New provider for Wiltshire’s Children’s Services

A new Wiltshire-focused NHS service for children, young people and families has launched this week. Delivered by Virgin Care the new Wiltshire Children’s Community Health Service will provide consistent and equitable levels of service and support to children and their families no matter where they live in the county.

Community child health services in Wiltshire were previously provided by five separate organisations.  As well as providing a fair and equitable service, the new Wiltshire Children’s Community Health Service, provided by Virgin Care will improve communications between services to enhance the experience for children, young people and families by responding directly to the needs of Wiltshire’s community.

Virgin Care will provide services like speech and language therapy, learning disability nursing and school nursing, among others, to children and young people in Wiltshire.

Virgin Care has a strong track record of delivering NHS services over the last decade, having seen more than four million NHS patients since then.  The organisation currently delivers Integrated Children’s Services in Devon and adult community services elsewhere, alongside various community treatment services across England and GP surgeries. In Devon, Virgin Care brought together health and social care services for children when it took over delivery of those services in 2012.

Jayne Carroll, Virgin Care’s Regional Director, says:
“Since we were named preferred bidder we’ve been working alongside the existing providers and with the very talented colleagues to ensure that the service was ready to go on day one with as few changes to the services families receive as possible.

“Over the coming months we’ll continue that work to make sure the transition to the Virgin Care-provided service is as smooth as possible for children and young people.

“Things won’t change overnight but we’re committed to continuing to listen to feedback from children, young people and families in order to build a truly Wiltshire-focused service which serves the needs of the people who use it.”

Corporate Director for Wiltshire Council, Carolyn Godfrey, Deborah Fielding Accountable Officer for NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Debra Elliott Director of Commissioning for NHS England jointly comment:
“Bringing together community child health services from across the county under one provider was a key priority for us. We want to ensure that every child in Wiltshire has the same access to services regardless of where they live in the county.

“Virgin Care’s plans to utilise digital technology to enhance communication will allow health care practitioners more time with children and their parents or carers. We are confident that Virgin Care can deliver services to our children that reflect their needs, are closer to home and are of the highest standard.”

Colleagues working for the five previous providers who delivered these services have transferred to Virgin Care under TUPE rules which maintain their terms and conditions pay and pension. The majority of service users will see no change to the staff they see and where changes have happened this has already been discussed, and managed, over the past three months.

Notes to editors

  • Services provided in Swindon do not form part of the community child health services in Wiltshire contract

The following services are part of Wiltshire Community Children’s Health Services

  • Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting and School Nursing)
  • Children’s Community Nursing Service
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Integrated Paediatric Therapy Service (Occupational therapy and Physiotherapy)
  • Family Nurse Partnership
  • Children’s Learning Disability Nursing
  • Community Paediatricians – including Designated Doctor LAC, Safeguarding and Child Death Review
  • Safeguarding Children Service
  • Looked after children’s Health Service
  • Portage (Pre-school educational play in South Wiltshire only)
  • Child Health Information Service