The Dimensions Tool is a free, interactive, online tool designed to give tailored recommendations to support a person’s health and wellbeing needs.
Produced by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, the Neurodevelopmental Team has been working hard to redevelop and redesign the Dimensions tool, which was initially launched in 2017. The relaunched tool is more user-friendly with updated links to resources and local services both inside and outside the NHS, for people to use.
Gemma Cartwright, Manager of Neurodevelopmental Services at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “The Dimensions tool was designed and developed by a collaborative team within our Trust, including Dawn Nicholls, Community Offer and Dimensions Tool Project Manager, Heather Moran, Consultant Child Clinical Psychologist, and myself. Development included engagement with our service users, referrers and carers, to provide an information tool for members of the public.
Individuals or parents and carers of children can go through the dimensions of health and wellbeing outlined in the tool and rate themselves or their child against each. An individualised report will be produced, highlighting areas of most need and providing self-care information on that subject. The aim of self-care information is to take the hard work out of searching the internet, by collating trustable information and local resources into one place. By looking at the whole person, including both their strengths and challenges, we hope individuals and parents or carers will feel empowered to access support from local organisations, websites, apps or reading materials for themselves.”
Robyn Dorling is a parent who has used the Dimensions tool to help her with challenges her child was facing. She said: “I like the positive focus on the issues I am dealing with, without relating to a label or diagnosis my child might have. The Dimensions tool took me straight to the advice I really needed, which wasn’t about autism, but about eating and sleep.”
Laura Newell is the Assistant Head and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) and Inclusion Lead at St Nicholas School in Alcester. Laura said: “The Dimensions tool is good for starting a conversation with parents and carers of children with special educational needs or challenging behaviour. The tool empowers both us as professionals, but also parents and carers, to find ways to help ourselves and the children in our lives, by providing us with easily accessible, trusted information and local support. It can also be accessed at a time to suit the parent or carer; this might be in the evening after the child has gone to bed, for instance.”
The Dimensions tool has been recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in its latest report on the state of health care and adult social care in England, printed at the end of 2019. Take a look at page page 26 where the Dimensions tool is is described as 'the transforming power of innovation'.
The aim for the redesigned tool is to make it easier for different users to access the relevant information and to future proof the technology. The team are continuously expanding the Dimensions tool and the information available. If you would like to be involved in future developments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.