its ease of use, functionality and effectiveness for families
  5. As always, please feel free to contact CAMHS on 01925 579 405 if your child has an open referral or appointment with the service for advice and support during this time


Multi-Disciplinary Triage Panels - The St Helens Neurodevelopmental Pathway has re-established triage panels on a weekly basis, and has increased the number of children that are reviewed each week.  Children of the highest risk (such as children who are looked after, children in contact with the criminal justice system, and children that are at a key transition age) are prioritised, and all other referrals continue to be reviewed in date of referral received to ensure fair access to the pathway. 

Multi-Disciplinary Decision Panels – From 17 July 2020 St Helens Neurodevelopmental Pathway had re-established multi-disciplinary decision panels on a weekly basis. Children of the highest risk (such as children who are looked after, children in contact with the criminal justice system, and children that are at a key transition age) are prioritised, and all other referrals are reviewed in date of referral received to ensure fair access to the pathway. Feedback appointments will follow once a decision has been made at the panel, and families will be contacted by the Neurodevelopmental Pathway Team in support of this.

Emails and Phones – Throughout COVID the service has maintained open communication channels. We receive a large number of calls, emails and messages, and assure you that all of these are responded to at the earliest opportunity by our team. These are being prioritised in order of date received. 

All emails and enquiries are to be sent to   

Emails are prioritised in date order, and we ask that you please do not send multiple emails to the team as this increases the overall number of messages into the team. 

The Neurodevelopmental Pathway Team can be contacted by phone on 01744 646571. If a member of the team is unable to answer the telephone, there will be an option to leave a voicemail. Please leave a message confirming the name and date of birth of the child that your query relates to, a contact telephone number, and a brief message. Your message will be triaged by our team and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We are currently in the process of arranging a Listening Session for parents regarding the Neurodevelopmental pathway and will confirm the date as soon as arrangements are finalised. 

We thank you for your support and patience during this time.

Shielding Update: Information for Parents/ Carers

On the 8th July 2020 the Government released their latest guidance concerning patients that are currently on the Shielded Patients List (SPL).

In summary, the updated guidance confirms that the majority of children and young people who were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 will be able to be removed from the SPL following consultation with their specialist clinician or GP.

Health Services are currently reviewing their caseloads and if a Specialist Clinician believes that a child/young person needs to remain on the SPL then they will write to the patient’s GP to instruct them of this, and will send a copy of this letter to the child/young person’s parent/carer.

GPs are also reviewing the SPL and removing children from the SPL where appropriate.

Most children and young people who were initially identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable, in particular those who are cared for just by their GP, are unlikely to need to remain on the SPL. This includes children with conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and kidney disease.

Specialists in paediatric medicine have reviewed the evidence on the level of risk posed to children and young people from COVID-19. This latest evidence indicates that the risk of serious illness for most children and young people is low. Only a small group of children who receive specialist care in hospitals are likely to still be considered clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, and potentially advised to shield again in future. For example children and young people receiving cancer care or those at risk of severe infection due to an immunodeficiency.

For further information please await contact from your Specialist Consultant/ Team or GP.  However, if your child is on the SPL and you have not received contact ahead of the start of the Autumn Term then please contact your GP.

This Summer's Short Breaks play scheme hasn't quite gone the way in which we would have liked it to be. Due to the global pandemic of Covid-19 restrictions were put into place and social distancing measures had to be adhered to and not to mention, the very last minute of opening facilities to know what we could offer, for this we can only apologise. 

However, the providers we have commissioned for this summer are St Helens Youth Service, Motiv8 Sports and VIBE (previously known as Knowlsey Youth Mutual). 

Each provider has offered a variety of different activities over the summer period and will try to accommodate everyone’s wishes. 

We are currently liaising with the Liz Barr-Jones to arrange a Listening session for parents with regards to Therapy provision (SLT, PT and OT) and the reset and recovery plans from our health provider. This will include the planned provision for when schools restart in September based on new national guidance.  We will let you know of this date as soon as plans are confirmed but if you have any questions in the meantime regarding your child’s therapy service then please contact the individual departments directly.


The purpose of the Local Offer is to enable parents and young people to see more clearly what services are available for children with special educational needs and disabilities in their area, and how to access them.

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"I like the pictures and I like the interesting information it has on the website" - Pupil from Allanson Street Primary School

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