17th July 2019

County Council welcomes Public Health Nursing Team

Somerset County Council will welcome almost 200 public health nursing staff into their fold from 1 April, committed to continuing to give the County’s children the best start in life.

Staff made up of Health Visitors, School Nurses, Assistant Practitioners and Administrative Support will officially transfer from Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to Somerset County Council on 1 April.

They will continue to work with local communities and families in different settings such as homes, children’s centres, GP surgeries, Schools and Early Year settings delivering the healthy child programme which offers support to all families in pregnancy up to nineteen years old.

Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health at Somerset County Council said: “We’d like to welcome the staff transferring from Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to the County Council, who provide such an invaluable role in our homes and communities in helping give our children the best start in life.

“Any parent will tell you, parenting is incredibly rewarding, but can also be challenging, and the early years especially influence a child’s development and future achievements. The team provide early support to improve families’ quality of life and are skilled in identifying health issues and concerns.

“Transferring the service has been a real team effort between the staff, unions, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the council and I would like thank everyone who has been involved.”

Hayley Peters, chief nurse at Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We want to thank our public health nursing colleagues for their dedication to the children and families of Somerset.

“This team of nurses works incredibly hard to provide support to families, giving children in Somerset the very best start in life. We know this will continue as the service transfers from the NHS to the council.

“We wish our staff all the best and we will continue to work closely with the teams to support local families and their children.”

Health visitors can help parents with specific issues such as sleeping, fussy eating, challenging behaviours, immunisations, healthy weight, postnatal depression and other emotional difficulties.  They can also support with safeguarding children; parental smoking, drug and alcohol misuse, access to housing and medical services and sexual and contraceptive advice.

School nurses provide a confidential service to parents, carers, Schools, children and young people. They deliver the national childhood measurement programme as well as advice and information on being healthy, stopping smoking, drugs, alcohol, sexual health and emotional health and wellbeing.

You can find contact details for the Public Health Nursing Team on the County Council websitewww.somerset.gov.uk/nursing