Posted on: 27 August 2020

From Healthwatch Central West London:

In January 2020, Healthwatch Central West London (HWCWL) launched our Small Grant, a first of its kind project for our organisation. We wanted to reach people in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea who are under-represented in conversations about health and social care, and we awarded the recipients £500 to complete engagement with groups from these communities.

The five organisations who received the grant were selected in April, just as the national health conversation was turning towards the Coronavirus outbreak. We decided to offer an additional fund to the selected groups, so that they could conduct focus groups, with HWCWL, which focused on the COVID-19 outbreak and response.

In this report, HWCWL shares the main themes from the first group. This was held in May 2020 with 14 members of Make it Happen, a support group for parents of children with disabilities and complex needs, which works to improve services in Westminster. Make it Happen organised and promoted the group, and HWCWL facilitated the discussion.

This report is our latest document1 sharing local experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is the first detailing conversations on key issues. Because the participants in this group all share the experience of caring for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their experiences of COVID-19 are explored within this context. The questions for this session were adapted from a survey produced by Healthwatch Central West London. Some of the case study quotes in this document have been edited for clarity, but have been approved by the participants who shared these views.

Download the report.