Health and early yearโ€™s practitioners work side by side to improve outcomes for children

In the future health visitors and community nursery nurses will work closely with practitioners from children's centres, private nurseries and child minders to get a complete picture of a child’s health and development.

The trust took part in a national pilot of the scheme*, working in partnership with Leeds City Council. This joint way of working is currently being embedded across the city with the goal of it being fully implemented by September 2015. The roll out of these two initiatives together is ensuring that services intervene as early as possible to secure the best outcomes for children and families.Currently, children aged 2–2 ½ years are reviewed by health visitors and early years practitioners separately. Going forward, there will be only one review and both parties will meet with families at the same time to jointly help them get a better understanding of their child’s health and learning needs.  

Lynn Inglis, Health Visiting Clinical Lead, said: “Children aged 2 are going through an important developmental stage in their life. This new approach of combining both reviews will give parents a fuller picture of how well their child is developing across a range of areas which include: speech and language, behaviour, learning, physical health and personal, social and emotional development.

“Bringing together the two reviews also allows parents the opportunity to discuss any concerns with health and education at the same time and be assured that we are working together in their child’s best interest. It is also less daunting for the child as the review is held at their early years setting. For those children not attending an early years setting they will still receive the same level of service as they currently receive under the Healthy Child Programme 2–2 ½ year review.”

Councillor Judith Blake, deputy leader of Leeds City Council and executive member for children and families, said: “In Leeds, all agencies responsible for the health, wellbeing and education of children work closely together to ensure that children in the city have the best start in life - giving them the best opportunity to progress and achieve well throughout their childhood. This new approach will mean that services from all agencies have the opportunity to intervene earlier to ensure the best outcomes for children and their families.”

Leah Johnstone, parent, said: “I thought it was really good. I got to learn about what Lacey does and how she is coming along. Also, they gave me ideas about what to do with her at home to support her learning. I was also given a report about Lacey’s development at nursery which was very informative.”


For media enquiries please contact:

Sarah Elwell

Communications Officer

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Tel: 0113 220 8514 Email:


Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust provides a range of community services in Leeds for adults and children including community nursing, health visiting, physiotherapy, community dentistry, primary care mental health, smoking cessation and sexual health services. Visit for more information.

*A full report about the study which shaped this new way of working can be read