Video: Leicestershire Partnership shares their delivery of the Healthy Child Programme

On the second day of HTN Now April we were joined by Jasmine Feakes, Digital Practitioner and Oliver Kyle, Digital Engagement Lead at Leicester Partnership NHS Trust to discuss the delivery of the Healthy Child Programme using digital tools.

The presentation started with Jasmine outlining the Healthy Together programme. She said: “Healthy Together is the name for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s 0-19 public health nursing service covering health visiting and school nursing delivered across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. A vital and growing element of the services is its digital presence, as parents and carers of young people want easy access to trusted information and advice about all aspects of their health and wellbeing.”

Healthy Together contains online resources aimed at differing age demographics, as Jasmine explains: “Healthy Together comprises of a number of different resources. We have our ‘Health for’ websites; Health for Teens is designed for secondary school age children, offering information advice in the form of articles videos, audio snippets, and quizzes. Health for Kids is our website aimed at primary school aged children and has a dedicated area for parents and carers. Health for Under 5s is aimed at parents and carers of nought to five-year-olds, providing support both for them and their young children from pregnancy through to preschool.”

Over the course of the past year, the websites have been updated with vital information around the COVID-19 pandemic. Oliver says: “These digital resources have become a vital tool for sharing important health messages with children, young people, and families when face-to-face contacts have been restricted. In such unprecedented circumstances, we’ve maintained and developed user-friendly trusted and evidence-based web content, to support our local community in staying safe. There’s been a continual development of new content to reflect the changing needs of the population during this period.”

Providing support for parents and caregivers during the pandemic was also a key factor of the overall Healthy Together strategy, as Oliver details: “We also published content within the Health for Kids grownups area. This included lists of useful educational resources that children could use whilst learning from home, advice on how to get children talking about how they are feeling, and any worries they may be having – as well as tips on how to support a child as they prepared to return to school.”

Accessibility and digital inclusion was discussed, as Oliver explained how a new piece of software helped the trust improve their accessibility. He said: “To make it [as] easy as possible for users to get the most out of the content we publish on Health for Teens, Health for Kids, and Health for Under 5s, we’ve added BrowseAloud – the world leading digital inclusion software. This software helps you navigate around the site, understand the content and interact with the website independently. Some of the features of BrowseAloud include text to speech, so the software will read aloud the text when hovering over it or when selecting a specific page or paragraph.”

Jasmine and Oliver then reflected on the website statistics and how traffic on the website has been impacted by the pandemic. “Health for Teens saw a 27% increase in users in 2020 compared to 2019, with nearly 260,000 pages viewed on the site in 12 months. Health for Kids saw an increase of 25% in the number of users in 2020 compared to 2019, just short of 95,000, [and there was] also nearly 400,000 page views on the website during the year.”

Healthy Together was also recognised for its work in the community in October of last year. Jasmine said: “We were delighted and extremely proud to be recognised as the overall winner of the Forward Healthcare Awards in October 2020. It was great recognition for the hard work that has gone into developing the Healthy Together digital offer, not just in the last year but for a number of previous years, and to the whole Healthy Together team for pulling together and supporting children, young people and families in an innovative way.”

Collaboration and shared learnings form an important pillar of the Healthy Together project, as Oliver closed the session by saying: “We have a dedicated digital development team who can support other NHS organisations to deliver robust, reliant, and NHS compliant digital solutions to service their local area. From launching the chat health text messaging support services to creating dedicated local areas on the Health For websites and switching to digital health and wellbeing forms, they can support you in the implementation and ongoing delivering marketing of these solutions.”

Watch the full video of the session below