Physical health - ideas from practice

DENBIGHSHIRE SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT has created the post of public health practitioner for looked-after children, which aims to promote the health and development of looked-after children. The post holder works in partnership with the child, carers, professionals and others to ensure that children are offered appropriate health care, that their records are up to date and that carers receive specialised training.

BOLTON METROPOLITAN COUNCIL AND BOLTON PRIMARY CARE TRUST have worked together to produce a health promotion agenda for looked-after children and young people, which aims to improve their physical and psychological health. The agenda includes the creation of specialist posts with specific objectives, for example to improve the take-up of immunisations, to ensure that all looked-after children are registered with both a dentist and a GP, to address issues that particularly concern young people, and to provide training for foster carers and others.

The four primary care trusts of BRADFORD DISTRICT have worked in partnership with each other and Bradford Social Services, Bradford Hospitals NHS Teaching Trust, Airedale NHS Trust and Bradford District Care Trust to plan and deliver a sustainable and holistic statutory health assessment service for looked-after children and young people.

The service delivery model was developed as a direct result of consultation and involvement of looked-after young people who advised they wanted 'someone to trust', which meant a district wide approach was essential to meet the needs of these children and young people. The underpinning ethos of the model is assertive outreach and promoting health and well being underpinned by the provision of a flexible statutory health assessment service.

CHESHIRE SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT runs a sexual health peer education programme which aims to help foster carers talk to young people about sexual health. The scheme uses two trainers to train a dozen carers to become mentors, who in turn provide both formal training sessions and support for other Cheshire carers around sexual health.