Lancashire Healthy Young People and Families Service has transformed its Single Point of Access (SPA) into a virtual service.
Families calling the SPA number on 0300 247 0040 will now have their calls answered by Virgin Care staff working at home. No more than two members of the team will be required to be in the office to open post and support with responding to emails.
Work had already been taking place to develop the SPA, bringing together teams from north, east and central Lancashire in to one robust service with the SPA being the key point of contact for children, young people, families, GPs and health and social care professionals to access advice and support from Lancashire Healthy Young People and Families Service.
The additional work to support the SPA in operating virtually has been carried out to support staff in working remotely in order to keep them as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been provided with the additional equipment they need to work from home and rotas have been updated to best support the service to run smoothly.
The new way of working is already getting positive feedback. The small number of staff in the office are able to focus on opening post and answering e-mails without having to stop to answer calls, and managers are reporting that they are able to spend more time communicating with their teams when they may otherwise have been travelling to and from work or between sites.
John Porter, a member of the SPA team, said: “I would say my productivity has increased in excess of 30 per cent working as part of a virtual team and although I am sticking to the social distancing rules in these difficult days, I am actually more connected with Virgin Care colleagues than before.”
Michelle Lee, Managing Director of Virgin Care, added: “We are committed to keeping our colleagues safe during this difficult time and I am really pleased that we have been able to move swiftly to get this project completed. This modern way of working is an important part of our work to develop Lancashire Healthy Young People and Families Service so that families are able to get the best support in a timely manner and I look forward to seeing the positive difference that it will make over the coming weeks.”
Clare Platt, Head of Health, Equity, Welfare and Partnerships at Lancashire County Council, added, “It is very important, at this time, that families are aware and reassured that they can contact a health visitor or school nurse if they need to. We are delighted that the Lancashire Healthy Young People and Families Service has acted quickly to make staff virtual working possible. This will help to ensure that contacting the service will be a smooth process for families and professionals.
“We would like to thank all health visitors and school nurses for their commitment in continuing to work and support children, young people and families in Lancashire during these challenging times. We’d also like to thank managers who have looked for opportunities to maintain services by doing things differently.”
Lancashire Healthy Young People and Families Service provides health visiting and school nursing services across the county. You can contact us via the SPA on 0300 247 0040 or at VCL.019.SinglePointofAccess@nhs.net