Healthy Child Service launched in North Yorkshire
A Healthy Child Service focusing on prevention and early intervention, will be launched on April 1 by North Yorkshire County Council.
The service targets five-19-year-olds and comprises of four different strands, including the wellbeing of school pupils and supporting children with emotional health issues.
Children and young people who are ‘overweight or severely overweight’ will also be targeted by a new Healthy Lifestyle service which offers advice and support to help them manage their weight.
A residential weight management programme will provide a number of places each year for severely overweight children under the new service.
Louise Dunn, principle officer for children and young people’s service and public health, said it ‘makes sense’ different strands that had been commissioned separately, now work together.
She said: “It’s bringing together different strands that would normally be delivered separately. A lot of the work we do will be delivered through schools but not exclusively.
“One part of the system will be looking at children who are overweight, we will then be able offer those families, if they would like, extra help and advice which is something that’s different to previously.
“Rather than in the past just saying that your child is overweight, you will now have additional help and support.”
Ms Dunn stressed the new service would not be replacing GPs but will offer ‘another option’ for children when they require advice, reassurance and additional support.
The council is hoping that the switch of focus to prevention will improve children’s wellbeing whilst avoiding ‘complacency’ in maintaining their health.
Ms Dunn said: “If you compare us to local authority areas then yes, our children and young people are doing very well but we do not want to be complacent.
“Some of our children are still overweight and we need to do things about it. We need to be saying we can do better,”