Lincolnshire’s Medical Support Panel (MSP) is a multi-agency panel that considers the needs of pupils in order to arrive at a decision about how ‘suitable education’ might be provided, in accordance with the Local Authority’s Section 19 duty.
Referrals to MSP are submitted by a pupil’s school. The MSP is evidence based and will consider pupil’s needs holistically. MSP takes place fortnightly during term time and considers the referral paperwork and supporting evidence that has been submitted. The panel consists of representation across attendance, inclusion, mental health, early help and Pilgrim Hospital School.
Where, despite school robustly following the steps within the EBSA pathway, there continues to be a barrier to attending school a referral to the MSP may be appropriate. The MSP outcome will be to advise regarding what further steps, strategies and support school can and should be robustly implementing to ensure continued access to suitable education. One of the further steps may be access to a short-term period of intervention at Pilgrim Hospital School. This would be a dual placement and focussed on working with the pupil’s school to support the pupil’s timely transition back to their school.
A referral to MSP requires school to complete the referral form and provide clear evidence of the school’s application of the EBSA pathway. Where possible the referral should also provide supporting evidence from a medical professional.
To ensure the MSP has all the relevant information to enable them to make fully informed decisions, when completing the referral form it is important to:
- complete all sections fully to ensure the panel have all the information to enable robust decision making to occur and identification of next steps. Do not write ‘see attached document’ in boxes. The boxes are often summaries and as such should be completed.
- complete the chronology. It is key. It gives the panel a clear overview of the child or young person’s journey with all key occurrences.
- submit with all relevant documents. Remember decision making is evidence based.
- ensure all submitted documents are relevant and pertinent to the referral.
- clearly indicate if the referral is medical or EBSA.
- provide the name of the key link contact person for all communication with the school.
- ensure that any medical evidence is up to date, related to the current situation, fully relevant to the referral and pertinent to why the pupil is unable to attend school. For example; copies of hospital or doctor appointment letters do not provide evidence as to why a child or young person is unable to attend school. The detail of when medical appointments took place and were attended can be included as detail in the Chronology.
Supporting documents need to be submitted with a referral to enable the panel to make fully informed decisions:
- attendance record
- medical evidence
- healthcare plan (where applicable)
- Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan (where applicable)
- VSEND (where applicable)
- risk assessment (where applicable)
- copy of reduced timetable (where applicable)
- copy of most recent EHA,TAC,ESCO,CIN and CP plan (where applicable)
- EBSA pathway documentation: each stage of the pathway that have been completed, as per the referral form.