7th Dec, 2016

Local health visitor and family nurse service may be privatised

Stratford Editorial 24th Jul, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A SERVICE supporting nearly 7,000 families in the area could be privatised after being put out to tender.

The health visitor service and family nurse programme works with families who have children up to the age of five.

It is currently provided by South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, but Warwickshire County Council – which is responsible for children’s services – plan to put the £6.5million contract out to tender.

A spokesman told the Observer: “From October 2015, local authorities took responsibility from NHS England for commissioning public health services for children aged 0 to five.

“The county council must undertake a procurement exercise in line with our legal obligations.

“ Our intentions are to commence the procurement process in January 2017 with a view to having a new contract in place by 1st October 2017.”

The services affected will include the health visitor service, which provides health checks and advice for parents, and the family nurse programme – a home visiting service for first time young parents.

The spokesman added: “We have already undertaken engagement work with families and communities and will continue to do this over the coming months to ensure the services we commission are designed to meet local need and achieve best value for money.”