‘I hope it continues’ - Mum praises trust’s measures to support son

PUBLISHED: 06:19 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 06:19 30 June 2020

A Norfolk mum hopes video appointments may continue post the pandemic. Picture: Getty Images

A Norfolk mum hopes video appointments may continue post the pandemic. Picture: Getty Images

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The mother of a child with additional needs has praised measures brought in to support families during lockdown, as the county’s community health trust looks at how it can reinstate services.

The mum-of-two, who asked to remain anonymous, praised the Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, for its work as she was able to end a six-year wait for her oldest son.

The trust was able to offer the family a video appointment, which led to the child being diagnosed with ASD.

The mum-of-two said: “We were in a crisis situation with my son.

“At first I was a little worried this wouldn’t work and delay the process even more than what the pandemic has done. However I was pleasantly surprised.

“I 100 per cent support them doing it this way. Most of these children have severe anxiety. At home they are in their natural habitat, somewhere they feel comfortable and can be fully themselves.

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“I’m a single parent so I have to take the other child with me. It can be a struggle to get out of the house on time to get the appointment and your stress levels are right up there. Then you have to keep them occupied but by the time it gets to you he didn’t want to go in. When you are at home the online waiting room is online, they can get up and do whatever they want while you talk to the staff they do not have to sit and wait.”

She said the waiting room allowed her to keep her full attention speaking to staff and get information across she needed.

She added: “I feel how it has been carried out throughout Covid has meant there has been a speed up on the process and it’s more accessible for children with difficulties with many things in day to day life. I feel if there was a way that the NHS could continue to use some of these measures it would help not just the families but also the staff and bring the stress level down for all.”

NCHC has been able to continue all of its children services during lockdown through video or phone appointments, offering some face to face meetings where essential.

Alan Hunter, Head of the community children’s services at the trust, said work is underway to look at the measures that need to be put in place to resume services in person.

Mr Hunter said: “Everyone has had to change almost overnight how they communicate with families and each other, and work out how to provide help and advice in new ways.

“We are working together as a system as all aspects of the health and care system will need to be back up and running if services are to return to any semblance of normality.”

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