The Hillingdon’s Children’s Hearing Services Working Group (CHSWG) are a group of professionals and parents who meet to discuss and ensure that there is close collaboration with all services designed to support deaf children and their families, and ensure that the services are effective and well- coordinated and meet national guidelines
The purpose of CHSWGs
‘Children’s hearing services’ is used to describe the entire network of hearing services from screening, diagnosis, to management and support of any hearing difficulties provided by the NHS, specialist education and social care support services provided by Local Authorities, and other support services offered by the voluntary sector.
The CHSWG is a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency group comprising – along with parents and young service users - representatives from these services who share a vision and goal of achieving the best outcomes for the deaf children, young people and families who use their services.
The CHSWG has a key role in coordinating and integrating the planning, commissioning, development of interagency protocols, service delivery, provision of information, and assuring the quality of children’s hearing services.
This closer cooperation and coordination between agencies can also improve safeguarding of deaf children who are recognised to have additional vulnerabilities as disabled children9. It should offer advice, guidance and where necessary exert influence to ensure high quality services are available.
The reduction of inequalities in access and outcomes should be central to the development of Children’s Hearing Services.
Local commissioners should make explicit in their plans how they have taken into account the duties placed on them under the Equality Act 2010, and their duties with regard to reducing health inequalities as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012. Service design and communications should be appropriate and accessible to meet the needs of diverse communities.
Benefits of multi-agency working for professionals have been identified as including:
- Increased knowledge and understanding of other agencies
- Improved relationships and communication between agencies
- Learning from each other and about each other’s roles
- Joint problem solving
- Opportunities created to monitor and evaluate services and offer support in a coordinated and consistent way
- The group meets three times a year (every school term)
- This group agrees an annual work plan for implementation
- Agenda items will reflect group priorities and concerns
- The achievements and effectiveness of the group will be reviewed annually