New partner agreed for Northumberland health visiting and school nursing services

A new partnership has been secured to provide health visiting and school nursing services across Northumberland.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 1:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 2:18 pm
Northumberland County Council has approved a new partnership with Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust to provide health visiting and school nursing services.

Cabinet members at Northumberland County Council approved the partnership with Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust at their meeting on August 25.

The new partnership aims to link the services more closely with other services which support children and young people across the county.

The services will continue to be delivered locally by the same health visitors and school nurses, retaining their local knowledge, and key relationships with children, young people and their families.

More than 200 people had their say on the proposals during a public consultation, raising several important issues primarily focused on the importance of preserving the relationships between partners and retaining the local knowledge of the health visitors and school nurses.

Cllr Wendy Pattinson, cabinet member for wellbeing, said: “Health visiting and school nursing services are crucial parts of the wider pattern of services supporting children, young people and families.

“We’re delighted to be entering into a partnership with Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust which offers us greater flexibility to link those services more closely with other services which support children and young people and their families in Northumberland.”

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust has extensive experience of providing health visiting and school nursing services and already manages these services in seven local authorities across the North East and North Yorkshire.

Steve Russell, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “We are excited to be working in partnership with Northumberland County Council and other local partners to ensure children, young people and their families have a service which is tailored to their needs.

"We have a long history of establishing strong working relationships with local authorities and we are looking forward to working with Northumberland County Council to ensure their community has a children’s service that is second to none.”

Suzanne Lamb, Head of Safeguarding (Lead Nurse for Public Health and Quality) from the Trust, said: “We fully support the principle of local services being provided by locally-based teams, with their wealth of experience of the needs of each of the local areas within Northumberland.

"As a Trust, we have an enviable reputation for providing high quality healthcare for children, young people and their families, and we are delighted to be working with the established team in the district so that together we can further develop the excellent service we provide.”

Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Children’s Services, Cath McEvoy-Carr, added: “We explored a number of options for these services, and Harrogate’s reputation for delivering innovative practices, developed in collaboration with staff, with young people and their families and with local partners, meets our own commitment to co-production and tailored support.”

Liz Morgan, the Council’s Director of Public Health said: “I’d like to pay testament to the staff who deliver these services to families across Northumberland who are passionate about what they do, and to express our gratitude for their continued commitment.”

The new partnership arrangement will take effect from October 1, following the end of the Council’s partnership agreement with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, who currently provide these services on behalf of the Council.

Staff and managers in these services will transfer to Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust under TUPE protection of employment rules.