Tackling the Postcode Lottery for Children with Cerebral Palsy
Action Cerebral Palsy (“Action CP”) has written to the leaders of every local council in England to ask them to sign up to the Cerebral Palsy Covenant to improve education and care support services for children living with cerebral palsy and their families. Action CP is calling upon councils to recognise that the complex and varied needs of the cerebral palsy community require close working across several widely differing areas. There are many in the system who are striving to do their best for children and young people with cerebral palsy, but often lack contact with others involved in the process or an understanding of how cerebral palsy affects those they are care for. It is important for someone to hold the pen at a local level, and we believe that the convening power of local government is the best way to address this.
Children and young people with cerebral palsy face a fractured system of provision that does not always meet the standards and timelines of care needed to make a real difference to their lives. Cerebral Palsy is a lifelong neurodisability affecting each person living with it differently. Early identification of the condition in childhood is essential to putting those with it in touch with the specific support they need. However, there is a postcode lottery of services, meaning that tens of thousands cannot access necessary assistance in education and healthcare.
Over half of the parents who responded to Action Cerebral Palsy’s online survey felt that education and therapy services were not working together in supporting their child. Meanwhile, almost 60% said that the Health, Education and Care Plan process was unsatisfactory for their child’s needs. Only 15% felt the process was ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.
Action Cerebral Palsy is asking local councils to show their support in the following ways:
- Signing up to Action Cerebral Palsy’s Cerebral Palsy Covenant through tabling a motion at their next full Council meeting.
- Sending a press release to their local media to promote signing the Covenant and marking Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.
- Convening a roundtable of relevant education and care bodies within their local authority area to discuss delivering joined-up care for children and young adults with Cerebral Palsy.
- Arranging for Action Cerebral Palsy to provide Cerebral Palsy awareness training for their Council staff and encouraging other relevant parties in the area to take up the offer.
- Showing their support for Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and Cerebral Palsy Covenant by promoting information about Action Cerebral Palsy on their website, in newsletters and magazines/publications and on Twitter using #CPAwarenessMonth and tagging @action_cp.
For more information about the CP Covenant, please see the resources below