(UK) Newcastle: District "lacks sufficient provision for ASD, health care"

July 28, 2018, Newcastle upon Tyne Chronicle: 'Gobsmacked' councillors slam bosses over special educational needs failures “Gobsmacked” councillors have lambasted bosses for disregarding the damning findings of an inspection into Newcastle’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) services.... A recent inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission said that Newcastle Gateshead NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the council had made slow progress with 2014 reforms to SEND provision, with some parents saying they had to “fight” to get the support their children need. But CCG bosses told councillors that they were “surprised and disappointed” by the inspector’s claims that demand for services outstripped the provision, and also said that support for the city’s looked-after children is “not a major area of concern for us”…. Committee chair and Newcastle Lib Dem leader , Coun Anita Lower, said: “I am gobsmacked. I am not an expert, but this is a kick up the backside for things that have not happened for four years…. CQC and Ofsted inspectors warned that Newcastle lacks sufficient provision for autistic spectrum disorder, speech, language and communication, and social, emotional and mental healthcare. However, inspectors did praise the “dedicated and committed front line staff in education, health and care”, with support for children with visual or hearing impairments identified as an area of strength in Newcastle. The report also said: “Local leaders and front line staff are knowledgeable about the additional risks and increased vulnerability of children and young people who have SEN and/or disabilities.”