Transforming Care Report

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Walsall undertook research into the experiences of people accessing services that support people with learning disabilities and/or autism in the community. They undertook a survey to which they received 22 responses and undertook focus groups with 41 participants.  

Access to CAMHS for assessments and for support post-diagnosis for those that receive a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder was raised as an issue by some parents. It was felt by some that there needed to be a crisis before there was enough intervention.

Accessing Education Health and Care Plans was an issue for parents, who experienced difficulties getting schools to request them and long waiting times for assessments. This was impacting on access to education and other services for some people.  Involvement in the decision-making process was less commented on, possibly because the feedback received was from parents who were still waiting to access assessments for their children.

Whilst those with learning disabilities were generally happy with their social activities and the support that they received to access them, it was felt by paid carers that there was a lack of activities for families and young people. The costs of activities were also raised as some commercial activities were higher priced in the school holidays and this was a barrier to access for service users.

Having access to information on what services were available for both those with learning disabilities and/or autism and their carers was identified as important but often not available. This was also the case with moving from children’s services to adult services. Having a social worker was a means of accessing services but continuity of social workers was a problem, alongside the knowledge that social workers have of learning disabilities. As social workers move on from the service users once their support has been agreed this meant that when needs changes outside an annual review cycle it could be difficult to access a new assessment.

The report contains 8 recommendations about access to CAMHS, assessments, social workers, training for professionals, how information should be delivered, better access to activities, greater engagement with these groups by those who commission services.


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General details

Report title 
Transforming Care Report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Walsall
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 1 April, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 November, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 31 December, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Public involvement
Quality of care
Staff training
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
How was the information collected? 
Not known
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Psychiatry/mental health (hospital services)
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Psychiatry / mental health (other services)
Social care services 
Adult social care

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Learning or understanding or concentrating
Social / behavioural
Types of long term conditions 
Learning disability
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.