New community children’s service is the largest in the country

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

From today (April 1), North Bristol NHS Trust is providing all community children’s health services in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
This follows a procurement of community children’s health services by NHS South Gloucestershire and NHS Bristol, the organisations responsible for commissioning health services in those areas.
The new partnership – run in conjunction with Barnardo’s – is the largest of its kind in the country providing specialist community services for some of the local area’s most vulnerable children and young people.
From today, 500 staff from University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, NHS South Gloucestershire and NHS Bristol will join colleagues from North Bristol NHS Trust to provide the service.
In total, more than 700 staff are employed and include health visitors, school nurses, physiotherapists, community doctors and psychiatrists, family therapists and all their key supporting staff.
The children and young people they will care for have a wide range of conditions from learning and physical disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy, eating disorders and emotional-behavioural problems.
The new partnership will also provide stronger links with Children and Young People’s Services at local authorities and the Prison Service.
Sonia Mills, Chief Executive of North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “I would very much like to welcome those staff from neighbouring organisations to North Bristol NHS Trust.
“This is an exciting opportunity for everyone involved and the Trust is absolutely delighted to be providing the leadership for this new creation.
“By bringing healthcare professionals together, the new partnership will provide a more joined-up service, equal access for all irrespective of geography or need, and will benefit vulnerable young people in our community.

“There will be a key focus of early prevention, and a commitment to involving children and young people in the planning and delivery of the services which are designed for them.
“In addition, working in partnership with Barnardo’s will enable us to make these services even more accessible to those who need them, especially vulnerable and hard to reach groups.”

Anne Goymer, Acting Director for Barnardo’s South West, said: “It is not often when working with vulnerable children and families that we experience a breakthrough in organisational structures that give you a real sense that it will lead to a significant improvement in the way vulnerable children and families experience health services.
“This launch of the new Children’s Community Health Partnership is that experience. What makes it so special is the opportunity to build on evidence based practice and a real drive to personalize health services so that our most vulnerable children and families feel valued and reassured that their voices will be heard and respected at every level of the partnership. We are very proud to be part of it.
“We are very pleased to report one quick win - Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy services will be located with Barnardo’s staff at our children’s centre in South Bristol.

“This means that children’s health practitioners who used to be based in a central location will now have the benefits of being close to their patient group and the workers supporting the same children. This will improve the join up of support to families with children needing community health services and something families have been requesting for years.
“I wish the Children’s Community Health Partnership every success and very much look forward to Barnardo’s playing their part in ensuring that by working with the most vulnerable groups of children and young people who would not access mainstream services without support we can dramatically reduce some of the health inequalities currently identified across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.”

Penny Harris, Chief Executive of NHS South Gloucestershire, said: “We hope that this new partnership will provide a more “joined up” service to help benefit vulnerable young people providing them with the support they need when they need it. Users and carers have helped to define the shape of the services to be delivered by this new partnership.”
Deborah Evans, Chief Executive of NHS Bristol, said: “This is a major step forward in delivering improvements in quality, value and most importantly health outcomes for children and young people. North Bristol NHS Trust have put forward a new model of service with a particular focus on the involvement of users, carers and family members at all stages.”
Cllr Sheila Cook, Executive Member for Children and Young People at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “We have welcomed the opportunity to work closely with NHS South Gloucestershire in setting out what we want the new service to deliver.
“We are delighted that the contract has now been let and look forward to working closely in partnership with health professionals and Barnardo’s to ensure improved mental health services for children and young people across South Gloucestershire.”

Cllr Clare Campion-Smith, Bristol City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Any of the region's 92,000 children and teenagers who might need to see a health visitor, school nurse, speech and language therapist, psychologist, drugs worker or psychiatrist can now do so through one integrated provider - the new Children's Community Health Partnership.

“Bristol is leading the way when it comes to health services for children. The first contract of its kind in the country will bring a better deal for families, especially for the most vulnerable. It is an exciting way forward to deliver more community-based services than ever before."