We Asked, You Said, We Did

Issues we have consulted on or engaged with people about and the outcomes.

We asked

We wanted to hear from as many people as possible to help shape a Warwickshire Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).

As well as the general public we asked for views from bus operators, public transport  user groups, rail stakeholders, business groups, voluntary groups, hospitals and emergency services, Borough and District Councils, Parish and Town Councils, Warwickshire MPs, Highways England and neighbouring local authorities.   

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) also collaborated with bus operators to develop a Warwickshire Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) aimed at encouraging more people to travel by bus in alignment with the objectives set in the National Bus Strategy (NBS) published by the government in March 2021, setting out a framework for recovery from the pandemic and a vision for future bus service improvement across the country.

The NBS has £3 billion of funds available towards improving bus services throughout England.  The Warwickshire BSIP sets out Warwickshire's ambitions for bus service improvements and will be used by Government as the basis on which to award funding which, if successful, will benefit people living, working and travelling in Warwickshire. 

You said

The public Engagement Survey received a good volume of response in general, with the views of both regular and irregular bus users well represented, albeit with some under-representation of residents aged 24 and under, residents with a Black and Minority Ethnic background and residents living in North Warwickshire Borough, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough and Rugby Borough.

Supporting Focus Group activities were also carried out to capture feedback from under-represented groups, i.e., ethnic minorities, young people and the mobility impaired.

A range of barriers to travelling by bus were highlighted by survey respondents, the most powerful of which were perceptions of slower journeys by bus relative to other modes (particularly the car), a lack of direct services going to where people want to travel, when they want to travel, unreliable and inconvenient bus services and the fact that the bus was judged to be a relatively expensive and less straight forward method of transport.

In addition, the Survey indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic had created a relatively uncertain picture of future bus use, particularly for the commute, although with some indication of quite significant peak spreading for future journeys to and from work.

The main findings in terms of setting priorities for the Warwickshire BSIP were that more comprehensive services (particularly more frequent bus services serving more destinations), better journey information (including provision of real-time information provision at bus stops, better journey planning websites and apps, better provision of static timetable information and greater provision of on-bus information), faster and more reliable services, greener services and better connecting bus services were the main measures most likely to encourage Warwickshire residents to use local buses in Warwickshire more frequently.

It should be noted, however, that the relative importance of these (and other factors) varied according to variables including user type, age and disability. In order to encourage non and irregular users and younger residents on to bus services in Warwickshire, the Survey indicated that the provision of cheaper and easier to understand fares was a key priority in addition to all of the above mentioned factors, with more of a focus on at stop and on bus facilities as a priority for improvement amongst disabled residents.

  • To read the full Engagement Response Report clicking on this link.
  • To read the report considered by Cabinet click on this link.
  • To view a webcast of the Cabinet discussion click on this link

We did

Warwickshire County Council has reacted to the government’s National Bus Strategy by producing the county’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).

The plan sets out the improvements that are needed to transform bus services in Warwickshire, as well as being a document which will support the council in its bid to central Government for a £150million share of the £3bn funding available to local authorities to help boost bus travel over a three-year period (2022-2025).

The plan has been developed collaboratively with local bus operators following engagement with the local community and other partners. This included a county-wide survey with a total of 1,563 responses, engagement with user groups and interviews with stakeholders.

WCC and the bus operators will now start work on an Enhanced Partnership (EP) Plan and Schemes based on the content of the Warwickshire BSIP by April 2022. Once agreed, the programme of high and medium priority schemes will be delivered within a three-year timeframe (2022-25).

To read the Bus Service Improvement Plan for Warwickshire please click on this link.

The public will once again be invited to have their say, with a consultation likely to commence in December 2021 allowing local people to provide further comments on bus services to shape and finalise the Enhanced Partnership Plan and the first EP Schemes, which must be formally agreed with bus operators by 1 April 2022.

We asked

We carried out a Mental Health and Wellbeing Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) to understand the needs of the Coventry and Warwickshire adult populations. As part of this we asked residents aged 16 and over and professionals about their own mental health and wellbeing.

You said

The survey took place between February 24th and March 26th 2021 and was hosted on Warwickshire County Council’s Ask Warwickshire consultation hub. The survey received 581 respondents. Additionally, an Easy read version of the survey was developed and made available on the Ask Warwickshire consultation hub. We received 969 responses in total. Responses were received from individuals across Coventry (16%) and Warwickshire (84%).

At the beginning of the survey, respondents were asked which of the presented options best described their main reason for completing the survey. In total:

• 34% of respondents had used mental health support services in Coventry & Warwickshire in some form, whether specifically within the last 12 months or at an unspecified time in the past or were “other individuals”. Other individuals included those on the clinically extremely vulnerable list, respondents who wanted to contribute to mental health issues, those experiencing depression and/or anxiety, or respondents who were asked to complete the survey by local support group(s).

• 34% of responses were from individuals who had not used mental health support services and lived in Coventry or Warwickshire.

• 25% of responses were from professionals including both health and care professionals as well as other professionals from the voluntary and community sector.

• 7% of respondents stated they were carers of individuals, or had a family member who, has used mental health support services in Coventry or Warwickshire.

There were a number of key messages that arose from the responses. These can be viewed in detail in the JSNA report and its appendices by clickign on this link: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/joint-strategic-needs-assessments-1/thematic-needs-assessments-previous-annual-updates/1

We did

This Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) has provided an understanding of adult mental health and wellbeing needs across Coventry and Warwickshire (Mental Health Needs Assessment 2021).

The assessment incorporates national and local evidence to support local priority setting and action. Poor mental health and wellbeing has a large impact on people’s lives in Warwickshire and Coventry. This needs assessment has highlighted several key themes across the several of the chapters:

  • High levels of poor wellbeing and mental ill health;
  • Difficulty in accessing or understanding available services or support;
  • Growing future demand; and
  • The short- and long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full report is available by clicking on this link: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/joint-strategic-needs-assessments-1/thematic-needs-assessments-previous-annual-updates/1

The findings are being used to inform local commissioning plans, Health and Wellbeing Strategies and local transformation plans.

We asked

We asked you to tell us what the priorities should be for transport in Warwickshire in terms of “Key Themes”. We suggested the themes of Wellbeing, Environment, Place and Economy and asked you to give us your feedback regarding what these mean to you, whether they are suitable themes and whether any additions should be made. 

You said

Over 700 of you responded and a further 29 Warwickshire residents, representative of the county as a whole, were invited to take part in a citizens’ panel. 

There was considerable support for the four key themes proposed and more detailed feedback regarding their relative priority when compared to each other. 

There was very little suggestion that any of the proposed themes should be removed or that any additional themes should be considered. 

We did

We reported these findings to our Cabinet in September 2021. At that meeting Cabinet approved the drafting of a proposed Local Transport Plan based around the themes of Wellbeing, Environment, Place and Economy. 

A new Local Transport Plan will now be drafted in detail with a view to further formal consultation in 2022 

To read a copy of the report, inluding analysis of feedback please click on this link: Local Transport Plan Refresh Cabinet Report 9 September 2021

To read the minutes of the Cabinet meeting please click on this link: Information and documents Cabinet Thursday 9 September 2021

We asked

The Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Board drafted a Health and Wellbeing Strategy for 2020-2026, using findings from the most recent Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA), a Covid-19 recovery survey and a health impact assessment (HIA). This consultation aimed to find out the views of statutory organisations, the community/ voluntary sector and Warwickshire residents, on the draft strategy

You said

The majority of respondents supported the three ambitions: 

  • Ambition 1: People will lead a healthy and independent life through encouraging people to adopt healthy lifestyles and behaviours – 93% agreed
  • Ambition 2: People will be part of a strong community recognising the importance of education, employment, quality housing and leisure to provide good quality of life – 87% agreed
  • Ambition 3: People will have access to effective and sustainable services through the development of accessible, responsive and high-quality services – 90% agreed

The majority of respondents also supported the Board’s priorities for the next two years:

  • help people improve their mental health and wellbeing, particularly focusing on prevention and early intervention (69%)
  • help children and young people have the best start in life (63%)
  • reduce inequalities in health outcomes and the wider determinants of health (52%)

A number of respondents felt the strategy needed to better reflect the partnership approach to deliver.

Feedback from a focus group suggested that the need to work collaboratively with a wide range of diverse communities also needed to be included with the draft strategy.

We did

  • The draft strategy has been strengthened throughout to ensure a strong partnership presence that includes the voluntary and community sector (VCS).
  • A wider set of indicators have been included to monitor the direction of travel in order to reflect the partnership approach.
  • The strategy to reflect the ambition to work with all our communities and to ensure cultural competence in what we do has been amended.
  • Ambition 3 has been strengthened to reflect the fact that we are seeking to develop accessible, responsive and high-quality services that are designed in a way that seeks to reduce inequalities in health.
  • Following feedback that our ‘How will we know when we have got there’ section within the strategy on implementation and monitoring wasn’t clear enough, we have now strengthened this to emphasise that: 
  • Each Health and Wellbeing Partnership (HWP) in Warwickshire will develop an implementation plan with clear performance measures based around the four components of the population health framework
  • The HWP action plans will be tailored to meet the specific needs of each place and will routinely report to the HWB.
  • Local HWPs will work with the HWB Executive Group to ensure wider determinants and access to services are addressed collectively at a local level whilst contributing to the overall vision for the system.
  • We have also made it clearer that although we plan on reviewing our priorities after two years, as we are still yet to understand the full impact of the pandemic across all areas of health and wellbeing it may be necessary to review our priorities sooner.

All supporting documents of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy can be found at: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/healthandwellbeingstrategy

We asked

A consultation exercise was conducted on the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) 2020 – 2025.

The feedback from the consultation was analysed and the report was considered and approved by Warwickshire County Council at their meeting on March 16 2021.

You said

There was a total of 163 respondents to the survey.

Overall, the majority of the respondents agreed with the proposals and felt they were important.

After considering the feedback received that showed that the majority of the respondents agreed with the proposals and felt they were important, the Chief Fire Officer considers that the overarching proposals contained within the IRMP should remain unchanged and form the vision for the IRMP over the next five years.

We did

Following consideration of the consultation report, the Council approved the IRMP 2020-2025 at their March 2021 meeting. Please click on this link for further information about this meeting including a webcast, minutes and copies of all documents (including copies of the consultation report).

The IRMP and its proposals will serve as the strategic framework for the delivery of all prevention, protection, and response activity over the next five years.  

The first IRMP annual action plan will build on the IRMP proposals and will be considered for approval by Cabinet in June 2021.

We asked

The Warwickshire Homeless Strategic Group has been working collaboratively across a wide range of partners to develeop a countywide strategy on preventing homelessness. 

Following this collaborative approach to develop the strategy, a countywide online engagement was launched in October, to give partners and members of the public the opportunity to comment on the high-level strategic vision and recommendations. This engagement included a survey hosted on Ask Warwickshire and webinars held with members of the community and the voluntary sector to obtain their views and shape the strategic vison and recommendations.  

You said

Overall, respondents either agreed or agreed to some extent that the recommendations proposed for each strategic priority are the correct ones to focus on for 2021/22:  

  • Priority 1 – Health: 62% agreed, 31% agreed to some extent  
  • Priority 2 – Young People: 60% agreed, 24% agreed to some extent  
  • Priority 3 – Domestic Abuse: 73% agreed, 15.6% agreed to some extent 
  • Priority 4 – Offending: 57.8% agreed, 24.4% agreed to some extent  
  •  Priority 5 - Financial inclusion: 64.4% agreed, 22.2% agreed to some extent. 

Many of the qualitative comments fed back featured in the existing draft of the strategy, however there were some additional changes made as a result of the engagement. (See below) 

We did

The recommendations and content were refined following engagement, to ensure relevant comments were reflected within the strategy.  

  • Education – more focus was given to education in the context of offending and preparing people for release, one of the existing recommendations was updated to specifically include education to help people reacclimatise, integrate into society and find suitable employment.  
  • Veterans – whilst veterans were mentioned in the strategy, following engagement feedback, services to support veterans with their mental health was included within the health chapter. The matter of the military covenant requiring housing authorities to prioritise veterans was also raised. After discussions with Heads of Housing, it was determined that this was a housing allocations and policy matter and that there was work happening elsewhere to progress this and therefore considered linked, but out of scope for this strategy.  
  • Digital inclusion – little focus was given to this within the draft strategy, however following helpful feedback on this within the engagement, this has been strengthened within the financial inclusion chapter, specifically around financial support for customers in digital formats.  
  • Service user involvement – COVID restrictions have prevented meaningful service user involvement. This was raised both in the engagement feedback and webinar with the community and voluntary sector. To keep within COVID secure guidelines and avoid tokenistic engagement, a commitment has since been made to involve service users in parts of the action planning, where appropriate and to establish a service user involvement feedback mechanism, to gain their unique and integral perspective into the delivery of the strategy recommendations 

Since the strategy is countywide, District and Borough Councils took the completed strategy through their own governance processes in January/February 2021, with the final version going to the Health and Wellbeing Board in March 2021. 

The homelessness strategic group will reconvene in 2021 and continue to work collaboratively with partners, developing the action plan that will underpin the strategic recommendations. This will result in the development of different workstreams around homelessness to achieve the strategic vision.

The reports presented to the Warwickshire Wellbeing Board, including the revised strategy and reports on feedback are available by clicking on this link

We asked

WCC consulted on a proposal to amalgamate two existing special schools, Round Oak (Secondary) and Ridgeway (Primary) to form one all-through special school based across the two school sites.  

You said

The opinion of stakeholders was broadly in support of the merger, however two issues were raised which needed to be considered.

The first was that the proposed name of the merged school would be Ridgeway School. This was of particular concern to pupils and parents of Round Oak School since most had known Ridgeway as the primary school and pupils had left that school to go to secondary school. The use of the Ridgeway name was also perceived by some parents and staff at Round Oak to indicate more of a takeover than an amalgamation. This perception would be unhelpful since the intention is to create a culture in the new school where all staff, pupils and parents feel equally valued.

The second concern raised through consultation was that current leaders in the two schools may not have the capacity to lead and manage the merged school.

We did

Warwickshire County Council Cabinet approved the amalgamation of Ridgeway School and Round Oak School on 14th May 2020 (link to decision)

The amalgamation of the two schools is being undertaken largely as outlined in the proposal.

The two significant matters raised, as detailed above, were considered by leaders and governors of both schools together with WCC officers supporting the process.

It was agreed that pupils and parents should be consulted on a name for the merged school.

It was also agreed that governors from both schools should work together to agree an appropriate staffing structure for the merged school. This would include a new senior leadership team to support the current headteacher of Ridgeway in leading and managing the provision across the two sites.

We asked

The current Parent Carer Assessment pathway has been in operation for a number of years and has evolved, not from a formal process / procedure, but on a reactive basis depending upon the request. 

The purpose of the consultation was to invite feedback on the proposed new pathway, renaming of the assessment, the questionnaire for the new pathway and the outcomes to provide support. 

The consultation was aimed at the general public, the recipients of the parent carer assessment and any parent that may be affected by the proposed changes, this included professionals/organisations working with parent carers, business or community representatives and other local authorities. 

You said

  • The consultation received 61 responses. 3 direct emails were received in addition to the consultation respondents (similar themes were echoed). 

  • The majority of respondents to the survey were parent carers.  

  • Fewer responses were received from North Warwickshire and Rugby and over half of the respondents had heard about the current Parent Carer Assessment.  

  • Around 40% either strongly agreed or agreed with the proposed name change. Just over half respondents indicated they thought the proposed pathway was easy to understand 

  • Preferences for finding out about support for parent carers were strongest for direct from WCC Website and other organisations/charities. Other suggestions included Health, Education. 

  • Comments indicated that there needs to be a more proactive approach to promoting parent carer wellbeing 

  • Half of the respondents thought it was clear who could request a Wellbeing Conversation 

  • Over half of the respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that the new process would enable parent carers to make contact easily and that the Wellbeing Conversation would enable parent carers to communicate their support needs 

  • Levels of support for the proposed outcomes of the Wellbeing Conversation were generally high. There was also high support for placing no restrictions on the number of times the Wellbeing Conversation can be accessed 

  • The role of skilled practitioners was considered crucial to the success of the new pathway. 

A full report on findigns was included in the report to Warwickshire County Cabinet. Please click on this link to read this report.

We did

As a result of the consultation, the following work has been undertaken to implement the new pathway and wasit will be launched on 27th January 2021: 

  • The name will change to the Parent Carer Support Pathway and the Wellbeing Conversation will be formally launched 

  • Web pages have been constructed as an information portal for the new pathway 

  • Parent carers can access the Children with Disabilities team directly via telephone, email or an online enquiry form (via the web pages). 

  • A duty team will manage all enquiries regarding the Parent Carer Support Pathway 

  • Practitioners within the Children with Disabilities team have been trained to use the new Wellbeing Conversation for the new Parent Carer Support Pathway 

  • The new outcomes have started to be implemented and will formally launch on 27th Jan 2021 

  • There will be a series of communications shared on Facebook and Twitter to promote the launch and increase awareness of the new Parent Carer Support Pathway  

  • Communications will also be sent to education and health providers to raise their awareness of the service and the new pathway and to ensure that they sign post any parent carers to the correct information 

  • The Local SEND Offer is currently being reviewed and there are workshops where the new pathway is being highlighted. The links to the Parent Carer Support Pathway web pages will be available on the Local SEND offer pages. Please click on this link to go to the local SEND offer web page.

The Parent Carer Support Pathway was launched as described above on January 27th 2021. Please click on this link to go to the Warwickshire County Council web information on the pathway.

We asked

To support the development of the Council Plan 2025 a programme of engagement with the public and key stakeholders was delivered during September and October 2019.  

The aim of this was to:  

• Understand levels of support for the proposed outcomes and objectives which will drive the plan.  

• Gather feedback on public and stakeholder priorities across objectives.  

• Yield specific suggestions to inform the work of the Climate Change Task and Finish Group to develop an action plan following the Council’s declaration of a climate change emergency.  

 

Engagement methods:  

  • An engagement questionnaire was available online on ‘Ask Warwickshire’ and by telephone/email request as a paper version or in alternative formats. Paper surveys could be returned via a free business reply service or dropped off at any Warwickshire library.  

  • Nine roadshows were held across the county where people could talk to councillors and council officers, complete a short questionnaire and participate in an interactive voting activity. Locations were: Bedworth, Southam, Warwick, Leamington, Atherstone, Coleshill, Stratford upon Avon, Nuneaton and Rugby.  

  • People could also feed back directly by post or email.

You said

In total 1,112 engagement questionnaires were completed, and 826 people completed a shorter questionnaire at the roadshows. Further feedback was gathered via the other roadshow methods, and four responses were received by email or in writing. 

You told us that our key priorities should be to: 

  • support vulnerable children and adults 

  • ensure access to high quality education settings and opportunities 

  • make sure we have a good transport network including highways, public transport and active travel (walking and cycling) 

  • respond to climate change and your environmental concerns including recycling and reducing waste 

  • support public health and wellbeing 

  •  manage our resources efficiently and sustainably 

 

Of the responses received, your top three priorities were 

  • to support vulnerable children and adults 

  • to make sure we have a good transport network including highways, public transport and active travel (walking and cycling) 

  • to respond to climate change and your environmental concerns including recycling and reducing waste. 

We did

Feedback from this engagement was considered by Warwickshire County Council Cabinet on December 16th 2019 and on February 18th Warwickshire County Council approved the Council Plan 2025. 

Based on our engagement with the people of Warwickshire, we are confident that our outcomes and objectives support your priorities. 

The Council Plan provides the framework for the Council’s work over the next five years and sets out the Council’s vision “to make Warwickshire the best it can be, sustainable now and for future generations”. 

The plan to achieve this vision is driven by two overarching priorities. The first is for Warwickshire’s communities and individuals to be supported to be safe, healthy and independent to help the most vulnerable children and adults. The second is for Warwickshire’s economy to be vibrant and supported by the right jobs, training, skills and infrastructure.  This will support communities and businesses to develop skills, attract investment, maintain the county’s transport network and enable young people to access a place in a high-quality educational setting. 

The Council Plan also reflects its plans to respond to the climate change emergency it declared in 2019 and emphasises its commitment to make the best use of its resources in delivering its two priorities. 

Prevention and early intervention are at the heart of the Plan, promoting working with communities and building on the strengths of individuals and communities. 

Please click on this link to find out more about the Council Plan 2020-2025.

We asked

The Warwickshire Rail Strategy was consulted on in order to seek wider public views regarding the strategy and enable policy makers to reflect public opinion where appropriate in the final version of the strategy.

The consultation was open to the wider general public and responses from all were welcomed. Advice on how best to attract responses from hard to reach groups was sought from WCC Consultation advisers.

A range of methods were used to gather views during the consultation period. These included; an online survey on Ask Warwickshire using Citizen Space and a paper-based version of the standard online survey could be requested by telephone or email. Alternative formats and languages could also be requested. In addition, comments and full written responses relating to the proposed draft strategy could be sent directly to the County Council.

You said

167 responses were submitted via the online survey; in addition, the County Council received 43 written responses, predominately submitted via email. The written responses were primarily submitted by key partners and stakeholders, including Midlands Connect, West Midlands Rail Executive, Birmingham Airport and local Town and Parish Councils. Most respondents who completed the online survey did so in their own capacity; eleven respondents completed the survey on behalf of an organisation. These included a mix of public, private and voluntary sector agencies.

Responses to the online survey were received from across the County, with the highest number of respondents (31%) coming from North Warwickshire Borough, whilst only 8.4% came from Rugby Borough. From the responses received, over 80% identified themselves as ‘White British’.

The was generally support for the rail strategy, particularly around the wider objectives. Of particular note was concern regarding access to rail stations, especially in more rural communities. Detailed information can be found in the report prepared for Cabinet. Please click on this link to read this report.

We did

As a result of the consultation responses, the Rail Strategy was amended, where appropriate, to reflect the issues raised. The revised strategy, along with details as to how it has been amended was presented to WCC Cabinet for recommendation that it be presented to full Council for approval. This approval is still outstanding due to meeting cancellation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The revised Rail Strategy will form part of the next Local Transport Plan and further revisions to the strategy will be made as part of the LTP process.

We asked

In May 2018, a report was taken to Corporate Board recommending the development of a new Warwickshire Careers Strategy and the establishment of a new Employability & Skills Board to co-ordinate and drive this work forward within priority WE4 of the Warwickshire Education strategy. Accordingly, a draft strategy was developed by May 2019.

A consultation process on the draft strategy was undertaken from 24th June-26th July 2019. The aim of the consultation was to engage with and obtain feedback from a range of residents with a particular focus on those most likely to benefit from the strategy such as young people, adult learners both in work and seeking work, and vulnerable learners.

You said

The consultation included an on-line survey available to all residents/stakeholders and a series of discussions with groups of keystakeholders. There was also an option to request a consultation survey document to be sent by post for return by pre-paid post or dropping off at a library.

There were 83 visitors to the on-line consultation with 19 responses spread across these types of residents: Business; Secondary School staff; FE College staff; General Public; Parent/Guardian/Carer; Special School staff.

Discussions were held with more than 100 people at these key stakeholder groups:

  • Adult & Community Learning (WCC) customers at Leamington Spa;
  • Care Leavers’ Forum (WCC);
  • Careers Leaders from secondary schools/FE colleges;
  • Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce (South Warwickshire branch);
  • Northern Area Secondary Head Teachers and College Leaders;
  • Southam College pupils from years 9-12 ;
  • Youth Parliament (WCC).

A separate written response was received from the Federation of Small Businesses which represents the interests and views of nearly 27,000 small businesses in the county.

There was strong agreement (around two-thirds of respondents) with the vision and priorities proposed.

13 key issues and recommendations arising from feedback were presented to Cabinet on 12th September. To view this report please click on this this link.

We did

In response to feedback, a number of changes were made to the revised strategy presented to Cabinet. The changes related to :

  • Provision of Careers Education, Information and Advice
  • Expanding the Communications plan to include more ‘grassroots’ promotion in local communities.
  • Exploring how advice and learning support provided by libraries can be promoted more widely.
  • Exploring how the Council’s Adult & Community Learning offer can be promoted more widely.
  • Ensuring the new web portal provides comprehensive information for young people (as well as other residents).
  • Further development of business/education collaboration by support from the Skills for Employment programme and working with the Federation of Small Businesses and Chamber of Commerce.
  • Providing another opportunity for Special Schools to apply for the Skills for Employment £3,000 grant for 2019/20 and encouraging them to apply for the free Careers consultancy support being introduced in September 2019.
  • Ensuring support for middle-aged Adults is clearly communicated.
  • Paying particular attention to the needs of residents with mental health issues to ensure communication of information and support is appropriate to their needs.
  •  Expanding the Skills supply and demand information currently provided to cover more sectors and job types and providing it more regularly.

Cabinet approved the strategy without any further changes on 12th September.

The Employability & Skills Board met on 27th September 2019 to review the draft implementation plan and agree specific actions for members.

The new web portal which will be the focal point for the new strategy and access to further information and support has been developed and will be ready to go live in November 2019.

The strategy will be launched in the second half of November 2019.

A review of the launch and initial implementation will take place at the next  meeting of the Employability & Skills Board on 31st January 2020.

We asked

Consultation to change the age range at Northlands Primary School from 3-11 to 4-11 from September 2019

You said

In total five responses were received to the consultation.  Three responses supported the proposal to change the age range from 3-11 to 4-11.  One response neither disagreed nor agreed with the proposal stating that it was a shame there would not be a nursery at the school going forward but recognised the difficulty in maintaining viability with low numbers and meeting the increasing demand for more flexible childcare.  A further respondent would like to see the nursery provision retained if possible.

We did

County Council Cabinet approved the proposal on 11th July 2019 (link to report).  The age range change at Northlands Primary School from 3-11 to 4-11 will be implemented from September 2019.  The Published Admission Number (PAN) for the maintained nursery class will cease to exist.  Nursery provision will be available at other local providers instead of at the school.

We asked

Consultation on the 2019/20  IRMP Draft Action Plan action 2.1 ‘to provide an additional fire station in Rugby in line with our asset management plan'.

A Rugby South fire station would allow us to relocate one of our fire appliances and crew from the CorporationStreet fire station to deal with the increased attendance time issue that will be created by the new housing development.

You said

There were 165 responses to the consultation exercise.

Meeting the fire service emergency response standard was considered important by almost all (97%) respondents

The majority of respondents supported the plan to provide a new fire station, however there was less enthusiasm for the splitting of resources between the new and existing fire station.

Additional concerns were expressed that the centre and north of Rugby may be adversely affected by moving resources.

We did

The feedback  from the Rugby fire station  consultation  was analysed and a report was considered by Cabinet on 12.09.2019.

The outcome of the meeting was that the 2019/20 IRMP draft action plan, which contained the proposal to provide the new fire station  was approved  and will now be progressed.

We asked

An engagement exercise on the 2019/20  IRMP Draft Action Plan action 2.2 to explore the options for new fire station locations within the Nuneaton and North Warwickshire area.

The area profile across the north of Warwickshire is continually evolving with new housing, commercial and industrial developments and the resulting increase in both fire and road risk.

As the demographics and risk profile are ever changing we need to ensure where possible that we adapt to these changes to ensure we continue to make the best use of our resources to respond to emergencies and deliver fire prevention activities.

You said

There were 93  responses to the engagement exercise.

The majority of respondents (55%) agreed with the reasons for exploring the options for fire station locations in Nuneaton and North Warwickshire. Though it should be noted that over a third of respondents  either didn’t answer (33%) or had no opinion (1%).

Respondents considered that the three most important things that WFRS should consider when exploring the options for fire station locations are

  • Response times
  • Access to a good road network
  • Being responded to by a Warwickshire crew

Nearly all the  respondents (94%) felt it was important that the fire service meet its emergency response standard to get a fire engine to a life risk incident anywhere in the County within 10 minutes on 75% of occasions.

We did

The feedback  from the North Warwickshire and Nuneaton engagement was analysed and a report was considered by Cabinet on 12.09.2019.

The outcome of the meeting was that the 2019/20 IRMP draft action plan, which contained the proposal to explore the options for new fire station locations within the Nuneaton and North Warwickshire area  was approved and will now be progressed.

We asked

Residents and stakeholders were invited to provide feedback on the 2019/20  IRMP Draft Action Plan.

You said

There were 61  feedback  responses.

People were asked how difficult or easy it was to understand the actions listed in the action plan. 41% of respondents said it was neither easy nor difficult, 39% said it was easy or very easy, 18% said it was difficult or very difficult and  2% did not answer.

Overall the majority of respondents (63%) heard about the survey via social media (fire and rescue and county council platforms), and the county council website.

On- line engagement was the most popular choice on how we should engage with our communities with the majority  of respondents choosing on -line surveys and social media as their preferred on line  methods.

We did

The feedback was analysed and a report was considered by Cabinet on 12.09.2019. The outcome of the meeting was that the 2019/20 IRMP draft action plan was approved  and will now be progressed.

The paper considered by Cabinet is available using this link. Minutes of the meeting are also available here.

We asked

Coventry and Warwickshire has a Mental Health Telephone Helpline and Webchat for adults aged 16 years and over, who live in Coventry or Warwickshire and/or who are registered with a GP in Coventry or Warwickshire. The current service is provided by Mental Health Matters (www.mhm.org.uk/coventry-warwickshire-helpline). The service offers emotional support, guidance or information, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is offered from a free-phone telephone helpline, with a webchat option. People can self–refer or be signposted to the service.

Warwickshire County Council, on behalf of the Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Care Partnership, led a review of the Mental Health Telephone Helpline and Webchat for Coventry and Warwickshire during May and June 2019. A wide range of people were asked about what they felt was important about the service, including what was working well and what could be improved. The review comprised of an on-line survey (with paper copies of the survey available) and a series of face-to-face engagement opportunities.

You said

Feedback was:

Professionals/practitioners and representatives of organisations

  • Two-thirds of respondents were aware of the Mental Health Telephone Helpline and Webchat service.
  • Of those who were aware 75% had referred or signposted people to the service. These respondents found it very easy or quite easy to refer/signpost to the service.
  • Respondents felt it was helpful to have a 24-hour service; that it supplemented mainstream mental health services; and had received positive feedback from people they had referred to the service. Respondents thought that the helpline was particularly important for users at times of change/crisis in their lives.
  • Negative feedback centred on the slow response time or lack of response when people contacted the service, and the set amount of time allowed for the call.
  • Respondents suggested more promotion of the service to professionals and potential users.
  • 86% of respondents said that a 24/7 Mental Health Telephone Helpline and Webchat should be available in the future.

General public (inlcuding existing and past users of mental health services

  • The most common place to go for information about mental health services and support was a general practitioner followed by local/national charity/organisations and online search engines.
  • Almost two-thirds of respondents had managed to find the information they needed when they had looked for information about mental health services and support. Those who had experienced difficulties mentioned not being able to find specific information for a mental health condition and signposting to sources that didn’t meet their need.
  • The most common way of hearing about the Mental Health Telephone Helpline and Webchat service was signposting by a mental health professional.
  • Of respondents who had received support from the service, over half found it very difficult or quite difficult to access the service.
  • When asked to rate the support received from the service, 40% answered Very Good or Good and 40% answered Poor or Very Poor. Sixty percent would recommend the service to others.
  • The majority of respondents said that the support received from the service helped their mental health in the days and weeks following their call.
  • Positive comments about the service mentioned the understanding and caring nature of the personnel talking to the caller. Respondents liked the fact that it was accessible out of hours and the signposting to other services.
  • Negative comments included personnel talking to the caller not being compassionate, the time to respond to the call or webchat, lack of understanding/training and the feeling that the response was scripted. The time limit given to users of the service was disliked.
  • Two-thirds of respondents using the service had been signposted to another service for support. The majority found the service they were signposted to helpful.
  • Non-users of the service mainly said they hadn’t used the service as they didn’t know about it.
  • The availability of 24/7 helpline and online support, 365 days per year was felt to be very important and respondents felt strongly that this should be maintained.
  • 77% of respondents said that a 24/7 Mental Health Telephone Helpline and Webchat should be available in the future. Those suggesting another service mainly advocated a face-to face service or more information on the website.
  • When respondents were asked about where they would like to find out information and advice about mental health services and support in the future, the most common response was a general practitioner. The main difference between where people go currently and where they want to find information in the future was more information in public places (leaflets, posters, radio, TV and newspapers) or sources where they can self-serve (internet).
  • More promotion of the service is needed to ensure the public can directly find out about services and that practitioners and organisations know about services to enable them to signpost.

We did

The engagement showed that the availability of 24/7 support is very important and needs to be widely promoted to ensure the public and professionals are aware of it.

Based on the feedback from the engagement activities the following next steps have / will be actioned;

Key comments and feedback regarding the existing service have been shared with the current provider so that they are aware of the feedback that people have taken the time to provide.

The engagement report has been shared and discussed at Coventry and Warwickshire’s Mental Health Commissioners Group and will be shared with the Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Care Partnership - Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Programme Board.

Promotion of the service, along with other Mental Health and Wellbeing Services will be communicated across Coventry and Warwickshire.  This will include promotion of the service to members of the public, to other Mental Health and Wellbeing service providers and to professionals. 

The engagement report will be used to inform a tender for future Mental Health service provision.

A broad range of feedback was collected as part of the survey for this engagement exercise however only a small number of people had actually used the Mental Health Helpline and Webchat service. For this reason, further engagement will be undertaken with people who use the Mental Health Helpline and Webchat service, to seek to find out more detailed and service specific information that will be used to help shape future service specifications.

Finally, the Council and partners thanks the many participants to this engagement for their honest and detailed feedback, which will be used to help shape current and future service provision.

We asked

Current estimates indicate that there are 8,500 people living with dementia in Warwickshire and, of these, 59.5 percent have received a diagnosis.  This is below the national target of 67.9 percent. 

Warwickshire’s ‘Living Well with Dementia Strategy 2016-19’ outlined local priorities and needs but is approaching the end of the period.

Between 11 February and 22 March 2019, we carried out engagement with people with dementia, their families and carers as well as the general public and professionals.

The engagement was intended to get a better understanding of what was important to people and what needed to improve regarding dementia care and support in Warwickshire.  This was needed to help refresh the current dementia strategy and inform future commissioning of dementia services. Our intention was to seek a wide range of views through different formats and channels.

You said

There were 116 responses to the survey. The engagement also included face to face visits with dementia groups and services (eighteen in total), encompassing the different districts and boroughs of Warwickshire.  This included 275 people.  A presentation to a meeting of GPs about the dementia strategy was also delivered.

Out of this number certain issues were highlighted:

  • The need for better information about accessing dementia support and advice;
  • Better links and co-ordination of services for support after diagnosis;
  • Better support for dementia carers in undertaking their role as a carer and accessing training;
  • Recognition of community support groups and enhancing support for them, to make sure they do not duplicate each other but, equally, that they can be sustained as meaningful services;
  • Improving access for people from BME backgrounds and people with vulnerabilities, such as learning disabilities or LGBT, and taking their needs into account in commissioning activities in the future. 

Sixty-nine percent of the survey respondents were female, which is similar to the proportion seen in national statistics which highlight the female prevalence of dementia. 

Six key themes were identified:

  • Day Opportunities available in Warwickshire benefit people with all stages of dementia (not just early stage), providing them with opportunities to socialise and be stimulated;
  • Professionals and providers highlighted a gap in that the service is not commissioned currently to provide personal care.  This means there is ‘a limited supply of dementia day care including personal care in the market’;
  • People with dementia continue to use the service until they are unable to, either because they move to residential care or develop personal care needs;
  • The routine and structure of Day Opportunities helps carers benefit from regular breaks and look after their own wellbeing;
  • Communication between the service, service users with dementia and those caring for them is ‘robust and strong’.  These can help informal carers identify when the service user might need to see their GP;
  • The service helps people with dementia maintain independence and wellbeing.

The full results of the engagement are publicly available in ‘Engagement Report: Dementia: February to March 2019’.

We did

What are the next steps?

  • The key themes highlighted are being used to inform the refresh of the current dementia strategy and actively used in the service delivery plan.
  • Specific comments about individual services are being shared with those leading these services to inform operation and development (this includes partner agencies such as the Clinical Commissioning Groups and Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust, service providers, carers and voluntary community groups);
  • Two further surveys are being formulated, targeted specifically at customers of the current Dementia Day Opportunities and Dementia Navigator customers.  This is intended to collect detailed, specific service information that will be used to shape future services’ design and specification. 

The potential areas for development stem from the key themes which were evident from the engagement exercise:

  • Information and advice;
  • Support following diagnosis;
  • Support for carers;
  • Recognition and support for the community;
  • Improving access and service uptake from people with BME backgrounds or those with a barrier to accessing services.

The refreshed strategy will also celebrate the successes achieved to date, including:

  • Dementia services and support are well utilised in general and routinely used;
  • The wide range of vibrant and diverse community support services;
  • High commitment from staff and volunteers providing enthusiastic, personalised service for people living with dementia and their carers;
  • Service users value the support received and benefit from the positive impact on them. 

We asked

We asked for feedback on how well the respite services for adults with a disability are working in Warwickshire.

We needed this feedback to help us decide the best way to deliver these services in the future to make sure they meet the needs of everyone who uses them and their families.

You said

28 responses were received for the Ask Warwickshire Online Survey.

 

29 responses were received for a paper customer survey.

Key themes:

  • 88% were happy overall with their respite service
  • 57% agreed that their respite service had improved during the past 5 years
  • Help with transport costs was stated as a key issue in being able to access respite services for families

Availability of emergency respite was recognised as an issue.

We did

As a result of the engagement recommendations have been made to improve the service offer in future. This includes the provision of emergency respite beds to be available at short notice.

The current contracts for respite have now been extended up until April 2021 to allow more time to re-design the services and establish greater integration with health services.

We asked

Consultation to change the age range at Newdigate Primary and Nursery School from 3-11 to 4-11 from September 2019

You said

In total one response was received to the consultation, which was in support of the proposal.

We did

County Council Cabinet approved the proposal on 11th April 2019 (link to report).  The age range change at Newdigate Primary School from 3-11 to 4-11 will be implemented from September 2019. 

Nursery provision will continue to be provided on the site of Newdigate Primary School both the school and nursery will continue to be governed by the same board and led by the same head teacher and staff. The nursery provision will operate via Community Facility Powers under the direction of the School Governors from September 2019.

We asked

The aims of this stakeholder engagement exercise were to identify areas of success and improvement in young carers support services funded by Warwickshire County Council.

 Objectives:

  1. Understand the most significant impact a caring role has on young carers and their families in Warwickshire
  2. Understand the most important changes that young carer support has made to young carers, their families, and the ability of other stakeholders to identify and support young carers
  3. Understand what is it about the current support services that caused those positive changes
  4. Identify support gaps and views on how current support could be improved

The target audiences were:

  • Young carers
  • Parents or family of young carers
  • Schools
  • Warwickshire Young Carers (the current provider)
  • Other interested individuals or organisations

You said

The engagement exercise involved

  • 275 young carers  attending 11 focus groups
  • 124 respondents to an online survey, mainly parents of young carers, but also some schools, Warwickshire Young Carers (the current provider) and other interested individuals and organisations
  • 28 young adult carers (18 to 25 years) from a previous engagement exercise the current provider undertook during two events, July 2018 and September 2018

Key messages:

  • The impact of caring responsibilities on young people varies significantly depending on the availability of additional support, the needs of the cared-for person, and the young carer’s individual circumstances (age, school, location etc.). Some young carers feel extremely positive about their caring role, while others experience a range of detrimental effects.
  • Young carers are clear that they need more support at school. Most do not feel understood or well supported at school, and others experience bullying linked to their caring role. Young carers want someone at school who understands them; who understands how caring responsibilities can make school harder, and for bullying to be dealt with more effectively. Most young carers want better pastoral support - to be “understood” - but extra help in lessons, for homework and for exam revision, were also mentioned.
  • Young carers and their parents overwhelmingly said that regular young carer groups are an essential source of support, and have a significant and positive impact on their lives. Meeting other young carers like themselves helps them to feel less isolated and alone. Groups are an opportunity to socialise, have fun and enjoy rare time away from their caring responsibilities. The groups act as a gateway to further specialist support, information and advice, once trusting relationships have been established.
  • Mental health issues, such as stress, anxiety and depression were the most commonly reported negative effect of caring responsibilities. Although young carers said that group attendance helps to manage these issues, many requested easier access to additional mental health support, such as counselling.
  • Common suggestions to improve group provision included more frequent groups, groups in school holidays, more outdoor activities, and help with transport to attend.
  • Warwickshire Young Carer staff reported they are working near capacity, so their ability to support a larger number of young carers through the existing service model e.g. by facilitating larger or more frequent groups, is limited.
  • A parent and social worker expressed the view that young carer support is dependent on group attendance. The support given to those who cannot, or don’t want to, attend group sessions needs consideration.

Recommendations for service specification:

In line with Warwickshire’s One Organisational Plan to use resources differently and transform the way we commission and deliver services, the Young Carers Support Service specification is being revised to take a more outcomes-focused approach. It is recommended that the following areas are considered throughout the redesign process:

1. An emphasis on partnership working with other stakeholders, including schools, to develop a better understanding of the impact of caring responsibilities on young people’s lives.

  • The provider should explore creative ways of raising awareness of young carers, and supporting schools to develop an in-house support offer.

2. The development of a robust targeted offer, making best use of signposting, community support, and digital resources in order to:

  • Enable those young carers not attending group provision to access information, advice and guidance.
  • Enable the provider to manage demand as larger numbers of young carers are identified as having support needs.

3. Improved pathways to access mental health support

  •  The provider should work with young carers to develop personalised support plans for issues that affect them most, for example, helping them to manage stress or anxiety through relaxation strategies.
  • This process should include assessment and review using an appropriate tool e.g. PANOC

4. Continued opportunities for peer support and social activities, either through group provision or creative alternatives.

5. A robust assessment process to ensure that young carers with the greatest levels of need access timely targeted interventions as part of an enhanced programme of support.

  • To make best use of resources, individual reviews should also be conducted at appropriate intervals to ensure the allocation of targeted support remains proportional to assessed levels of need.

We did

The most important insights and recommendations from the engagement report were agreed by the Warwickshire County Council Children’s Commissioner and incorporated into the re-drafting of the service specification for Young Carer Support Services.

The revised service specification is being used to tender young carer support services, start date 1st October 2019, as part of a three year contract (plus two year extension, subject to performance).