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The Integrated Review: a follow-up report on practice in two local authorities

February 2016

The Integrated Review is a check of children’s development at about 2 years old, carried out jointly by health and education practitioners. A report on a follow-up study by the National Children’s Bureau was recently published, showing how the Integrated Review has been put into practice within two local authority areas, Islington and Warwickshire. Each of the areas is operating the Integrated Review in a different way: Islington has adopted a joint meeting model, where the review is done with parents, an early years practitioner and a health practitioner in the same room. Warwickshire, on the other hand, has adopted a model of separate meetings meaning the parent attends two meetings, one with the health practitioner and one with the early years practitioner.

The report summarises the study, which is based on a total of 18 in-depth phone calls (9 in each local authority area), to find out information about how each model is running. The phone calls took place with service leads for the review, parents, health practitioners and early years practitioners. An executive summary describes the main findings of the report, and identifies some key themes, needs and practices based on what they found out.

These include:

-Introducing a named link health practitioner for each early years setting

-Clear and very detailed written guidance on roles and responsibilities within the review

-Offering practitioners a range of training and support

-Close monitoring and regular feedback from practitioners and parents

The executive summary of the report can be found here and the full report is here.

I CAN’s Progress Check: Communication and Language is a progress check for early years practitioners to share with parents of children between 24 - 36 months, giving them information on their child’s language and communication development.

The Getting Two Year Olds Talking bundle offers activities for talkative 2 year olds and those who need additional help with communication and language. It provides information for parents on what to expect when, and support to practitioners carrying out the two year old progress check or integrated review.

DfE Integrated review at age 2

December 2014

A research report has been published on the findings of a recent study, the ‘Integrated Review at 2-2½ Years - Integrating the Early Years Foundation Stage Progress Check and the Healthy Child Programme health and development review’. The aim of this study was to trial bringing together the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Progress Check at age two with the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) 2-2½ year health and development review to make just one check carried out on children, which will also be done at two years. This was because of worries that a lack of joining up between the two reviews (which are currently done separately) means that some parents receive confusing and conflicting advice and problems are not identified as early as they could be.

Since January 2012, five local authorities (pilot sites) have been developing new ways to design, test, and start to use a single Integrated Review and these have been being fully tested since January 2013.

Initial findings from the pilot sites are:

-Having two lead individuals from health and early years working closely together was important to success in making the Integrated Review happen.

-It worked best where both health and early years staff shared their expertise and worked together.

-The pilots highlighted a need for training on child development, making clinical judgements and, in particular, communicating with parents.

-More people took up the chance to have the Integrated review than had used the Healthy Child Programme health and development review on its own.

-A barrier to success was a lack of common systems for information sharing and keeping children’s records.

One important reflection in the report is that there is a need to make sure that services are able to accept earlier referrals, if an Integrated Review is going to lead to early intervention for children. In other words, it’s not just about doing the review but also about ensuring that systems are in place to follow up on a child’s needs.

You can read the full study report here.

Read here for more information on the Integrated Review.

I CAN have a Progress Check: Language and Communication enabling practitioners to give parents information on their child’s language and communication development.

For information about children’s language and communication development visit Talking Point.