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Making sure public health nursing services work for everyone


The county council is proposing changes to health visiting and school nursing services so they remain available to everyone.

Public health nursing is currently run as two services, which are generally known as health visiting and school nursing. The proposals bring them together into one service, combining skills and knowledge.

The proposals are going to the council's cabinet on 14th December, to agree a way forward.

If agreed, the new service would be better aligned to the health and wellbeing needs of children, at the ages that are important to their development. The service would focus on children aged up to three, primary school children between four and 11, and secondary children between 12 and 19.

The changes mean the service will still be available for everyone. It also means that staff with specialist knowledge and skills can focus support on the most vulnerable families, when they need it most.

The changes also present an opportunity to make sure the service is set up like other family services, such as children centres. This would offer a more joined up service to families.

The proposals will include streamlining back office systems, so that staff can focus on working with families and children.

The council will ask families and children what they think of the new approach during 2017.

Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for public health and communities, said: "Raising a family can be tough and the Council wants to  provide the support to ensure that all families get the help they need to give our children the best possible start in life.

"If we get the policies right for protecting the most vulnerable, people will flourish so bringing together these two services into one streamlined service, combining skills and knowledge, will support more families, protecting the most vulnerable."

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