Waiting Times for Luton and Bedfordshire Community Paediatrics

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In order to keep our families safe and minimise Covid-19 infection rates, the service continues to offer a blend of face to face, virtual and telephone appointments matched to the needs of each child and family.

Waiting Times (October 2021 - January 2022)
Luton Community Paediatrics Service - Edwin Lobo Centre, Redgrave Gardens, Luton

How long is the wait for the first appointment?
The services continues to increase the number of face to face appointments with video / telephone
consultations available when clinically appropriate. A clinical priority booking system remains in
place. Information is available on the CCS website outlining current service offers.

  • Target wait to first appointment is 18 weeks.
  • Average wait to assessment is currently 36 weeks.
  • Over 300 Autism assessments (BOSA) were delivered between October 2021 and January 2022.
    High risk medication reviews are prioritised.

What is the cause of the delay?

  •  An 18% increase in accepted referrals between October 21 and January 22 on the previous year.
  • The number of face to face appointments has increased following initial video consultation during the pandemic, impacting service delivery. There has also been an increased number of multi-disciplinary appointments required with increasing numbers of children with complex needs.
  • Medical Locum availability is limited as there are both local and national recruitment issues.
  • Long term sickness within the nursing team has limited non-medical appointments.
  • An increasing volume of Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs) and children in care Initial Health Assessments (IHAs).

What is the Service doing to help?

  • A further 2 Consultant Paediatricians and 1 Speciality Doctor are required in Luton. Posts continue to be advertised with Locum cover in place. Three new Clinical Nurse Specialists have been appointed across Beds and Luton, and joint recruitment with East London Foundation Trust (ELFT) is progressing for a clinical psychologist.
  • Luton Nurse on call is accessible for advice and information where children/young people are known to the service. 
  • A community health/Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) link worker is in post to
    provide post diagnostic support, and there are two posts in place to support children and families
    whilst waiting for ASD diagnostic assessment. 
  • Referral acceptance letters include average wait times and community resources for families to access whilst waiting for appointments.
  • An ADHD patient resource pack has been updated, and the neurodiversity Diagnosis Support Pack
    (DSP) has been launched and shared with partners, and BOSA resources have been developed. Both are available via the public website - see links below.
  • A pilot for the self-monitoring of blood pressure and pulse as part of ADHD management continues with 30 families now recruited.
  • The service meets monthly with Parent Carer Forums to listen to feedback and share updates.
  • Luton Early Years SEN (Special Educational Needs) are aware of the children being referred to
    Community Paediatric Service.

Where can I go for help in the meantime?

  • Diagnosis Support Pack This pack includes information on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Holistic Advice.
  • PDRP Resources Section includes details of the Local Offer and Parent Carer Forum details available in your area. 
  • BOSA resources including a video have been developed or visit your Local Offer webpages.

Bedfordshire Community Paediatrics Service - Child Development Centre (CDC), Kempston
How long is the wait for the first appointment?
The services continues to increase the number of face to face appointments with video / telephone
consultations available when clinically appropriate. A clinical priority booking system remains in place.
Information is available on the CCS website outlining currently service offers.

  • Target wait to first assessment is 18 weeks
  • Average wait to assessment is currently 36 weeks.
  • Over 300 Autism assessments (BOSA) were delivered during October 2021 and January 2022.
  • High risk medication reviews are prioritised.

What is the cause of the delay?

  • A 30% increase in accepted referrals between October 2021 and January 2022 on the previous year.
  • The number of face to face appointments has increased following initial video consultations during the pandemic, impacting service capacity. There has also been an increased number of multi-disciplinary appointments required with increasing numbers of children presenting with complex needs.
  • The service has been impacted by a specialist nurse leaving, and by long term sick leave of a
    consultant paediatrician.
  • An increasing volume of Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs) and children in care Initial Health Assessments (IHAs).

What is the Service doing to help?

  • A permanent Consultant Paediatrician, seven locum Consultant Paediatricians, three Specialist nurses, and a Speech and Language Therapist have been recruited across the service. Joint recruiting with East London Foundation Trust (ELFT) for a clinical psychologist is underway, and a specialist nurse is being recruited to support ADHD medication management.
  • A daily advice line is in place (Monday to Friday). See details for how to contact below. Saturday clinics have been introduced to increase capacity and information about wait time has been added to letters and community resources.
  • Autism assessments (BOSA) continue to be delivered.
  • Specialist Nurses, Speech & Language Therapists and Clinical Psychologists facilitate ADHD
    medication reviews (non-complex) and diagnostic outcome appointments.
  • A pilot for the self-monitoring of blood pressure and pulse as part of ADHD management at
    home continues - 30 families have now been recruited.
  • A neurodiversity Diagnosis Support Pack (DSP) has been co-produced with families - see link below.
  • The service meets monthly with Parent Carer Forums to listen to feedback and share updates.
  • Both Beds Borough & Central Beds Local Authority Early Years SEN (Special Educational Needs) Team participate in triage of referrals.

Where can I go for help in the meantime?

  • Diagnosis Support Pack This pack includes information on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Holistic Advice.
  • PDRP Resources Section includes details of the Local Offer and Parent Carer Forum details available in your area. 
  • BOSA resources including a video have been developed or visit your Local Offer webpages.
  • For advice and support our nurse led daily advice line on 01234 310271,is available from 09.30-11.30am Mon –Fri.

Further information about our waiting times, for both areas, can be found here:  (www.cambscommunityservices.nhs.uk/beds-luton-community-paediatrics 

A COVID-19 phase 4 recovery plan (1st April 21 onwards) is in place and reviewed weekly, alongside a Quality Impact assessment.

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