Cheshire and Merseyside Women’s and Children’s Services

The vanguard and the people it serves

This vanguard is aiming to develop a network for women’s and children’s services (including maternity, gynaecology, neonatal and paediatric services) across Cheshire and Merseyside to further improve quality and value for money to ensure services can be delivered in the long term.

The work has the backing of all provider trusts, clinical commissioning groups and health networks across Cheshire and Merseyside.

These include:

  • Providers: Alder Hey Children’s Hospital; Bridgewater Community Healthcare; Countess of Chester Hospital; Liverpool Women’s; Mid Cheshire Hospitals; North West Ambulance Service; Southport and Ormskirk Hospital; St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals; Warrington and Halton Hospitals; and Wirral University Teaching Hospital
  • Commissioners: the CCGs for Halton; Knowsley; Liverpool; St Helens; South Cheshire; South Sefton; Southport and Formby; Vale Royal; Warrington; West Lancashire; Wirral; West Cheshire; West Lancashire; plus NHS England
  • Health networks: Cheshire and Merseyside Maternity; Children and Young People Strategic Clinical Network; North West Neonatal Operational Delivery Network and Adult Critical Care Operational Delivery Network.

2.4 million people could benefit from the work of this vanguard.

What is changing?

The vanguard is addressing the challenges facing services for women and children locally by creating a new approach between commissioners (those organisations that plan and buy services), clinicians and providers that goes beyond organisational boundaries.

These challenges include a greater demand for services and an increase in patients with more complex needs as well as variation in quality of services. No single organisation, commissioner or provider working alone can resolve these issues and this vanguard will also enable organisations to work together to tackle challenges around workforce like recruitment, retention, retirement and the skills available in the workforce, as well as overall financial sustainability.

In addition, the vanguard is engaging more with the people who use services, so it can better understand their needs and create more personalised or targeted support, improving health and wellbeing.

Key benefits

  • Working together better will create a more effective and efficient health and care system, in terms of both quality of care and value for money
  • Engaging more with local people will help them better manage their own health.

Contact details for more information

Twitter: @ImprovingMe1

Case studies

1.    A game changer for children’s health

Game Changer, an innovative health project led by Halton Clinical Commissioning Group together with the Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club, is helping tackle obesity in children.

The aim is to make Halton school children the most active and healthy in England and Game Changer uses the brand of Widnes Vikings and its players to promote the importance of children being physically active and eating well.

Richard Munson, project lead and community integrated director for Widnes Vikings, said: “We have a clear vision of using professional sport to inspire young people, showing them how they can be physically fit and lead healthy lifestyles.

“Through this new project commissioned by the clinical commissioning group as part of the vanguard programme, we will actively work with schools, encouraging them to find an extra 15 minutes of physical exercise for pupils each day.

“We’re helping develop the skills of teachers to deliver the extra exercise in fun and simple ways, so they can create their own unique activity programme that they can maintain in the long term.

“The Vikings rugby club has worked closely with Halton Clinical Commissioning Group for a long time and is very much part of the community. Players going into schools is really inspiring for young people and the feedback from schools and pupils has been brilliant. The vanguard team has been fantastic – they were very receptive to the idea from the first.”

Planning and consultations for the Game Changer project began in October 2015 and a pilot is being delivered to year 2, 3, and 4 pupils in five schools.

The project will start at full capacity in September 2016, engaging 36 schools in areas of high deprivation (poverty) and those with high numbers of children who are overweight or obese. Each school will sign a ‘Game Changer’ pledge representing a commitment to bringing more physical activity and exercise into the school day.

The programme runs over 24 weeks with various elements provided through the Vikings including a special assembly, lunch clubs, breakfast energise circuits, FUNdamental after school multi-sport clubs, rugby coaching, access to a Game Changer app for food diaries and healthy eating recipes, and a workshop on healthy eating called ‘Eat like a pro’.

The overall aim of the programme is to reduce levels of obesity and the associated health risks such as type 2 diabetes and asthma, as well as cut down on pupils missing school through ill health. This in turn should help reduce the long term reliance on health and care services – one of the challenges being addressed by the vanguard.

Adam Daniels, health and activity coach at the Widnes Vikings Sports Foundation, added: “We are looking for behavioural change and we will be giving schools all the materials they need to continue this work with the children on their own.

“Understandably, there has been mixed support from the teachers with some worried about time lost to other subjects such as maths and English so we are trying to relate the activities to these subjects.

“During the workshops, children are given tasks to do at home and encouraged to discuss healthy eating and exercise with their parents, so we can get the whole family involved.”

The vanguard team will be evaluating the success of the project for possible roll-out to other areas in future.