Essex Family Forum have represented the parent/carer voice as a member of the Quality of Plans Working Group.

We are involved in the Quality Assurance process and our parent representatives (currently our Family Champion Leads) participate in the termly Quadrant Quality Assurance (QA) Panel. However, there is some inconsistency in how the panels are conducted across the county (e.g. not all quadrants allow prior access to supporting documentation) which we are highlighting.

We are also members of the termly Countywide QA Panels and participate fully. In our opinion, the QA panels are proving to be invaluable as a continuing review of how well the “system” is working within Essex, and they have already resulted in a more proactive approach to addressing improving the quality of the supporting evidence.

However, the QA Panels have focused on newly issued EHC Plans we are now working closely with teams on improving the Annual review process and sit on the Annual Review Co-ordination and Oversight Group representing family experiences.

We feel that capacity, both in the short-term and the long-term, within all the various teams (within Education, Health and Social Care) is having a considerable impact on how well the improvement work can be embedded effectively. This is recognised as a risk and therefore recruitment of additional staff is being undertaken across various SEND teams in Essex.