Hartlepool groups bid for £750k to help vulnerable families

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

NUMEROUS public agencies are joining forces to bid for £750,000 of Government cash to identify and help vulnerable families under ambitious plans.

If successful, the money will be used for a Hartlepool Better Childhood Programme which aims to streamline services offered by a range of providers.

Councillors Jonathan Brash(left) and Chris Simmons.

Councillors Jonathan Brash(left) and Chris Simmons.

An expression of interest is being put together by Hartlepool Borough Council, police, hospital trust and clinical commissioning group.

The Government has set aside £320 million funding over the next two years under the Transformation Challenge Award to support similar programmes in England.

The local scheme plans to transform services around identifying vulnerable families in Hartlepool and make sure they get access to the right support.

Hartlepool’s Health and Wellbeing Board recently endorsed the bid to be submitted.

Gill Alexander, Hartlepool council’s director of child and adult services, said in a report: “The Hartlepool Better Childhood Programme will be a major initiative of the council in 2015-16.

“Seeking additional funding to support this development will enable the programme to be effectively managed and delivered with time-scales agreed by the partnership.”

The programme plans to establish an integrated single point of access to improve the sharing of information and decision making among the various agencies.

It is also proposed to establish a multi-professional team of family partners from within the health, local authority, voluntary and community sector.

Papers stated: “These teams will deliver intervention-based practice to improve outcomes in relation to education, family health, economic well being and support for children with disabilities and special educational needs.

“Organisational arrangements and service delivery models will be redesigned to create a new multi-skilled workforce model underpinned by a leadership and workforce development programme.

“It will also develop and provide mobile tools for front -line workers supporting effective monitoring and planning to ensure interventions do not drift.”

It is expected the programme will reduce the impact of neglect, poverty and health inequalities and also reduce demand saving £1m over three years.

Members of the Health and Wellbeing Board say it will make a big difference.

Board member Councillor Chris Simmons, who is also chairman of the council’s Children’s Services Committee, said: “The benefits this will bring to families and young people should be the thrust of this application.

“I hope we are successful as this will make a difference to families and children in Hartlepool.”

Some of the funding will be spent on developing software to record data including measuring the quality of the scheme.

Ali Wilson, director of commissioning at NHS Hartlepool, added: “We would certainly be able to work more quickly to achieve outcomes.”

The bid aims to be submitted by October 1.