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11 November 2015

A single provider for Wiltshire's Community Child Health Services

Picture of children running

This new way of working means that children and their families will receive a high quality, joined up and consistent service shaped specifically around them.

Maggie Rae and Carolyn Godfrey

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Wiltshire Council and NHS England have today confirmed the intention to award Virgin Care the contract(1) to provide community child health services in Wiltshire(2) for the next five years.

 As of April 2016, the services currently provided, which include among others, children's specialist community nursing, health visiting and speech and language therapy will transfer to Virgin Care. By moving from five providers to one, children and parents will have access to consistent and equitable levels of service and support regardless of where they live in the county.

 Deborah Fielding Accountable Officer for Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group comments: "It was important to us that before we started looking at the contract for community child health services that we really understood how the children, their parents and their families feel about the services they receive. So, together with Wiltshire Council, NHS England and our partners around the county we held several workshops, developed an online survey and spoke with children, their families and carers. It's with their help that we designed the principles that the new service will adhere to."

 Wiltshire Council Corporate Directors, Maggie Rae and Carolyn Godfrey, said: "This new way of working means that children and their families will receive a high quality, joined up and consistent service shaped specifically around them.

"We have worked effectively as a partnership in developing this new service and we believe it will help Wiltshire families achieve the best possible outcomes."

Debra Elliott, Director of Commissioning for NHS England adds: "A single community child health service will help children and young people in Wiltshire receive the best possible start in life. For example, the same standards of care and easier access to services will be possible to all, through more joined-up working between health and social care professionals."

 Jayne Carroll, Regional Director at Virgin Care, comments: We are really excited to be working alongside a great team to provide a truly Wiltshire focussed service that has been shaped by the people who use it and is focussed on delivering outstanding outcomes for children and young people in Wiltshire.

 Staff working in areas affected by the change to the community child health services provider will continue in their current role with the same employment terms and conditions, but will be employed by Virgin Care as of April 2016.

 The contract was awarded to Virgin Care following a robust procurement process which adhered to the necessary regulatory and policy requirements. Virgin Care is an independent provider of NHS and local authority services with extensive experience in running services for children and young people.

 The changes made will help children's community health services in Wiltshire to continue to meet its statutory duties in relation to safeguarding and new responsibilities in relation to children and young people with a special educational need or disability. This is in line with the SEND reforms included within the Children and Families Act 2014. Children's community health services play a key role in ensuring children have the best start in life and that their health needs are met throughout childhood.

Listen to Julia Cramp's, Associate Director (joint with CCG) Commissioning, Performance and School Effectiveness at Wiltshire Council, interview with BBC Wiltshire, about the contract being awarded to Virgin Care Julia features at 01:36:15

For more information please take a look out our comprehensive questions and answers below.

(1) Following completion of a 10 day standstill period

(2) Services provided in Swindon do not form part of the community child health services in Wiltshire contract

FAQs

Community Child Health Services in Wiltshire comprise of 14 individual services, currently delivered by five separate organisations. These services are:

-Health Visiting Service

-Family Nurse Partnership

-School Nursing and National Child Measurement Programme

 -School age immunisation service

 -Children’s Learning Disability Nursing

 -Integrated Paediatric Therapy service - Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy

-Speech and Language Therapy

-Children’s Specialist Community Nursing

-Community Paediatricians – including Designated Doctor LAC, Safeguarding and Child Death Review

-Community Paediatric Audiology (Including Provision Hearing Screening to Independent Schools) West Wiltshire

-Safeguarding Children Service

 -Looked After Children’s Health Service ( including LAC Designated Nurse)

-Portage (South Wilts area only)

-Child Health Information Service (CHIS)


Services are commissioned differently and separately in Swindon, and are not included in our plans.

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Services are currently commissioned by three organisations: NHS England; NHS Wiltshire CCG and Wiltshire Council. We currently commission a number of different providers to deliver Community Child Health Services in the county*, but from April 2016, it is our intention for services to be delivered through a single contract. This way, we can ensure that services are the same across the county so that services are easier to access for children and their parents.

* Services provided in Swindon do not form part of the community child health services in Wiltshire contract

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The new contract will run for five years.

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Currently, there are 110,000 children receiving health and care services which come under the Wiltshire Community Child Health Services contract*.

* Services provided in Swindon do not form part of the community child health services in Wiltshire contract

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No, at this time we won’t be cutting any of the current services provided. The changes are all about enabling us to deliver the current services more effectively and efficiently. Children, their parents and their carers will have access to consistent and equitable levels of services and support regardless of where they live in Wiltshire*.

* Services provided in Swindon do not form part of the community child health services in Wiltshire contract

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Any cost savings will be reinvested back into the community services we provide for children in Wiltshire*. There is no intention to take money out of these services.

* Services provided in Swindon do not form part of the community child health services in Wiltshire contract

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As with all providers we will ensure that we closely monitor service delivery and will have strict quality and performance processes in place to ensure that the expected high service levels are delivered. We will set the criteria as part of Virgin Care’s contract with us.

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We are confident that by changing the way we commission community child health services in Wiltshire* we will be able to support a number of local and national initiatives and plans. Details of the plans, initiatives and schemes can be found below:

* Services provided in Swindon do not form part of the community child health services in Wiltshire contract


Locally

The Early Help Strategy which sets out the vision and strategic intent for early help for children and young people in Wiltshire and includes plans for the national Troubled Families initiative. A detailed Early Help Improvement Plan sets out how the strategy will be implemented.

The Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategy which aims to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of Wiltshire’s children and young people.

The Child Poverty Strategy which supports both the reduction of child poverty in Wiltshire and mitigation of the effects of child poverty. It seeks to provide a view of the causes, barriers and challenges of child poverty, set a shared vision and encourage a coordinated approach to address child poverty and its impact.

The Child Health Improvement Strategy which identifies the strategic objectives that are needed to ensure that Wiltshire’s children and young people experience optimal health, both in childhood and throughout their lives. It recognises that child health is dependent on the family and environment in which the child lives, plays and learns. We are committed to understanding and reducing health inequalities within our county and have highlighted where we know these exist across a range of health outcomes such as obesity and childhood accidents. These inequalities will be targeted in the Child Health Improvement Implementation plan.

Nationally

Giving all children a healthy start in life, including the Healthy Child programme:

Local action on health inequalities: evidence papers including Evidence review 1: Good quality parenting programmes and the home to school transition.

Services are child and family friendly, including meeting formal Baby Friendly and Young People Friendly standards and be You’re Welcome compliant by 2020, as set out in national guidance

The Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum reports.

The NHS Mandate for 2014-15 has a focus on improving support for children with disabilities and complex health needs.

The Children and Families Act 2014, which contains new statutory duties for CCGs and Councils around children with disabilities, complex health needs and special educational needs.

The national agenda to improve safeguarding places increased focus on CCGs to quality assure safeguarding practice by its providers, including the requirement for a number of Designated Doctor roles, usually undertaken by Consultant Paediatricians.

The focus on improving early intervention is part of the role of many professionals working in different parts of children’s community health services.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health outlines service values including being family friendly, pathway based and continually improving.

NHS Outcomes Framework document.

Public Health Outcomes Framework.

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By having one provider delivering all of the community child health services throughout the county* will mean that you will have access to a more coordinated level of service regardless of where you live in Wiltshire*. Your child will still have access to services that best meet their needs. No services are being cut.

* Services provided in Swindon do not form part of the community child health services in Wiltshire contract

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You will have access to consistent and equitable levels of service and support regardless of where you live in Wiltshire*. Your child will still have access to services that best meet their needs. We understand the relationships you have with your child’s healthcare workers are incredibly important to both you and your child and we are not expecting those to change in the near future – there are no changes planned for the staff who deliver these services.

* Services provided in Swindon do not form part of the community child health services in Wiltshire contract

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It was important to us that before we started looking at the contract for community child health services that we really understood how the children, their parents and their families feel about the services they receive. So, together with Wiltshire Council, NHS England and our partners around the county we held several workshops, developed an online survey and spoke with children, their families and carers. It’s with their help that we designed the principles we want the new service to adhere to, so thank you!

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Please contact your local service delivery lead.

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Commissioners of NHS healthcare and local authority services must contract with the provider who is most capable of delivering the specified requirements, within the funds available.

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All bidders are required to demonstrate their ability to deliver the services being procured. The successful bidder, Virgin Care, has been providing NHS services since 2006 and already offer children’s services to more than 300,000 young people and their families across Surrey and Devon.

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