Barnet Council has awarded its Healthy Child Programme (HCP) contract to successful lifestyle and clinical services provider, Solutions 4 Health.
The decision follows a second tendering process after the contract was first offered to the Whittington Health NHS Trust in 2020. The Whittington Health NHS Trust subsequently withdraw its bid, resulting in the council needing to extend the contract with the existing provider, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The second tendering process was broadened to include both NHS and non-NHS providers.
Solutions 4 Health were the highest scoring bidder after clearly demonstrating its ability to deliver the required services, as listed in the contract specification. The provider has experience of providing NHS services for more than 15 local authorities across the country. It will take over the provision of the HCP in Barnet from 1 April 2022, as part of a three-year contract with the council.
Councillor Caroline Stock, chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board said: “After this lengthy process, we have secured a provider who demonstrated ability to deliver our innovative contract specification while having children, young people and families’ health and wellbeing at the heart of everything they do. We are confident that our tendering process was robust and necessary due diligence has been applied to ensure we commission efficient and effective service for our residents.”
Leena Sankla FFPH, FRSPH, Director of Public Health & Lifestyle Services at Solutions 4 Health, said: “We have strong clinical and safeguarding governance in place, we are committed to the quality of care, are passionate about addressing health inequalities and working together for people in improving their lives. I am pleased that the existing team will continue to be in place and together we will continue to provide an excellent service, supporting the children, young people and families of Barnet. It is our vision to transform the service delivery through true integration, addressing health inequalities and the introduction of digital innovation including new systems.”
A range of services are offered under the HCP to support children’s health and development during their formative years so that they achieve positive outcomes during their early years and beyond.
These include health visiting services to families with a child under five, giving health and development support and advice, especially as they become new parents. Oral health promotion services are also provided through the HCP, covering the importance of teeth brushing, use of fluoride toothpaste, dentist services and more.
The programme also provides school nursing services for children aged 5-19, and 5-24 for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Healthy Weight Nurses are funded through the HCP to help parents and their children lose weight and establish healthy eating habits.
The programme has been provided for Barnet Council by the Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust since 2009. Solutions4Health have agreed to factor in staff recruitment, retention and training as part of a smooth and orderly transition process when they take over management of the HCP.