Agenda item

Agenda item

Children's Community Health Services

Report of the Strategic Director of Children and Education Services


This is the first Children’s Community Health Service (CCHS) report received by the Committee, although it should be noted that CCHS provides a partner contribution to a number of Committee reports.  The purpose of this report is to;


  • Provide an overview of CCHS
  • Provide a short summary of CCHS’s response to the covid 19 pandemic
  • Consider the national and CCHS position, post covid, for children
  • Share the current areas of focus for CCHS
  • Detail a number of recommendations


The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director of Children and Education Services which provided an overview of CCHS and a short summary of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, considered the national and CCHS position post-COVID-19 for children and shared the current areas of focus for CCHS.


Key points and themes in the report included:


  • CCHS within the Manchester Foundation Trust and Manchester Local Care Organisation;
  • An overview of CCHS;
  • The CCHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Post COVID-19/living with COVID-19, the national position for children and the CCHS position;
  • CCHS areas of focus; and
  • Partnership workstreams.


Some of the key points and themes that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:


  • The Asthma Friendly Schools Project
  • The take-up of baby immunisations;
  • The Impact of the pandemic on young people’s social and emotional development and the impact of dealing with this on the mental health of staff in schools and Alternative Provision;
  • The impact of poverty and the cost-of-living crisis on children and families;
  • The response to child obesity; and
  • Children using e-cigarettes.


Nicola Marsden, Assistant Director, CCHS, reported that factors affecting the schools identified for the Asthma Friendly Schools Project were lack of green space and busy roads, which impacted on asthma.  The Assistant Director (Children’s Services) informed Members about partnership work on asthma, including Adult Social Care and Neighbourhoods Directorate, which was focused on prevention.


Nicola Marsden reported that GPs were responsible for baby immunisation and that there had been a lower uptake since the pandemic and that work was taking place at a local and national level to ensure positive, consistent messaging on immunisation.  In response to a question about the HPV vaccine, she advised that there were concerns about the level of uptake of this, along with other vaccines; however, this was about to change from a two-immunisation programme to a one-immunisation programme which should have a positive impact on uptake.  She also confirmed that, since 2018, the HPV vaccine had been available to both boys and girls.  She recognised the Member’s comments about the impact of the pandemic on young people’s social and emotional development, commenting that similar issues were being seen by Health teams, and advised that the Healthy Schools Team were supporting schools with these issues.  She advised that a lot of studies were taking place on the mental health impact of the pandemic.


In response to Members’ comments and questions in relation to eyesight, Tracey Forster, Lead Manager, CCHS reported that a vision screening programme took place in Reception year and she noted that increased use of small screens during the pandemic, as well as increased screen time, could possibly induce myopia at an earlier age.  The Chair stated that schools should encourage families to get their children’s vision tested regularly.


In response to a Member’s question about “ghost children”, children who had not returned to school after the pandemic, the Executive Member for Early Years, Children and Young People suggested that this be considered in a separate report, to which the Chair agreed.


In response to a question about hearing tests, Nicola Marsden reported that there was a national programme for vision and hearing in Reception year and that there was also an audiology service available from newborn to 18 years of age and that health professionals going into schools could provide advice and signpost to services, as appropriate.  In response to the question about obesity, she reported that Healthy Schools Programme shared positive messages and information on healthy eating and that the National Child Measurement Programme in Reception and Year 6 identified obesity issues.  She informed Members about the Healthy Weight Team, which helped children who were severely obese through a 12-month programme of support for the child and their family, stating that the staffing team for this had been increased.  She advised that the school nursing team and GPs could also provide help and advice.  In response to the question about children vaping, she advised that healthy lifestyle messages were being shared and that initial research on the effects of e-cigarettes was concerning.   




To receive a report on school attendance and, in particular, work taking place in relation children who have not returned to school after the pandemic.


[Councillor Nunney declared a disclosable pecuniary interest as an employee of Manchester Foundation Trust and left the room for this item.]

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