Northumberland Sure Start Children’s Centres and Northumbria Healthcare NHS foundation Trust Health Visiting Service have this week launched a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in order to build upon the existing positive partnership that has been developed and nurtured over the last decade.
The MOU provides a shared vision and framework for improving outcomes for children and families in Northumberland, particularly for those in greatest need and will enable services to work in partnership to develop best practice.
This partnership will also ensure, through local information agreements, that children’s centres and health visiting teams develop a shared understanding of local community need, enabling them to target their resources effectively to meet these.
The MOU is being rolled out through a number of joint meetings between Children’s Centre Managers and Health Visitor teams to support leaders from both services in ensuring that the policy has meaning for frontline staff in each locality and that it will impact on service delivery to children and families.
Councillor Ian Lindley, executive member for adult care and wellbeing at Northumberland County council said, “We welcome the Memorandum of Understanding as it will strengthen existing early help services for children and families, contributing to the priorities of the council for services to work together to ensure the health and wellbeing of our communities. Meeting the needs of our families is at the heart of policies for both services and this memorandum sets out our direction in relation to public health, child poverty and parenting support.”
“We strongly believe that through partnership such as this we will able to build upon our knowledge of our communities to target future resources more effectively by providing services which are meeting demands now and in the future..”
Amanda Hartley Children’s Centre Improvement Partner said:
“We believe that by further strengthening our partnership work we will be better equipped to prioritise child and family health, parenting support and children’s early learning, particularly for families who would benefit most from early help services”
Janet Leigh, health visitor professional lead said “Among the developments for future partnership work between children’s centres and the health visiting service will be our plans to implement the family nurse partnership pilot project for first time teenage mums. This work also involves collaboration with colleagues from the teenage pregnancy team to ensure that first time teenage mums receive services that are well coordinated and meet their particular needs”.