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Children's health services one-year contract proposed

On 29 March, Wiltshire Council's cabinet will be asked to agree to the negotiation of a one-year contract

Published 22 March 2022
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Council leaders will be asked to agree a one year contract to the current children's health services provider so all options for the service can be considered.

Wiltshire's Children's Community Health Services (WCCHS) includes Public Health Nursing Services, which leads on the delivery of the Healthy Child Programme for children aged 0 - 19 years. The programme is the bedrock for health improvement, public health and reducing inequalities. It supports expectant parents/carers, children and young people and encourages healthy choices.

The WCCHS service is currently provided by the HCRG Care Group, formerly Virgin Care Services, and is funded by Wiltshire Council and Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BSW CCG). Wiltshire's funding of the service includes Public Health Nursing Services and a contributions to speech and language therapy to support children with Education Health and Care Plans.

While the contract was due to end in March 2023, there have been delays due to responding to COVID and the government's decision to postpone putting Integrated Care Systems on a legal footing until July 2022.

On 29 March, Wiltshire Council's cabinet will be asked to agree to the negotiation of a one-year contract, which is held by the CCG with HCRG Care Group for 12 months until 31 March 2024. This will allow officers to carry out due diligence on the options for the future and carry out a full consultation with children, young people and families if required.

Cllr Laura Mayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children's Services said: "These are important services that matter to our families as they can make a real positive difference. We need to get this right and we need partners to be engaged and involved in the process. Dealing with the pressures of COVID has rightly taken up time, and the delay in introducing Integrated Care Boards has also had an impact. By putting a one year contract in place we are giving ourselves some additional space to prepare, including consulting well to ensure the future model provides the best service to those who need it most."

Integrated Care Boards are being set up to better join up health and care services including population health and reducing health inequalities. More details are available at NHS Digital (opens new window).

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