The new agreement between Northumberland County Council and the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT) aims to link school medical visit and nursing services more closely with other services that support children of all ages across the count.
Services will continue to be delivered locally by the same health visitors and school nurses, retaining their local knowledge of Northumberland, their key relationships with children, youth, their families and other stakeholders.
Cllr Wendy Pattinson, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: âHealth visitors and school nurses play a vital role in helping children and youth lead healthy lives, as well as in identifying and promoting providing additional support to those whose health conditions or life circumstances place them at particular risk for poor physical or mental health.
“Our plan is to link these services more closely with other services for young people, in order to make access to comprehensive and coordinated support as easy as possible for those who need it.”
HDFT has extensive experience in providing medical check-up and school nursing services and already manages these services in seven local communities in North East and North Yorkshire.
Steve Russell, Managing Director of HDFT, said: âAlthough our Trust’s name is Harrogate and District, we are already providing services in the North East and will now also have bases in Northumberland.
âWe look forward to working closely with the current team of health visitors, school nurses and other staff who currently provide this service – who will continue to fulfill their roles and will still be based in Northumberland for ensure that there is no interruption of service.
“We take great pride in providing high levels of care to children, youth and their families so that they can get the best possible start in life and our goal is to expand and improve the current service to better respond to the needs of the community. “
Suzanne Lamb, Chief Protection Officer and Chief Nursing Officer at HDFT, said: âWe are delighted to work with these local teams who have always demonstrated their commitment to helping families in Northumberland.
âWe will be talking with families, staff and other stakeholders in each local area to find the best way to make services as accessible and integrated as possible.â
Cath McEvoy-Carr, Executive Director of Adult Social Services and Children’s Services for Northumberland County Council, added: âBoth services are key elements of the larger model of services supporting children, youth and children. families.
“Our aim is to build on the work of existing children’s centers and ‘early help’ services for older children, to provide coordinated support to children of all ages and their families.”
Liz Morgan, the Council’s director of public health, said: âThe new partnership provides a framework that supports our priority of working more closely with other early aid services. We consider it crucial that health visitors, school nurses and all other staff who are part of the 0-19 ward are part of the integrated range of Northumberland family support. “
The new partnership entered into force on October 1, 2021.