Image of cartoon community characters including, families, children, young people and parents surround by buildings and Starting Well Partnership logo

The Starting Well Partnership which is led by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and includes Barnardo’s, Action for Children, and Redditch Borough Council, brings together a range of professionals that will support ‘parents to be’ and their children during the early years and will ensure young people’s health needs are met as they move through school towards adulthood.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust Logo  Action for Children Logo Barnardos Logo    Redditch Borough Council Logo

Our Vision

Our vision is for Worcestershire to be a wonderful place for all children and young people to grow up. We believe it is important that children and young people grow up safe from harm, to reach their potential and to lead happy, healthy, and fulfilled lives.

What we do

The Partnership works alongside lots of local organisations and community groups including schools to identify and address health and wellbeing needs by empowering local families and young people to access networks and groups across the community to get the help and support they need.

Working within six district teams across Worcestershire.  Each district has a Public Health Nurse Team lead and Community & Parenting Lead, the rest of the teams are made up of Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (Health Visitors & School Health Nurses), Parenting Support Workers, Community Nursery Nurses, Stop Smoking Advisors, Health Care Support Workers, Volunteer Coordinators, Community Health Connectors, Business Support Officers and Administrators.

Below is the latest version of the ‘Professionals Guide to the Starting Well Partnership’

Download our Starting Well Partnership Pack.

Professional contacts

Clinical Services Lead – Louise Langston

Senior Administrator and PA to Clinical Services Lead – Harriet Knight

Operational LeadsDeborah Lindsay (Clinical) and Suzie McKeown (Non-Clinical)

Named Nurse for Looked After ChildrenBev Downing

Infant Feeding Co-ordinator -  Anthea Griffths

Clinical Project Manager for new staff and students – Lisa Dare and Sophie Ballard

School Aged SchoolScreener Project ManagerJulie Lunn


Public Health Nurse Lead - Katie Ebanks

Community and Parenting Lead – Laura Palin


Public Health Nurse Lead - Kate Tate

Community and Parenting Lead – Laura Palin

Wyre Forest

Public Health Nurse Lead - Sue Hertherington

Community and Parenting Lead – Emily Bywater


Public Health Nurse Leads — Laura Edmead & Linda Murphy

Community and Parenting Lead – Vanessa Cole


Public Health Nurse Lead - Lucy Foster

Community and Parenting Lead – Vanessa Cole


Public Health Nurse Lead – Sally Weaver

Community and Parenting Lead – Vanessa Cole

Healthy Child Programme

The Starting Well Partnership delivers the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) for families with children aged 0-19 years and up to 25 years for those children and young people with special needs.

The Healthy Child Programme (HCP) is a public health programme for children, young people and families which focuses on early intervention and prevention. The HCP offers a programme of screening tests, immunisations, developmental reviews, information and guidance to support parenting and healthy lifestyle choices.

The 0-5 years Healthy Child Programme contacts include:

  • Antenatal contact
  • New birth visit at 10-14 days
  • Contact at 6-8 weeks
  • A child health review/development assessment by one year of age
  • A child health review/development assessment by two and a half years of age
  • A child health review/development assessment may be offered between 3-5 years

The 5-19 Healthy Child Programme offers support for health and wellbeing to all children and young people living in Worcestershire. Parents of young children and young people will be asked to complete a digital health needs assessment via a platform called SchoolScreener at the following times:

  • 4-5 year old health needs assessment
  • 10-11 year old health needs assessment
  • 12-13 year old health needs assessment

We are also responsible for:

  • Measuring and weighing children in reception and year 6 as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP)
  • Universal screening for vision and audiology for reception children
  • Supporting children and families with additional health needs or disability
  • Relationships, sexual health and pregnancy
  • Promoting healthy lifestyles in schools and communities through health education

Team roles

Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (Health Visitor)

Our Health Visitors provide a professional public health service based on best evidence of what works for individuals, families, groups, and communities; enhancing health and reducing health inequalities through a proactive, universal service for all children 0-5 years and for vulnerable populations targeted according to need. They visit families at home or in a Family Hub or clinic to assess a child’s health and development needs and signpost and work with families as appropriate.

Our health visitors also offer families the Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-visiting, (MESCH) programme. MESCH aims to provide families with an assigned Specialist Community Public Health Nurse who will work with families during pregnancy, visiting them regularly at home to provide ongoing support around child development and practical issues such as feeding and settling until the child turns two years old.

For more information visit the health visiting section of the website.

Community Nursery Nurse

Community Nursery Nurses have specialist knowledge around child development and work closely with our Health Visitors to assess a child’s needs. They can also provide lots of support and guidance on feeding, weaning, sleep and development.

Specialist Public Health Nurses (School Health Nurses)

School Health Nurses are trained nurses or midwives who have received additional training in improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people. They work with families and young people from 5 to 19 years and are usually linked to a group of schools in their local area. School Health Nurses work across education and healthcare settings, providing a link for young people between school, home and the community.

For more information visit the School Health Nursing section of the website. You can refer a child/ young person by completing the online referral form.

Health Care Support Workers

The Healthcare Care Support Workers work very closely with the School Health Nurses. They work with young people within schools and carry out the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). They can also provide a variety of information to families with school aged children.

Community Health Connectors

These are community workers who know the local area well and are aware of what support and services are available to families locally. They support parents and carers with all sorts of information and guidance around services ranging from free childcare, how to get the correct vitamins, support for children with additional needs, local holiday activities and other services which could be of interest for you and your family.

The Community Health Connectors promote the latest information and guidance through awareness weeks such as ‘Children’s Oral Health Smile month’ etc. They may ask families for their views and feedback to help us to make our services better.

You can request parenting support by completing the online referral form.

Parent Support Workers

Parent Support Workers are experienced workers who have had additional training in parenting strategies. They know that being a parent is one of the most rewarding things in the world, yet at times it can also be incredibly challenging. Parent Support Workers can provide groups to give parents opportunities to build confidence, consider additional strategies and to gain advice/support and meet other parents. During the sessions there will be discussions and time to explore topics to help manage children’s behaviour so everyone in the family enjoys life more. Regardless the age of a child, a Parent Support Worker can support parents and carers to get the most from family life.

Breastfeeding Support Workers

Breastfeeding Support Workers have had lots of experience and additional training in how to provide feeding support to expectant & new families. They make every effort to contact all mothers living in Worcestershire within 48 hours of hospital discharge or home birth. Together with Peer Support Volunteers and NCT Breastfeeding Counsellors they also provide Breastfeeding Support groups at sites across Worcestershire.

Stop Smoking Advisors

Stop Smoking Advisors are available to support families with a child up to the age of three years old to quit smoking. Helping individuals to set a quit date while providing ongoing monitoring and support. For more information about the Smoke Free Homes service

Volunteer Co-ordinators

A Starting Well Volunteer Co-ordinator is available within each district across Worcestershire. They ensure the service has effective and rigorous processes to ensure our volunteers and peer supporters receive the best possible management support and progression if desired, and our service receives maximum benefit from our volunteers’ and peer support contribution.

The co-ordinators’ support our Start for Life Peer Support Volunteers, Community Hub Volunteers, Breastfeeding Peer Supporters,  Community Hub Volunteers and Parenting Peer Supporters.

Access and Response Team

Our access and response team (ART) are responsible for triaging school health referrals.