Please see below an email from Michael Hargreaves, the Transformation Programme Manager for the Children’s Community Health Service in Manchester. He summarised the current position with regards to Children’s Community Health Service provision during the ongoing pandemic.

In line with the Department of Health guidance ‘Restoration of Community Health Services’ from 3rd June 2020, all services are now working towards restart. This requires substantial preparation to ensure care and support can be provided in the safest way possible for the public and for staff.

This will be a phased approach and some services will be operating a different model to the one in place pre-COVID.

Many of our clinic sites have been closed since March with staff initially using telephone as a means to maintain contact with families. The reopening of these clinic sites has begun but will mean some significant changes in the environment – for example it is likely that waiting rooms will be restricted to two families and children must be accompanied by only one adult. A face mask will be provided to wear on arrival if you aren’t wearing one when you arrive. Attached in the appendix below is an example of our clinic appointment letter as this gives more detail of the changes made to help ensure a safe environment for face to face appointments.

Since March, many of our services have been contacting parents and carers of children being supported on a long-term basis. Some services such as the Children’s Community Nursing Team have remained open throughout this period supporting schools and families, and if necessary providing home visits. Children’s Community Health Services are also preparing for the return of all schools in September and staff are keen to be back on site to support the health needs of children in

Services have also adapted their ways of working to include more telephone and more recently video consultation. I would expect the use of video consultations to steadily increase and become a long-term option for some parents and carers where a face to face appointment is not preferred for any reason.

As we’ve discussed, we’re also working to develop an integrated pathway to support parents and carers in difficult circumstances as a result of the pandemic and a change in education provision. We have begun to consider referrals from special schools and, once established, we would like to receive referrals direct from parents and carers.

We are also considering how best we can provide helpful information to parents and carers in a different way – for example via regular communication with the MPCF. We would welcome a discussion with parents and carers about how this could work.

I hope this is helpful to SEND families and if you would like any further information please let me know.

Best regards,

Michael Hargreaves
Transformation Programme Manager, Children’s Community Health Service – Manchester Local Care Organisation

Above is a sample clinic appointment letter from Manchester’s Children’s Community Health Service for appointments during the coronavirus pandemic. Click on an image to view the letter in full.