Health Services in Cambridgeshire
In this section you will find information on a range of topics that parent carers often ask us about. Its not an exhaustive list and we are not the experts – you’ll find basic information to get you started and signposting to services who can help you on the next stage of the journey. We would urge you to always seeks advice early from qualified professionals who can help and support you and your child.
Don’t forget that as a parent carer you can seek help for yourself from your own GP.
You also have the Freedom To Choose who provides your services. The NHS website has more on this.
Pinpoint’s Health Guide
You can also find information about health services and support available in Cambridgeshire in our health guide here. The guide includes details on the following:
- Section 1: How health services work
- Section 2: Getting your voice heard in Cambridgeshire
- Section 3: Getting Help
- Section 4: Education Health Assessment and Education Health and Care Plans
- Section 5: Services Directory – an A to Z of services
- Section 6: New Health Offers
Carers’ Handbook from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Describes what you as a carer can expect from their services so that you get this help and support.
The Changing Role of Parent Carers
When your child is young, you will have legal responsibility for them and the medical professionals will work with you. As your child turns 14 this changes as there starts to be a recognition that children can seek advice without parental involvement. Once they are 18 they are legally adults and parent carers no longer have legal responsibilities (if the young person has mental capacity). In reality some of our young people will need lots of parent carer support and this can be a tricky time to navigate giving your young person indepdenence but helping them to make sound decisions that they fully understand. Parent carers can continue to play an vital role informally, with a young person happily sharing their information, or more formally with professionals able to include parent carers – this requires the young person to give explicit and fomral consent. You can find out more here.
The Preparation for Adulthood Parent’s Guide has lots of information to help support the changes roles and responsibilities as well as wider information useful for those who have a child aged 14 years plus.
The legal rights of children, young people and adults
Get Your Rights is a new interactive website which helps to explain to children and young people their rights when using the NHS. The Citizen’s Advice Bureau also provide wide-ranging advice and support.
Parents’ guides for children with a learning disability, autism or both
Contact has worked in partnership with parent carers and charities SeeAbility and the National Deaf Children’s Society, to produce three guides highlighting the importance of hearing, eye and dental checks for children’s health:
They explain how hearing, eye and dental checks are done, how families can access them and how to prepare and support your child.
Prescribing psychotropic medication for autistic children or those who have a learning disability
The Council for Disabled Children have created guide to help for health professionals and parent carers to improve conversation around prescribing psychotropic medication for children who are autistic or who have a learning disability.
This guide is supported by NHS England and developed with a parent carer co-researcher, based on workshops with parent carers and medical professionals.
You can access the guide here.
Parent Carer Voice and Representation in health
Pinpoint, Cambridgeshire’s Parent Carer Forum
Pinpoint is the Parent Carer Forum for Cambridgeshire. We support parent carers of children and young people aged 0 -25 years with additional needs or disabilities. As a parent carer forum, we enable the Local Authority to fulfil its statutory requirement to listen, engage and work with parent carers to benefit children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families.
- Provides information and signposts parents and carers to the best services to help them with their child’s needs.
- Engages and empowers parent carers by running free events, workshops and training, including an annual conference, and helps them ask for the services their children need.
- Works with statutory services as both a partner and critical friend; they both fund and provide support and services, and Pinpoint ensures parents’ voices are heard and that parents help to shape services.
We work with health colleagues to ensure that parent carers’ views and needs are heard and understood. We do this through representation on the following health boards and working groups:
- Children’s Health and Wellbeing Board
- Cambridgeshire SEND Executive Board
- Cambridgeshire SEND Partnership Board
- EHCP Review Group
- Carers Board
- The Learning Disability Board
- Co-production All-Age Mental Health Working Group
- Cambridgeshire All-Age Autism Strategy Board
- The Children and Maternity Collaborative (ICS)
Pinpoint also represent Cambridgeshire Parent Carers on
- Children and Young People’s Palliative Care – Eastern Region
- The Neuro-Development Disorders Network Board for the Eastern Region
We convene a termly meeting with commissioners, Partners in Commissioning, and health to raise issues and proactively consider how services can best meet the needs of Cambridgeshire’s children and young people.
We routinely co-produce policies, advice and guidance to meet parent carers and their children’s needs. For example, we have co-produced the Local Offer, including the section on health. You can find details of how to ‘join in’ here.
Pinpoint offers support and signposting to services for parent carers through regular Tii Hub drops ins. In addition, they offer a wide range of workshops and information sessions, most online and free to attend. They can be booked via Pinpoint’s website.
The NHS employs vast number of staff in thousands of locations. It is a large and complex organisation providing a broad range of services. So it is not surprising that sometimes you or a loved one may feel bewildered or concerned when using the NHS. And this can be when you feel at your most vulnerable and anxious. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service, known as PALS, listens to patients, their relatives, carers and friends and aims to answer questions and resolve concerns as quickly as possible.
The PALS service number covering Cambridgeshire is: 0300 131 1000
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire & Peterborough
Pinpoint works closely with Healthwatch Cambridgeshire – a network made up of individuals, community groups and organisations working together to improve health and social care services. They listen to what local people like and dislike about local services and then feed back to health and social care providers, helping them to plan and deliver better services that reflect what people want.
If you or your relatives are unhappy about any aspect of your care or the services you have received, please speak to a staff member in the first instance. Problems can often be sorted out on the spot. However, if you talk to those concerned, you can allow them to put things right. If you don’t want to speak to a member of staff or you still feel dissatisfied, and your issues have not been resolved, you can either contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) or you can choose to make a formal complaint.
The Resolution and Complaints team will let you know your complaint timeline within three working days of receiving your complaint.
The ICS complaints team can be contacted as follows:
The Resolution and Complaints Manager
Units 7/8, Meadow Park
Cambs, PE27 4LG
Tel: 0300 555 5544
What happens if I still need to be satisfied?
When you are still dissatisfied with the response, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman .
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
The Ombudsman will usually expect a complaint to have followed our complaints procedure before considering it.
If you would like to share a positive experience about your care, or just make a comment on our services, you can send your compliments to:
PALS & Patient Experience Team
Units 7/8, Meadow Park
Cambs, PE27 4LG