January 21, 2020 3.03 pm This story is over 51 months old

Special educational needs pathway accused of blocking GP referrals

Parents are not happy

A new special educational needs pathway in North East Lincolnshire accused of “blocking access” to medical assessments by GPs has been called in for further scrutiny.

North East Lincolnshire Council’s cabinet approved the new proposal in December 2019.

It replaces a previous pathway withdrawn just a year into action after parents said it was “failing” young people.

North East Lincolnshire councillor Ian Barfield.

The aim is to bring together the “difficult and fragmented” system which was said to cause delays to diagnoses.

However the plans have now been called in to the Children and Lifelong Learning committee by Liberal Democrat Councillors Ian Barfield and Kay Rudd.

In their application they said: “The pathway blocks access to a medical assessment by a referral from a GP, putting non-medical professionals in a gate-keeping and assessment role.

“Without significant investment in all aspects of the process the numbers of children assessed will not increase.”

Councillor Ian Lindley. Photo: North East Lincolnshire

The councillors want the decision to be withdrawn and debated in full council.

In December, Councillor Barfield accused leaders of “re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic” and forcing parents through “humilating hoops”.

However, Councillor Ian Lindley, Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Young People, said “extensive consultation” had taken place and the pathway was “best practice”.

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