Suffolk County Council partners with Open Objects to put families at the heart of the EHC process
Suffolk County Council has announced it will be the fifth local authority to join a programme aimed at putting young people and their families back at the centre of the Education, Health and Care (EHC) process.
Idox’s Open Objects – a leading provider of digital solutions to the UK social care and health sector and pioneer of the EHC Hub – will work with Suffolk’s team to enable the implementation of a new digital approach to EHC pathways, granting families in Suffolk with a level of transparency that has previously been unavailable until now.
Developed in partnership with local authorities, the EHC Hub will allow Suffolk County Council to transform the way requests for EHC plans are managed, monitored, tracked and shared between all relevant organisations in the application process.
By providing a secure digital touchpoint for everyone involved in the 20-week EHC process, including young people themselves, the Hub delivers a more person-centric approach empowering all parties to contribute and improving communication at every stage.
Judith Mobbs, Assistant Director for Inclusion and Skills Children and Young Peoples’ Directorate at Suffolk County Council said: “Suffolk is committed to ensuring that we have a clear and transparent Education, Health and Care (EHC) process, which places co-production with families at the centre. We are excited to be working with Open Objects to deliver a portal providing a digital approach, which is accessible to families and practitioners. This will be key to developing and maintaining good quality EHC plans and will ensure better outcomes for children and young people.”
The Council’s EHC case coordinators will also benefit from a simple and secure method of requesting advice from professionals. With smart templates developed in conjunction with local authority partners, the Hub paves the way for a truly collaborative approach to EHC assessment planning for the team in Suffolk.
Gavin Cameron, Managing Director at Open Objects said: “Our EHC Hub is an innovative new approach to the EHC pathway, designed to engage families and offer significant efficiencies to local authorities through smarter working and information sharing. For the first time, families can track the progress of their personal EHC journey online, access their information at any time on a fully-mobile, responsive platform and directly contribute to the assessment and planning through our unique multimedia spaces.”
Open Objects will work with Suffolk County Council to implement the new digital approach ready for the 2017/18 academic year. The Council joins the EHC Hub programme alongside Hampshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
<<Notes to Editors>>
- Open Objects’ innovative EHC Hub has been designed as a direct response to the Government’s transition of children and young people with statements of special educational needs and Learning Difficulty Assessments onto EHC plans
- A multi-million pound package to support children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) was announced by the Government in January, including £40 million funding for councils. This investment, an increase of £4.2 million from last year (2016-2017) will support them in making effective plans for this important final year with the transition to the new SEND system
- Open Objects is at the forefront of helping Local Authorities meet their statutory duties to provide information, advice and guidance in Children and Families; Adult Social Care; and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (Local Offer). They work with their customers to promote channel shift and to help local populations lead happier, healthier and more independent lives: http://www.openobjects.com/care/ehc; +44 (0)1223 422200