Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded a contract to provide the new 0-19 public health community nursing service for families in West Sussex.
The trust, which is the existing provider of the area’s healthy child programme – health visiting, school nursing and family nurse partnership – has been awarded the new contract for five years.
“The council has backed our vision for the future of this service”
The contract follows a competitive procurement run by West Sussex County Council and will start on 1 April. The trust also has an option for an additional two years.
Similar to moves to join up services nationally, the new contract follows the handover of public health commissioning responsibilities for children aged 0-5 from the NHS to local authorities in 2015.
The West Sussex proposal will create a more integrated service, bringing together health visiting, school nurses, and early help and prevention services into a single model, noted the trust.
It said the service will be extended to cover children and young people up to the age of 19 and working together in partnership with Barnardo’s to provide a new Skills for Life service for people with special educational needs and disabilities aged up to 25 years.
There will also be additional investment in digital technologies to improve communication and engagement between young people, parents, carers and professionals.
“Our vision is to have a joined up service, which all residents can access near to home”
Trust chief executive Siobhan Melia said: “I am delighted that we have been awarded this contract and that the council has backed our vision for the future of this service.
“We are committed to ensuring that families and young people experience an extensive range of excellent, localised, seamless support and we look forward to working with the council to make this a reality for people in West Sussex,” she said.
“This decision shows the high-regard in which this service is held. It is a testament to the hard work, passion and dedication of our staff,” she added.
Christine Field, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for wellbeing, said: “We want our children, young people and their families to be healthy, happy, safe and ready for school and for life. Our vision is to have a joined up service, which all residents can access near to home.”