NHS SERVICES designed to give babies, children and teenagers a healthy start in life have found a North-East base after a children’s health services contract was outsourced south of the region.
Durham County Council and Darlington Borough Council agreed to award a contract for children’s health visitors and school nursing services to Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT) in 2015.
The move saw County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust’s public health team lose out to its Yorkshire counterpart, which now delivers support for North-East youngsters from birth to 19-years-old.
However, the Growing Healthy team, operated by HDFT, has since agreed to move into a 6,000sq ft office in Darlington’s Lingfield Point business park.
The team of 58 public health workers will oversee immunisation and screening – including measuring and weighing children throughout primary school – out of their new site.
Paul Simpson, head of the Growing Healthy service in Darlington, said: “We’re really happy to be moving into our lovely new offices and are looking forward to being part of this thriving community.
“This will give us a great base from which to deliver the important services we provide to families and children around Darlington.”
The Growing Healthy team remit includes the National Child Measurement Programme, offering advice on a range of health issues such as disability, smoking, drugs, alcohol and sex education.
The health visitor service is also offered by the HDFT team, which is provided to families with children under the age of five to five them at-home child health reviews and newborn baby support.
Lingfield Point, off McMullen Road in Darlington, has around 3,000 people working onsite, which also includes a children’s nursery.
A commercial deal was brokered by Connect Property North East (CPNE) to bring the NHS service to the business park that is home to some of Darlington’s largest employers, Capita and The Student Loans Company.
Tim Carter, director of CPNE, said: “This is a great deal for both Lingfield Point and the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.
“Securing this letting demonstrates the wide appeal of Lingfield Point to a variety of occupiers and is testament to all of the hard work that goes into running and maintaining this unique business location.”
The team’s office will be based in Lingfield Point’s Beehive building.
Eddie Humphries, estate manager at Lingfield Point, said: “I’m pleased to welcome the healthy Cchild service into its new office.”