start well icon. Orange circle with child iconography

Start Well

We want every child to have the best start in life and enable everyone to be safe, grow and learn.

start well highlight stats. More than 200,000 who live in Humber and North Yorkshire are living in poverty, and more than 60,000 children live in low-income families. 24% of primary school children in reception are overweight or obese. By year 6 this figure rises to 33%.

The new HNY ICS Children and Young People’s Integrated ‘Start Well’ Board, is now operational and meets quarterly. The Board has oversight of all programmes of work in relation to children and young people and connects the system more effectively. It exists to advocate for children, young people, and their families across the ICS footprint and will develop, agree, and ensure delivery of agreed priorities.

Our Local Neonatal and Maternity System (LMNS) has worked hard to identify areas of ongoing need in maternity and neonatal services and support our Trusts and stakeholders to further develop best practice. Review visits have taken place and inspired the planning of a shared learning and a celebration event. Where any safety or quality concerns have been identified, joint working has been facilitated and regular oversight exists.

New systems have been introduced as vital enablers and there has been delivery of a first stage workforce plan.

Our Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnerships have grown significantly and there has been great work to promote equity and equality of maternity and neonatal care. Our ‘Ask a Midwife’ the team has benefited from more staff, translation and interpretation support. This online service delivered through social media and staffed by experienced midwives responded to over 8,000 messages in the last year and was shortlisted for a Royal College of Midwives ward in the ‘Excellence in Midwifery for Public Health’ category.

Promotion of the prevention workstreams continue with establishment of the initial ‘healthy lifestyles’ team supporting women and birthing people with high BMIs, and the smoking cessation Long Term Plan and Saving Babies Lives groups have met together to improve our smoking cessation offer; with falling rates across the LMNS.

In 2023 we hosted our first system wide Symposium, leading with the work of the Child of The North initiative, which paints a stark picture of inequality for children growing up in the North, compared with those in the rest of the country.

This was an opportunity for over 50 senior leaders from a range of key sectors across the Humber and North Yorkshire footprint to come together and discuss some of the significant health and development challenges facing children and young people, and to learn more about some of the capabilities within the region to tackle these issues, including via the Child of the North initiative. Attendees left with a clear call to action for how they need to work with partners across the region to deliver for our children and young people.

We have made a firm commitment to co-produce solutions to improve access to mental health services with our Children and Young People advisory group called ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ which has representation from over 200 young people who represent our diverse communities. There are now 18 teams across our six places to ensure mental health support in schools. 14 are now fully operational and four new teams are mobilising. Two additional teams will be funded in 2024/25.

We have improved access to self-care resources and service information for Children and Young people and families through our co-produced websites and via the Healthier Together ICS wide website. This supports parents and young people around decision making about where to access help for severe illnesses.

The CYP epilepsy network has been established and we continue our asthma pilot, for example rolling out risk stratification across some GP practices to identify the highest risk patients. Our Voluntary and Community sector continues to support some of our most vulnerable people and communities. As an example through our Children and Young People Core Connectors programme, we’re ensuring that voice and lived experience is embedded in the ICB planning.

lady with short hair (mother) holding her child up
Young boy in blue top looking over shoulder near a fountain