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New programme to get children in BwD off to the best start in life

Posted on the 10th March 2017

A contract for providing a new programme designed to get children off to the best start in life in Blackburn with Darwen has been awarded to Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.

As of April 1 2017, Lancashire Care will work in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Council and other voluntary sector providers to deliver the new, fully integrated, Healthy Child Programme.

Following a competitive tendering process, the new programme will build on previous achievements in the borough by bringing together health visiting, school nursing, specialist infant feeding and other third sector services to provide a consolidated public health service for children aged 0-19 years.

For families in the borough, the support provided will be seamless and the most appropriate organisation or individual will be available to respond to their needs at any given time.

The first step in this process will see NHS staff co-locating within Little Harwood, Audley, Darwen and Livesey children’s centres to work alongside their local authority counterparts.

The Council and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust will also work alongside partners including East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and the Families Health and Wellbeing Consortia to deliver services.

Councillor Mustafa Desai, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “Our ‘start well’ services have done a fantastic job in the past but we aspire to see continuous improvement in the quality of that provision which also needs to provide innovation and ‘value for money’ as we buy these services on behalf of our local residents. This new partnership is an exciting one that should be of great benefit to families in the borough.”

Councillor Maureen Bateson, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “This an exciting opportunity for new and innovative ways of working with local community services, which strengthens support for settings such as schools and youth centres. The new partnership will give the opportunity for NHS and Local government staff to work together and take every opportunity to engage, advise and support families and children during this crucial period of their development.”

Cathy Allen, Service Line Manager for Universal Services at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re delighted to have been successful in the award of this contract. This is an exciting opportunity to work closely with the Local Authority, our third sector colleagues and partner organisations, and the people of Blackburn with Darwen. The new partnership and increased collaboration will lead to the delivery of a programme that will improve health and wellbeing outcomes in conjunction with partner organisations across the borough.”