A new health visiting and school nursing text service is being launched by Livewell Southwest to provide help and support to families and young people in Plymouth, and make it easier for them to get advice.
With more and more people using hand held mobile devices in their daily lives, the ChatHealth text service is an easy way for parents, carers and young people to confidentially ask for help about a range of issues, or make an appointment with a health visitor or school nurse.
They can also find out how to access other local services which support families and young people such as breast feeding advice, emotional support and sexual health services. In other areas of the country using ChatHealth, service users have reported that they like using the service because it is less embarrassing, quick and easy, anonymous and non-judgemental.
Livewell Southwest is the provider of integrated physical and NHS mental health services and adult social care in Plymouth, supporting people to lead independent, healthy lives. The social enterprise’s children’s service works to provide children and young people with the best start in life – at home, at school and in the wider community.
Launched this week, ChatHealth will allow parents, carers and young people in Plymouth to send messages to a dedicated number which will be delivered to a secure website. Once there, texts will be responded to by the Livewell Southwest health visiting and school nursing team within one working day.
The service will be available Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm, excluding bank holidays. During out–of–hours, anyone who texts the service will receive an automated message with advice on where to get help if their question is urgent.
Tracy Clasby, Head of Children, Young People and Families at Livewell Southwest said: “We are really pleased to be able to offer ChatHealth to parents, carers and young people in Plymouth. It will make accessing health services easier, more accessible and less daunting for them.
“Our children’s services act as local leaders in health for young people and their families; they work as part of the school and community to improve health and wellbeing. This new model embraces creativity, positively encourages innovation tailoring the service to meet the needs of individuals, putting children and families at the centre of all we do.”
Text messages can be sent to the following dedicated numbers:
Livewell ChatHealth 0-5 years Parents Service – 07480 635188
Livewell ChatHealth 5-10 years Parents Service – 07480 635189
Livewell ChatHealth 11-19 years Young Peoples Service – 07480 635198