£345,000 boost for keyworkers to support children with complex needs

£345,000 of funding for children with learning disabilities and autism in Norfolk

Funding worth £345,000 has been awarded to give children and young people in Norfolk and Waveney with complex needs access to designated keyworkers and reduce the risk of a hospital admission. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Funding worth £345,000 has been awarded to give children and young people in Norfolk and Waveney with complex needs access to designated keyworkers and reduce the risk of a hospital admission.

The Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership has been awarded the money from NHS England and Improvements to support with a learning disability, autism or both, who are at risk of admission to a specialist hospital.

The region has been made an early adopter site under the NHS Long Term Plan which pledges by 2023/2024 children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both have a designated keyworker. 

The £345,000 will pay for five keyworkers, known as transforming care navigators, in the region to help young people and their families through education, social care and health systems.

This will initially support those who are inpatients or at risk of being admitted to hospital and extended to children with a learning disability and autism - including children in care, adopted children and those in transition between services. 


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Dr Sarah Flindall, GP partner at East Norfolk Medical Practice and the CCG's clinical advisor for children, young people and maternity, said: “The last 18 months have been particularly difficult for families, especially for those with children and young people with complex needs.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has placed additional pressure on families, with access to certain support services and short breaks being paused due to national restrictions. The closure of schools during the pandemic has also led to heightened anxiety for many young people."

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The bid was produced by Norfolk and Suffolk county councils, Family Voice Norfolk, Suffolk Parent Carer Network and the Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (N&WCCG) and submitted to NHS England and Improvements.

A spokesman for Family Voice Norfolk said: “We welcome anything that helps parent carers, children and young people to navigate often complicated systems of care and support.

"All families with children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) at times need help of this kind, but it is particularly important at times of stress for families, when multiple agencies may be involved."

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