June 13, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

New health advice messaging service launches for families in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

A new messaging service has been launched in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to link young people and families with health visitors and school nurses.

Called Chat Health, it aims to provide a quick and easy way to access health advice and support about anything from potty training and breastfeeding to accessing drugs and alcohol support.

This new service enhances our existing health visiting and school nursing advice line.

The new Chat Health messaging service

There are three dedicated numbers:

  • Young people aged 11-19 can call 07312 263 096
  • Parents or carers of children aged 0-5 can call 07312 263 423
  • Parents or carers of children and young people aged 5-19 can call 07312 263 499

When a text message is sent, an automated reply confirms it has been received. A trained healthcare professional within the health visiting or school nursing teams will then reply within 48 hours.

Funded by the government’s Start for Life programme, the new service fully launches on Monday, January 22, and will be available Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) from 9am to 5pm.

Confidential help and advice are available for a range of health concerns, including:

  • Sleep
  • Child development
  • Support with behaviour
  • Toileting
  • Feeding and nutrition
  • Keeping safe and healthy
  • Childhood illnesses and support with medical conditions at school
  • Emotional, mental health and wellbeing
  • Relationships
  • Smoking and vaping
  • Drugs and alcohol

Cllr Barbara Ellenbroek, cabinet member for children and families at Cornwall Council, said:

“This new messaging service is a great addition to the Start for Life offer in Cornwall, which aims give parents, carers and families wraparound support on their parenting journeys.

“Our health visitors and school nurses do a fantastic job and this is a new and innovative way for people to quickly and easily access their knowledge and expertise.

“It is one of the council’s priorities to make Cornwall a brilliant place to be a child and grow up, and initiatives like Chat Health are instrumental in making this happen.”

Further information about the new service can be found on the Chat Health webpage on the council’s website.

Chat Health is not an emergency service. Urgent health advice should be sought from an NHS walk-in centre or by calling NHS 111. In an emergency, dial 999 or go to A&E.

Press release issued on January 22, 2024.

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