Northumberland had a higher than UK average problem with childhood obesity. Northumberland also had a high number of teenage pregnancies.
Northumbria developed a number of integrated services to address local challenges, including, not exhaustively:
- Integrated Paediatric Public Health Service for 0-19 year old children – including health visiting and school nursing promoting health and wellbeing to reduce inequalities through targeted intervention, especially for vulnerable and disadvantaged children and families. Focus is on improving public health outcomes through prevention and early intervention:
- Smoking – decrease rate;
- Breastfeeding – increase rates;
- Tackling obesity;
- Emotional health and well being;
- Healthy Child Programme; and
- Work with partners in health, children’s social care, education, and voluntary agencies.
- Northumbria’s Resilience Strategy: focus is early intervention and prevention for obesity including getting active and personal, social and health education (PSHE),
- A multiagency approach with numerous programmes to improve safeguarding; :
- Vulnerable Parents Pathway: management and coordination of the work for planned conception and supporting vulnerable parents with a focus on prevention and tackling teenage pregnancy.
- Secondary care community based paediatricians for general and complex patient management supported by:
- Community and specialty nursing teams e.g. epilepsy, diabetes;
- Therapies e.g. speech, physio, occupational;
- Health Visitors: developmental/ behavioural assessment/referral to community paediatrician;
- School nursing service.
- Each school has a named school nurse providing services for emotional well being and public health (e.g. healthy weight management/ obesity).. Other specialist school nursing support services include:
- A coordinated approach for mental health/drug and alcohol issues/public health training and messages;
- Immunisations – school based programme.improved academic performance and outcomes.
- National Child Measurement Programme – runs every March for Reception and Year 6 children. School nurses respond to children identified as out of healthy range with immediate parental telephone calls and offer brief advice and intervention strategies; and
- CHAT Health Texting Service: broadens access to healthcare and engagement with school nurses.
- Over 50% reduction in unintended teenage conceptions – one of Europe’s lowest;
- Increase in physical activity and fresh fruit and vegetable consumption for overweight/ obese children;
- Active use of Health Visitors has: Reduced perinatal mental health problems;
- Reducing complications from childhood obesity;
- Help children at bottom of socio-economic scale;
School nurses helped improve wellbeing of children with long-term conditions, which in turn improved academic performance and outcomes.
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