New, enhanced 0-25 Family Health Service (health visitors and school nurses) launches in County Durham

Posted on: Tuesday 1 Sep 2020

From 1 September 2020, a new, enhanced 0-25 Family Health Service (including health visitors and school nurses) is available for families and young people in County Durham.

The service is operated by Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust in conjunction with Durham County Council, who have successfully delivered the 0-19 service in the county since 2016. The team are incredibly proud of the work they have achieved since then, providing essential support to children, young people and families in the community.

Using their excellent knowledge, skills and relationships, the Growing Healthy County Durham Team is now looking forward to delivering on the new contract.

The Team includes family health visitors, family health specialist public health nurses, emotional resilience nurses and support staff, who will be delivering on the Healthy Child Programme. This programme provides universal and targeted prevention and early intervention support during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence.

This new contract will also provide support for young people with a special educational need (SEND) and/or disability and those who are care leavers up to the age of 25. This offer includes support for low-level emotional health issues, and support to access adult services.

Other key changes to the service:

  • Family Health Visitors will extend their care until the end of Foundation Stage (Reception Year in school) and beyond when actively working with a family.
  • The Family Health Visiting Team will offer ten routine Healthy Child Programme contacts up to the end of reception year in school, including to children not in education settings. This is three more than previously offered.
  • Well Baby Clinics will change to a whole family approach of Community Based One Stop Shops, developed with service users and partners.
  • A new Health Exercise and Nutrition in the Really Young (HENRY) programme will be introduced in 2021 to support a healthy start and brighter future for families. This will mean there will be a whole 0-25 Family Health Service wider approach to supporting healthy weight. Families who have worked with the FISCH (Family Initiative Supporting Children’s Health) Team will receive contact from the team to discuss support from September 2020.
  • Audiology screening in Reception Year in school will no longer take place, advice about hearing concerns in children of all ages will be provided to families, schools and partners.
  • Appointments between 8am-8pm will be offered to support easier access for young people and families, around school/college/work.
  • More access to advice and support through virtual clinics and a virtual nurse, to give more choice to children, young people, families and communities.
  • A strong focus on children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and resilience.
  • The service will be strongly influenced and developed with children, young people and families.

Support will be provided at key transition points in children and young peoples’ lives. This includes working closely with nurseries, schools and colleges to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Amanda Smith, General Manager for the service, said: “We will use a ‘One Team’ approach and service delivery model for the Healthy Child Programme integrated into the local children’s services. This will help to deliver efficient and effective services at a community, local and individual level, providing a clear focus on prevention and early intervention to improve outcomes and tackle health inequalities.

“The way the 0-19 Team have adapted and risen to challenges in the first part of the year really is a testament to their dedication to providing high quality services and support to communities in County Durham.

“We know it has been an especially tough time for families this year and want to reassure our service users that we are here for them, to help wherever we can.

“Our team is passionate about and dedicated to improving the lives of children, young people and families in County Durham, and providing high quality services that are reliable and meet the needs of all service users. We are looking forward to extending our provision and building on our hard work with the new 0-25 contract.”

Cllr Lucy Hovvels MBE, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “The teams working behind our family health services are dedicated in bringing essential support to children, young people and their families as well as delivering vital health programmes for the community.

“This new contract will bring a range of key improvements including more access to advice and support, extensions to services already provided, and an additional focus in caring for children and young people’s emotional wellbeing in addition to exercise, health and nutrition.”


For further information please contact:

Paul Widdowfield, Communications and Marketing Manager, [email protected] and 01423 557470

Rebecca Huddleston, Communications and Marketing Assistant, [email protected] and 01423 557732

Kate Moore, Communications and Marketing Assistant, [email protected] and 01423 557732