A NEW ‘single point of access’ Advice Line for parents and carers launches today (Monday, February 1).
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s Healthy Family Team wants parents, carers and health professionals to take advantage of the new county-wide service, which will offer advice and support over the telephone.
Jo Lewis, Service Manager for Children and Young People, said: “We will have one single point of access across the county.
“It is set up to be there for parents and carers to get the advice they need at the time they need it, with this service from the Healthy Family Team across the county.
“Parents can ring up and if they need advice, they will be able to be given that advice at that point in time.
“It is open to any parent or carer in Nottinghamshire, we offer a universal service and any parents or children can access this.”
The Advice Line is not just open to parents and carers of children aged 0-19 years, it is also accessible by GPs and other professionals, such as those working in social care.
Topics that are covered by the Advice Line include 0-19 behaviour management and support, sleeping, emotional support, breastfeeding and infant feeding.
The Healthy Family Team previously had separate Advice Lines for different areas of the county, such as Ashfield and Broxtowe, but this new initiative combines the resources into a single Advice Line.
It will operate out of two sites in the north and the south of the county, but both teams will support callers from across Nottinghamshire.
The Advice Line will operate Monday to Friday, from 9am to 4.30pm, and can be accessed by calling 0300 123 3387 (Option 4).
It will run alongside existing support services such as Parentline, a confidential text messaging service for parents and carers across Nottinghamshire.
The texting service (text 07520 619919) is an easy way for parents and carers of children aged 0–19 years to confidentially ask for help about a range of issues, such as feeding and nutrition, child development, parenting advice and support, emotional health and wellbeing, behaviour difficulties and family health.
And a similar service, ChatHealth, operates for young people aged 11-19 years. The ChatHealth text service (text 07507 329952) is an easy way for young people to confidentially ask for help about a range of issues. They can also find out how to access other local services including emotional support or sexual health services.
The Advice Line launch is taking place at the start of Children’s Mental Health Week, which runs from February 1-7, with the theme of Express Yourself.