Changes to health visitor commissioning

Health visitor image

Commissioning update

Commissioning responsibilities for public health services for children aged 0-5 are soon to transfer from NHS England to local councils. Locally, Public Health Dorset is leading on this work in partnership with NHS England and children’s services teams in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset. The transfer, which takes place in October, includes the 0-5 Healthy Child Programme, which incorporates current health visiting services (Opens in a New Window). Health visiting staff will continue to be employed by their provider organisation, which locally is Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Councils will be mandated to provide five critical assessment points. These include visits during antenatal, new birth, six to eight weeks, 12 months and two to two-and-a-half years old. Evidence shows these are key times to make sure parents are supported to give their child the best start in life, and early identification of those families that need extra support.

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