Childrens Hearing Services Working Group


1. Strategic Purpose

The CHSWG is a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency group with representatives from services who share a vision and goals of meeting the holistic needs of deaf children, young people and their families who use their services.

The CHSWG has a key role in co-ordinating and integrating the planning, commissioning, delivery, and assuring the quality of children’s hearing services.

We operate with the co-operation and authorisation of service providers, which recognises the group’s aims and provides support in terms of resources and promotion of services.

2. Vision and Aims

Deaf* children, young people and their families receive integrated high quality services that meet and focus on their individual needs.

· We aim to provide a strategic plan for all services who work with deaf young people and their families.
· We will review current provision for deaf children, young people and will develop the range of services used to improve the lives and outcome of young people and their families.
· We aim to ensure that local services for deaf children and young people are effective, family friendly and integrated.
· We aim to develop strategic partnerships across services
· We aim to ensure services are delivered in line with National Quality Standards, work within the guidelines of current national policies and make recommendations for integrated services.
· We will provide an opportunity for issues of local and national importance in relation to services for children in a wider context to be considered by parents and professionals
· We will provide a forum through which parents can have a voice in the planning and review of services at a strategic level.
· To provide advice, guidance and recommendations to inform and influence commissioners and other decision makers with responsibility for planning and resourcing services at a strategic level.
· We will communicate the achievements and unresolved issues of services to strategic planners and key stakeholders for resolution
· To undertake audits and monitor action plans to communicate the achievements and unresolved issues of services to strategic planners and key stakeholders for resolutions.
· To ensure that good quality information about the work of the CHSWG is readily available to service providers and users.

3. Policy & Guidance
The CHSWG will consider the local and national context, including relevant drivers and targets and:
• support the development of new policies to meet the needs of deaf children and their families
• discuss and agreeing the content of all local policies and guidance for services
• review existing policies on a regular basis to ensure they remain relevant and up-to-date

4. Training Review
The CHSWG will highlight where any training needs across/within agencies become apparent where gaps or areas for improvements are identified. In particular, this might focus on cross-agency themes such as deaf awareness, young people’s participation in appointments or service development initiatives etc, where learning may come from other members of the CHSWG or where joint training might be appropriate.
5. Quality assurance
The CHSWG will:
· Agree a framework for quality standards and targets for performance management of services, including measurable outcomes.
· Oversee the implementation of any national and/or locally agreed quality standards and good practice.
· Monitor and review the performance of local services.
· Report any issues concerning the quality of local children’s hearing services and support provided.
· Reviewing the management of, and learning from, critical incidents and agree recommendations for improvement.

6. Service User Satisfaction
The CHSWG will:
• Ensure that the views of children, young people and their families who use hearing services are regularly and effectively captured and acted upon

7. Minutes and reporting

The CHSWG will produce minutes of meetings. These will be agreed by the Chair and distributed to group members within one month. The minutes will also be publically available.

The CHSWG will review the achievements and effectiveness of the group annually to ensure it is meeting its vision and aims.

The CHSWG will produce an annual report and information on local services’ performance and outcomes so that service users, the wider public, senior management and local strategic bodies can all review the effectiveness of both the CHSWG and local provision. The CHSWG will report to the Local Authority SEND Board.

8. Meetings

8.1 The CHSWG will meet at least three times each year; members unable to attend should be represented whenever possible. The Chair will be responsible for collating the agenda which will be circulated at least one week in advance of the meeting. Any departmental updates, apologies for absence and details of nominated representatives should be forwarded to the Chair and the Administrator prior to the meeting. Dates will be set twelve months in advance.

8.2 Agenda items will reflect group priorities and concerns; sub groups may be formed to take forward specific areas of work.

8.3 Guests may be invited to meetings when their specialist knowledge is required or for information sharing or training purposes.

9. Confidentiality

All persons present at CHSWG meetings must be aware of and respect that there may be a need for confidentiality in relation to some of the issues discussed. In the event that a matter requiring confidentiality is raised, a note to that effect only will be recorded in the minutes.

10. Committee Roles and responsibilities

10.1 The Chair and Vice Chair of the CHSWG can be any member of the Group and will be elected annually by group members
10.2 The Secretary will be responsible for arranging meetings and taking minutes. This role may be shared amongst the group and reviewed annually.

11. Membership
Membership will be invited from all organisations providing services for deaf children and young people and their families including but not limited to those listed below:

Inclusion Team Blackpool Council
Specialist Teaching Service Lancashire
Head of SEN services
Education Health and Care Team

Paediatric Audiology Service
Speech and Language Therapy Team
Newborn Hearing Screening Programme Coordinator
Auditory Implant team

Social Care
Blackpool Safeguarding Children with Complex Needs Team
Lancashire Children with Complex Needs Team

Service Users
Parents of deaf children and deaf young persons

Voluntary Sector
National Deaf Children’s Society
Sign Hi Say Hi!