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Survey about the future of children's services

Parents, carers, health professionals and community groups who work with children are being urged to take part in a survey about the future of children’s services, including school nursing, mental health and additional needs.

The survey forms part of a final push to get people with experience of these services to give their views and influence the shape of the contracts that will be tendered in the coming months.

Proposals have been drawn up by health and social care professionals, clinicians and partner organisations, based on public engagement work with children, young people, parents and carers.

But before any decisions are made, health professionals want to give people another opportunity to comment or raise questions and to get as many views as possible during the next six weeks.

Dr Keira Goss, South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group’s clinical lead for children and young people, said: “Health and social care organisations in Devon, including Torbay and Plymouth, constantly strive to ensure that high-quality services are provided for children and young people.

“For this to continue, we’re still keen to hear from anyone who has experience of current services and has thoughts about how they can be developed to meet the needs of children today and for the future.”

The survey will run until 15 September, and there will be other opportunities for people to share their views in person through children and parents’ activities this summer. 

Dr Stephen Miller, clinical board vice-chairman for NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s Northern locality, said: “For a number of months there have been meetings with parent and carer representatives to hear their thoughts and benefit from their wide experience.

“Their input has been invaluable to the proposals we have so far, but these are only proposals. We also want to hear the public’s views.”

The proposals look at all of the services together so that so that in future they can work much better as one system.

Dr Shelagh McCormick, a Plymouth GP, said: “We are excited about what services for children and young people could potentially look like, and it is critical that we get this right.

“So we want to gain as much public input as possible to create the best services possible.”

Over the holiday period, commissioners will be attending many events and activities where parents, children and young people are meeting to make it as easy as possible for them to contribute to this process, which began in November 2016.

Further information, including the report, is being updated regularly here

The survey is available here.

For further information or to ask for a survey to be posted to you, please call 01803 652480 or email devonchildrens.services@nhs.net​. Also, please use these contact details if you are involved with a children's group and want a health professional to speak to the group.