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Reshaped health and wellbeing service to be scrutinised at committee

A reshaped family health and wellbeing service will see support given to the families that need it the most, according to plans revealed today.

A cross-party scrutiny committee will consider the approach to commissioning the new service, which will cover amongst others health visiting, the family nurse partnership and parental support through children’s centres.

Staffordshire County Council inherited responsibility for some of these services from the NHS in 2015. With current contracts for these services coming to an end, the county council is now taking the opportunity to see how these services can work better together to support families in the future.

The service has a total of £8.8million to invest in a new child health and wellbeing programme, which will target support to where it is most needed and end variations between district and boroughs.

If agreed, the procurement process the new service will formally start in August, with a recommendation for a preferred provider to be made early December. The new contract is to start from 1 April 2017.

County Councillor Alan White, Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing said:

By taking a more targeted approach with family health and wellbeing services, we are hoping to ensure that every parent continues to receive a standard level of service, and children who need additional support will get more.

The first five years of a child’s life mark a crucial time for brain development and set the foundations for growing well and thriving in later life. Effective prevention and early help is vitally important in we have healthy and happy children who are ready for school and able to learn.

Supporting families to overcome problems early negates the need for intensive costly intervention at a later stage. By focusing what we have in the right places, we’re confident that Staffordshire’s children and young people can keep doing well.”