We’re delivering the Healthy Child Programme in Middlesbrough

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the contract to deliver the 0-19 Healthy Child Programme (HCP) in Middlesbrough following a competitive bidding process.  The £3.5 million contract, commissioned by Middlesbrough Council, will run for a minimum of seven years with a contract start date of 1 April 2016. It also includes universal services for people up to 25 years old who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.

The HCP is a universal service, offering a greater focus on antenatal care, a major emphasis on support for both parents, the early identification of at-risk families, advice on vaccination programmes and a clear focus on public health priorities

Health visitors and school nurses lead and deliver the HCP to ensure a healthy start for each and every child. This programme starts in pregnancy through to school leavers, ensuring children and their families are fully prepared for parenthood, school entry, and transition into adult services. This includes promoting positive physical and mental health, supporting new parents, and assessing the health and development of children and young people.

Health visitors and school nurses are able to provide ongoing support, with extra support from a range of local services, working with the family to deal with more complex issues over a period of time. Some examples include special educational needs, drug and alcohol misuse, child and adolescent mental health services, looked after children and young carers.

HDFT will use a ‘One Team’ approach and service delivery model for the Healthy Child Programme (HCP). 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 help break the cycle of health inequalities for families.

The ‘One Team’ of health visitors and school nurses are supported by nursery nurses, assistant practitioners, screening technician and administrators will work together with multi-agency partners and stakeholders.  The team will work collaboratively with multi-agency partners and stakeholders, including children, young people and their families, to build community capacity and ensure the service best meets the needs and aspirations of the population of Middlesbrough.

Lorraine Fox, General Manager for Community Services and Public Health at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to deliver a high quality service to the children and young people in Middlesbrough.

“We have a shared responsibility with partners such as Middlesbrough Council to work with children, young people and their families to keep them safe, promote resilience and emotional wellbeing, reduce risk and prevent problems from escalating.

“We have significant experience of delivering this service across North Yorkshire, and we know that the existing staff who will be transferring across to us are an enthusiastic, committed and professional team.”