Health services for children, young people and their families in North Somerset are to be transformed in an ambitious new programme by Sirona care & health and the local authority.
Sirona has signed a contract with North Somerset Council to provide the 0-19 Public Health Nursing Services and Healthy Child Programme for the next five years.
Services will be tailored to an individual’s needs with children, young people and their families having control and choice as to what they access as well as when and where.
The aim is to focus on what is important to the child, young person and their family to improve their outcomes and reduce health inequalities by building relationships, trust and connections across their local community.
The award of the contract has also enabled Sirona, which provides a Public Health Nursing Service across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, to redesign with people and communities to ensure an equitable service offer.
Janet Rowse, Sirona’s Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted North Somerset Council has awarded the Public Health Nursing and Healthy Child Programme contract to Sirona.
“We are committed to developing the very best services alongside the people who use them, and ensuring that their views and experiences are at the heart of everything we do.
“We look forward to working with the council, our staff and local communities to improve outcomes for children, young people and families across North Somerset.”
Cllr Mike Bell, Deputy Leader of North Somerset Council and executive member with responsibility for public health, said: “I’m pleased that we’ve been able to award this contract to Sirona care & health following a competitive procurement process.
“We’re committed to protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities and this is an example of where we can work with partners and families to support children and young people so they can achieve their full potential. This contract and approach will enable young people across our area to lead independent and fulfilling lives, while also focussing on tackling inequalities.”
Matt Lenny, North Somerset Council’s Director of Public Health, added: “I look forward to continuing our work with Sirona care & health to transform the service into a new model which we hope will provide improved outcomes and experiences for families across North Somerset.
“The key to Sirona’s proposed new model is the provision of a universal service to all families, with clear access routes to additional help and support when they need it.”
Sirona will introduce the Thrive framework, which is used successfully by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) teams nationally. This model supports better experiences and outcomes for children, young people and families through an integrated and needs-led approach.
The transformation programme will include the redevelopment of a dedicated children’s website to provide access to more information and support to families in the area. A new ChatHealth text service will also be launched next month to improve access to school nurses.
Nikki Lawrence, Sirona’s Head of Public Health Nursing, said: “Our staff are committed to ensuring all children, young people and their families are at the heart of the service we deliver. We will be working to improve the services we already offer to families by ensuring they are easier to access and individuals have more choice in how and when they receive the support they need. Most of all we want to listen to children young people and their families and design services that work for them.”
The contract, which is worth more than £17.8million, starts on April 1 and runs for five years with an option to extend it for a further two. Sirona was announced as the winning bidder for the contract, which covers health visiting, school nursing and nursing services for children in care, in September 2021.