Agenda item

Recommissioning the 0-19 Healthy Child Programme.


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Public Health which presented the proposed model for the procurement and delivery of a 0-19 Healthy Child Programme and provided an update on the consultation feedback which had been received so far. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 11’, is filed with these minutes.


The Committee welcomed to the meeting for this item Mrs. H. Fryer CC and Mrs. M. E. Newton CC who were members of the Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


Arising from discussions the following points were noted


(i)          The 0-19 Healthy Child Programme was a universal service and therefore open to anyone, however targeted work did take place and it was intended to particularly target those people dealt with by the Children and Family Wellbeing Service as these people were especially vulnerable.


(ii)         The model focused on six high impact areas for school children and one of those areas was resilience and wellbeing.  Reassurance was given that conversations were being held with headteachers of schools and academies in Leicestershire regarding what support could be offered in relation to mental health and wellbeing. Headteachers had particularly identified that body image and self-esteem were areas of concern for school children.  The Covid-19 pandemic would also have had an impact on children’s mental health and wellbeing and preparations needed to be made for an increased demand as a result of this, though it was important not to duplicate initiatives that were already in place.


(iii)       In response to concerns raised by a member, particularly in relation to health visitors, reassurance was given that there was a high level of confidence that data protection laws were adhered to.


(iv)       Local Authorities were required to carry out five universal health checks for families during the early stages of a child’s development and although some of these checks had been paused during the Covid-19 pandemic, most checks had now recommenced in some form. The antenatal check now took place in the form of a letter sent to all pregnant mothers. The 12-month checks were taking place in some areas of Leicestershire but not all as they were required to be conducted face to face. A member raised concerns regarding the length of time between each check and suggested that social services should be more involved early on. In response the Director of Public Health explained that in addition to the five universal health checks there were several other initiatives ongoing which addressed the welfare of children at an early age. The Director of Public Health offered to provide a report to a future meeting of the Committee regarding the wider work of the Public Health Department.



(v)        Breastfeeding rates were known to be low in Leicestershire though it was unclear to what extent this was due to issues with the quality of the data and under-recording, rather than mothers being reluctant to breastfeed. Work was taking place with NHS Digital to resolve the data quality issues.


(vi)       Members raised concerns regarding childhood obesity and asked what work was undertaken to ensure parents had the necessary skills to raise healthy children. In response it was explained that Children’s Services helped parents with parenting skills and the Public Health Department commissioned activities through Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport to encourage children to be more active. Liaison was also taking place with the Planning Officers Forum to ensure healthy environments were created.


(vii)      The data indicated that tackling alcohol misuse in young people needed to be a priority however it was also important to tackle substance abuse in young people as this was widely prevalent.




(a)        That the proposed model for the procurement and delivery of a 0 – 19 Healthy Child Programme (HCP) service for Leicestershire be supported, and the consultation feedback received to date be noted;


(b)        That the comments now made by the Committee regarding the proposals be forwarded to Cabinet for consideration at the meeting on 26 October 2021;


(c)        That officers be requested to provide a report for a future meeting of the Committee regarding the wider work of the Public Health Department in relation to the health of children.





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