Staff from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT)’s Healthy Together 0-19 service are celebrating today, after being named the overall winners of this year’s Forward Healthcare Awards, organised by Leading Healthcare, at a virtual ceremony yesterday evening.
Healthy Together is the name for LPT’s public health nursing service (health visiting and school nursing) which is delivered across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, and serves more than 250,000 children and young people and their families. Healthy Together’s digital offer was a finalist in the ‘Supporting Healthcare Teams through Technology’ category, but was chosen by the judges out of 27 finalists across different categories as this year’s overall winner. The Forward Healthcare Awards celebrate and share great work across health and care nationwide which has made a difference.
The Healthy Together digital offer includes three public health websites: Health for Under 5s (www.healthforunder5s.co.uk), Health for Kids (www.healthforkids.co.uk) and Health for Teens (www.healthforteens.co.uk). Written by public health nursing professionals, with contributions from specialists such as dietitians, psychologists and speech and language therapists, these provide a trusted source of information and advice about all aspects of the physical and emotional wellbeing of children, young people and families. They also signpost to other useful and approved sources of health information and support. Each website is tailored to the specific needs of its target audience, and the sites include videos, games, animations and quizzes to make the user experience fully interactive.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the three websites have become a vital tool for sharing important health messages with children, young people and families at a time when face-to-face contacts with health professionals have had to be restricted. In these unprecedented circumstances, the user-friendly, evidence-based content has helped the local community take steps to stay safe and well.
Specific content around Coronavirus was developed at pace across all three sites from March, including advice around the emotional impact of the pandemic and how to manage this. The downloadable ‘Looking After Yourself kit’ aimed at primary school age children and their families, was developed during the initial stages of lockdown for the ‘grown-ups’ section of Health for Kids. One parent commented that her daughter had spent days reading the booklet which helped her understand her feelings, and still goes back to it now “when she has an anxious feeling in her tummy”.
Another important resource is the antenatal video series, ‘Bumps to Babies’. This was added to the Health for Under 5s website to support prospective parents to access important information about pregnancy, labour and looking after their newborn at a time when popular group sessions have had to be suspended.
The judges said: “We were delighted to name Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s Healthy Together 0-19 Public Health Digital Offer for the overall winner award. Against a back-drop of unforeseen challenges this year, we were extremely impressed with how the Healthy Together programme offers support for children, young people and families in the area in an innovative way.”
Following last night’s win, head of service for Healthy Together, Janet Harrison, said: “I’m hugely proud of this achievement, which is testament the hard work, knowledge and passion of people across the service. There has never been a more important time to lead the way in digital innovation, and we continue to be committed to improving the information, support and help we provide for our children, young people and families to ensure improved health and wellbeing outcomes.”
LPT’s Healthy Together digital offer has been successfully replicated in several areas across the country, with local pages on the websites launched by NHS Trusts for Coventry, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Manchester, Nottinghamshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Solihull, Staffordshire and Stoke and Walsall. Further local pages are expected to launch in the coming months for Plymouth and Enfield. Local pages on the Health for Under 5s website will be available soon. NHS Trusts interested in setting up a similar digital offer can be supported by LPT’s dedicated digital development team.