Getting your voice heard
There are a number of ways that you can get involved locally and have your voice heard.
- Pinpoint, Cambridgeshire's Parent Carer Forum
- Expert Parent in Health Programme (Council for Disabled Children)
- Healthwatch Patient and Service User Voice
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 together with parent carers for the benefit of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families.
- Provides information and signposts parents and carers to the services best suited 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
- NHS Covid Recovery Board
- Joint SEND Executive Board
- Cambridgeshire SEND Partnership Board
- EHCP Review Group
- Carers Board
- The Learning Disability Board
- Co-production All-Age Mental Health Working Group
- Joint All-Age Autism Strategy Board
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, including 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 ensure the needs of parent carers, and their children, are met. We have co-produced the Local Offer, including the section on health. Find out more about how to ‘join in’ with PinPoint.
Pinpoint offers support and signposting to services for parent carers through regular Hub drop-ins. They offer a wide range of workshops and information sessions, most of which are online, and are free to attend.
They can be booked via Pinpoint’s website.
Become an ‘Expert Parent in Health’
Pinpoint offers the Expert Parent Training Programme designed by the Council for Disabled Children.
The Expert Parent Programme began in 2014, supported by research led by Every Disabled Child Matters campaign which found that parents and carers of disabled children faced numerous barriers in accessing health services and struggled to navigate the health system.
Developed with funding support from the Department of Health (now called Department of Health and Care), from NHS England, and Health Education England, the Expert Parent Programme drew on evidence of the positive impact of parent-led training and empowers parents of disabled children and young people to become more confident and resilient when engaging with health services, and the other services that they come across.
The course is free to parent carers and can be booked via Pinpoint’s website.
Patient and Service User Voice - Cambridgeshire’s Healthwatch
Healthwatch is the independent champion for people who use health and social care services. They work to make sure that those running services, put people at the heart of care. Healthwatch’s sole purpose is to understand the needs, experiences, and concerns of people who use health and social care services and to speak out on their behalf. They work to get services right for the future.
Healthwatch represents all health service users, not just those with SEND. They chair the Learning Disability Partnership. They are invited to Pinpoint’s Partners in Commissioning termly meetings to meet with service commissioners.
You can let them know your thoughts about health services by contacting them through their website.