We are transforming children’s community services, making them more effective, more responsible and more accessible than ever before.
We run 17 community services in Wiltshire and Bath and North East Somerset for children and young people and their parents and carers.
These services look after the physical, medical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of children and young people up to the age of 19.
We provide everything from public health nursing (also known as health visiting and school nursing), to specialist support for children and young people with physical, sensory or learning needs and disabilities.
• Children and young people and their families are at the centre of everything we do and evidence how they shape the future direction of our service.
• Develop pathways of care to ensure children and young people are seen by the most appropriate set of professionals, working as a team.
• Have one record so people only have to tell their story once; we will work to develop an integrated record for this service.
• Work alongside early years schemes to ensure that prevention and early identification of issues increase.
• Offer a ‘one stop shop’ through our Single Point of Access team.
• Mobile working – staff have the equipment they need to enable them to concentrate on face to face delivery.
• Innovation – to deliver services in the way children and young people want us to engage and interact with them.
Our story – how we have built a better service
We began building a single Wiltshire-based service in 2016, pulling together a complex and widespread service which had previously been run by five organisations (three NHS, one local authority and one social enterprise).
Since then, we have transformed children’s services, making them much more user friendly, accessible and effective. The effort we put in was recognised by our commissioners who last year extended our contract by a further two years.
Before we took over, our colleagues were based in over 40 different estates –some in Wiltshire and some out of the county. Our commissioners wanted an integrated, Wiltshire-based service.
When we began, care was often given in non-child friendly accommodation and we had significant vacancies in many key service areas, resulting in skills shortages.
Children were on long waiting lists for both their first referrals (some waiting over 52 weeks) and also follow up appointments.
A lack of electronic systems meant that when we started the contract, we inherited 260,000 paper records.
The picture is very different now.
We have just three hubs in Salisbury, Chippenham and Trowbridge, which act as bases for our clinical teams and admin support.
Care is given in child-friendly clinic environments.
We have used technology to bring about massive improvements in patient records, making appointments, gaining parent consent for immunisations, carrying out virtual appointments and clinics and a host of other initiatives which have made life better not just for our colleagues but the people we care for.
There is clinical integration – joined up care across services and organisations to make sure the children get the right care from the right people at the right time.
We listen. By engaging with the children, young people and their families and carers and by putting them at the heart of everything we do, they are involved in the design, delivery and monitoring of our services. We consistently get over 40 compliments a month from the people who use our services.
We also make sure that needs are identified early and help is offered to support the child and family as early as possible. We then encourage families to work alongside the professionals in delivering the care their child or young person needs and working with them to tackle issues affecting the whole family
By working closely with colleagues in other organisations we can deliver services that are co-ordinated and responsive to children and young people’s needs.
Access to safe, high quality, evidence based services is the same for everyone and we are continually making sure that we are delivering the best practice to meet identified need.
One reason we have been able to deliver this transformation in just four years is by having an excellent workforce and by making sure that the people who work with children, young people and families in Wiltshire are appropriately trained, well supported to develop their skills and committed to delivering the best care possible.
What's next for Wiltshire?
Having been given a major vote of confidence by our commissioners who have asked us to continue providing the community children’s services in Wiltshire, we will now be focusing our work on reviewing, recovering and transitioning our children’s services to a post Covid pandemic environment.
We are committed to exploring and implementing new and innovative approaches for service delivery, and using technology as an alternative to face to face consultations, whilst maintaining face to face consultations for priority children and families.
Among the exciting future developments we are exploring are:
• Better clinical systems –Integrated Care Records and shared information and health intelligence.
• More electronic consent/notification to make it quicker and easier to book vaccinations.
• Developing video links for consultation with parents and young people.
• More development of SPA and working more closely with colleagues in Wiltshire Council and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) SPAs.
• Working with commissioners to develop additional care pathways for taking bloods, IV antibiotics, dressings –to support early discharge.
• Working with commissioners to review additional acute/community pathways across county, eg Cystic Fibrosis, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Featured Case Study
The ability to provide a quick, efficient and flexible immunisation service has never been more important and Virgin Care has developed a model allowing it to efficiently run vaccination programmes over large geographical areas.
A virtual teaching session to help young people cope with the pressures of coronavirus is being offered by our Wiltshire business unit to all secondary schools in the county after a successful trial over the summer.
Virgin Care is making it easier to access Wiltshire Children’s Community Services, enabling children and their families to get the help they need more efficiently.
We ensure that young people and families have all the support and professional advice they need to help live healthy lifestyles.
We oversee some community health and social care services in Bath and North East Somerset.
We ensure that families have free and easy access to local health services in the community; whether in a local clinic, play area or in a family’s home.
We provide similar services across the country, where we’ve invested significantly in bringing services together and improving the experience for the people who use our services.