Caroline Dinenage MP has welcomed Southern Health’s new strategy for improving services available to young families. This brings together existing health visitor and family nurse services with community expertise provided by the charity Barnardo’s.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust was awarded the 0-5 year public health nursing contract by Hampshire County Council earlier this year, and the new contract took effect on the 1st of April. It provides four levels of graduated support based on the individual needs of each family. 

In partnership with Barnardo’s, who work directly with over 240,000 children, young people and their families across the country every year, Southern Health will develop and grow their community support networks. Further to this, all families will be offered five appointments at key stages throughout pregnancy and during the first two years of life. Specialised advice will be offered to families who would benefit from extra support in relation to particular issues, such as breastfeeding or healthy eating. A fourth level of support has been designed to ensure that families with more complex requirements are provided with individually tailored care plans.

Commenting, Caroline said, ‘Every family is different, and it’s really encouraging to see this recognised in the structure of support being delivered by Southern Health. Barnardo’s expertise should really help to ensure that all families have ready access to advice and assistance, as well as supportive social networks, which can make such a big difference. Being a parent can be incredibly difficult and no parent should feel like a failure for asking for help.’

More information about Southern Health’s Health Visiting service is available here: