A new service has been launched to improve children and young people’s health and wellbeing in Leeds.
The 0-19 Public Health Integrated Nursing Service will for the first time bring together health visiting, school nursing services and oral health practitioners into one service for children, young people and their families.
The service, which aims to be located within children’s centres across the city, will allow support to be provided within communities helping target families living in more deprived areas.
Every family across Leeds, beginning at pregnancy and continuing through to school leavers will receive support from the service, which will continue to work with key partners across Leeds.
Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Leeds City Council executive member for health, wellbeing and adults, said:
“Our ambition is to improve the health of the poorest the fastest in Leeds. Research shows that investing in the early years of a child’s life gives the greatest return of any life stage. This is why we’ve continued to invest in children’s centres and community nursing.
“We know that this will have a positive impact throughout a child’s life on their happiness and wellbeing and helping them to be ready for and do well at school. This new integrated nursing service is a great example of collaborative working between the council and the Leeds Community NHS Healthcare Trust.”
Over 800 children and families in Leeds were consulted during the development of the 0-19 Public Health Integrated Nursing Service, which is funded by Leeds City Council and delivered by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
The service has also launched a new texting service - Chat Health - which allows young people aged 11-19 to send a confidential text on a variety of health issues to a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (School Nurse). A nurse will reply with help and advice as appropriate within 24 hours and offer direct support whilst also signposting to other relevant services where needed.
Thea Stein, Chief Executive for Leeds Community Healthcare Trust, said:
“It is so important that the people of Leeds are able to access the right health and social care support at the right time. Planning to have our 0-19 Public Health Integrated Nursing Service practitioners based within Children’s Centres across the city is yet another step in the right direction. It means we are better placed to respond together to the needs of the communities we serve.”
Notes to editors
The 0-19 Public Health Integrated Nursing Service (PHINS) is a new, innovative service including specialist Public Health practitioners and community nurses.
The Early Start offer encompasses the 0-5 element of 0-19 service, with teams working collaboratively and to be co-located in Children’s Centres.
Services available in children’s centres include: antenatal education, breastfeeding support, oral health, Well Baby Clinics, development checks for 1 and 2-year-olds and group support with healthy and active lifestyles.
5-19 is the School Age offer, with 0-19 teams increasingly working collaboratively with their colleagues from Leeds City Council and particularly Colleagues from the Health and Wellbeing Service.
Public Health practitioners are able to work across the 0-19 service, thus improving continuation and communication for professionals and families.
The service will have extended hours (8am-8pm) to meet the needs of families and young people.