Blackpool was part of the payment by results trial for children’s centres. There has been much work to achieve strategic link-up in order to help deliver some of the required outcomes. Decisions were taken to cross-link health and children’s services strategic groups. On the children’s centre payment by results group, health, data colleagues, children’s centre leaders (school based and hubs) come together. They have a Children’s Centre Membership Form completed by Health which gives children’s centres consent to contact families. At the Healthy Child Programme group, health visitors, school nurses, acute Trust, public health, midwifery, health strategy and early years and family support leads meet up. A link health visitor sits on each of the children’s centre advisory board.
Both groups come together to discuss many issues including the offer of free early education places to the most disadvantaged two year olds and two year progress check, as Blackpool was a pilot area for the grant for two year olds.
The close working has allowed establishment of shared targets and joint training such as breast feeding 6-8 weeks, take up of early education places, immunisation and healthy start vitamins.
There was a Memorandum of Understanding between Blackpool children’s centres and children’s community health services, through a commissioning joint agreement. It has been extended for three years to 2015. Blackpool are keen to link this work with an information sharing protocol to address bulk data sharing (particularly live birth data) and help services to deliver against their shared targets.