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Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust Southern Health Covid-19 Service Changes

Chat Health advice line for parents of school-aged children

Friday 29 May 2020

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s School Nursing services has introduced a new ChatHealth text messaging service, a quick and easy way for parents with school aged children to get help, advice and support about their child’s physical and mental and emotional wellbeing. The new service is launching on 1 June 2020, the same day more children are welcomed back into schools across Hampshire after their home-schooling experience.

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The new ChatHealth service is available to all parents living in Hampshire (excluding Southampton city and Portsmouth city) with school-aged children between the ages of 5-19. The service offers support on issues such as sleep, behaviour, toileting, health conditions, emotional wellbeing, advice on keeping safe and much more.  Parents can text a question or worry to the ChatHealth number on 07507332417 and an experienced and qualified member of the school nursing service will respond within one day.

Monica Unsworth, School Nursing Team Lead, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust says,

“We understand these are challenging times and this can be very overwhelming for both parents and children. Our parent ChatHealth service offers a safe and confidential platform for parents to ask any questions about their child’s emotional or physical wellbeing and to share any worries they may have about their children’s health. We urge any parent who needs healthcare advice about their child to send us a text; we are here to support you.”

The 5-19 ChatHealth service also hopes to support worried parents as children begin to go back to school this week, as part of Government plans to ease lockdown restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Laura Din, Mum to Darcey, aged 7, says,

“These are just such worrying times for any parent. You just want the best for your child and to know when they go to back to school that it’s a safe environment for them. I really welcome the new ChatHealth service as I naturally worry about my daughter’s safety and emotional wellbeing. It’s nice to know that there is a quick and easy text messaging service available, where a qualified health professional is there to answer any questions I have and put my mind at ease.”

The new service follows the success of the existing ChatHealth messaging service for parents with children ages 0-5. Health visitors have in the last three months, advised over 3000 parents with children aged 0-5 in Hampshire via a text conversation.

Ginny Taylor, Deputy Director Operations Children and Family Services, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, says

“Our ChatHealth service for under 5 year olds has been providing vital support to parents and children for over two years and our ChatHealth service for 11-19 year olds, has been offering help and advice to young people for over 5 years.

We know that now, more than ever, being able to provide support and advice to families in many different ways including texting is so important. Our new ChatHealth service for parents with children aged 5-19 will help us to continue providing that support to even more parents across Hampshire

To access the new 5-19 Parent ChatHealth text messaging service, please text your questions to 07507332417. 

The service is available Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) from 9am-4.30pm on Monday to Thursday and 9am til 4pm on Friday. 

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