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EHCP and personal bushets(5 Posts)
I haven't been on this board for years so please excuse me not being up to date.
I need some advice if anyone is going through this as well.
DD1 starts mainstream primary in Sept. Will have ECHP with SALT, OT and 1-1 TA.
We were told we'd have personal budget for SALT and OT so we can carry on with our private therapists (who are actually getting somewhere). Now told as council has contract with Virgin for these services we cannot have budget and have to accept their therapists.
Plus we cannot appeal this point.
So we can appeal how many hours of therapy she gets but not who provides it.
After disastrous council SALT before we are keen not to repeat but also finances mean we cannot keep paying privately indefinitely.
Therapists all say their training on new EHCP was that parents would hold budgets.
Anyone in the same boat? Any advice on next step?
Stupid autocorrect, title should read 'budgets'
That sounds rubbish...
I think it might depend on which part of the EHCP names the provision - whether it comes under educational provision or health?
Generally you are better off to have therapy listed under educational provision, because then the LA has to foot the bill.
If you want to use a personal budget, does that then need to be funded through health?
Not entirely sure of that, but maybe somebody else will come along who knows for sure?
The La are entitled to argue that they have a block contract, and they don't have to fund your private SALT. However if you can argue that their generalist SALTs cannot meet your child's SEN, because they need a specialist, the LA cannot provide, then you can argue they have to fund your's through the EHC plan. It's about getting the need and provisions properly specified!
Have a look at the information about personal budgets in the Code of Practice - here - it starts at page 178. Also the regulations - here.
As I understand it, although you can't appeal to the tribunal about this, the LA has to have a separate review mechanism and should inform you about this when they refuse a PB. However, check your LA's Local Offer which should also set out how this works.
On the little bit I've skim-read, it looks as if they are entitled to refuse a personal budget where it is for provision which would not be an economic use of local resources. However, that wouldn't apply if you can demonstrate that the Virgin Care package can't meet the requirements of the EHCP. That rather depends on how the EHCP is worded - is it sufficiently detailed? If not - and very few EHCPs are properly detailed and specific - you should appeal to the tribunal against that anyway.
Another possibility: can you ask them to make available to you whatever they would have spent on their own package on the basis that you top it up in order to keep the therapists you prefer?