NHS chiefs braced for criticism after Ofsted and CQC inspection of special needs services in South Tyneside

NHS chiefs expect there will be ‘things we have to address’ when an inspection into special needs services in South Tyneside.

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The four-day joint assessment by Ofsted and health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was carried out in June, examining the work of South Tyneside Council and the South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

As part of the visit, areas such as the effectiveness of identifying children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and the way their needs are met were due to be examined.

“There was a small inspection of our SEND services in the borough from June 24-28 and the agencies primarily involved are the CCG and council colleagues,” said Dr David Hambleton, the CCG’s chief executive.

“These inspections are a fairly stringent examination of your approach to SEND, but we haven’t had any official report back from that yet.

“There will definitely be things we will need to address, but that is the same as anywhere else in the country that has had a SEND inspection.”

Dr Hambleton was speaking at a meeting of the CCG’s governing body.

An investigation into SEND services in the borough by councillors published in June found some families faced a ‘battle’ to get the support they needed, as well as a lack of consistency in diagnosis.

Of the 22,149 children in nursery, primary school or secondary school in the borough, almost 20 per cent have ‘some form of’ SEND diagnosis, higher than both the national average of 14.9 per cent and the regional average of 15.8 per cent.