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Special bus to help public health nurses reach children

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A new mobile nursing service, in the form of a bus, is taking advice and support direct to County Durham’s five to 19-year-olds.

Nurses are heading out and about across County Durham in the “growing healthy” bus, a public health initiative revealed last week.

“This mobile unit will be particularly useful in the less accessible areas”

Ossie Johnson

The bus will, for the next six months, see staff from Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust criss-crossing the county to improve the wellbeing of five to 19-year-olds.

Lucy Hovvels, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “We know that there are a range of difficulties that young people can face, be it at home, at school, or with friends.

“But by taking advice and support to them we can try to help them overcome challenges and issues before they become more serious,” she said.

Ossie Johnson, the council’s cabinet member for children’s and youth services, added: “This mobile unit will be particularly useful in the less accessible areas of the county and help us to deliver support to some of our more hard to reach families.”

As part of the council’s contract to provide services for under-19s, it was asked to launch a mobile service to take school nurses out into communities for six months.

The bus features a private consultation area where children and young people can come and talk about a variety of issues – including sexual health and relationships, smoking and their emotional wellbeing – in confidence.

Durham County Council

Special bus to help public health nurses reach children

The Growing Healthy Bus

The new service made its first stop in the Durham Dales in October, and will now operate across the county, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, until March 2017.

Suzanne Lamb, head of children’s public health nursing at the trust, said: “The team are looking forward to meeting children, young people and their families across the county.

“This is an opportunity for children and young people to tell us what they need from our service so we can develop new ways of working to meet the needs of families, schools and communities,” she said.

The new bus is an extension to the year-round work of the area’s Growing Healthy five to 19 team. It sees school and community health nurses, the Family Initiative Supporting Children’s Health team, and health administrators, visit towns and villages to ensure the health and wellbeing of families.

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