Health chief Cllr Chris Kennedy says merger will ‘maximise the potential to deliver service improvements and value for money’. Photograph: Hackney Council

Hackney Council is planning a “comprehensive redesign” of wellbeing services for anyone aged 0-25 that will see many of them merged into a single department.

Work on the Integrated Children and Young People’s Wellbeing Service began in early 2020 but was “severely impacted” by the pandemic, according to a Town Hall report.

The report says there is “potential” for the redesign to “deliver efficiency savings alongside service improvements”.

The new service could include health visiting, sexual and emotional wellbeing, smoking cessation, specialist weight management, and more.

Councillors this week voted to extend the existing contracts for many of these individual services while the Town Hall examines which ones can be brought in-house.

The report says this additional time will allow the “completion of service review and redesign work to consider the potential for a more integrated service that could deliver efficiency savings alongside service improvements”.

It goes on to state that the proposals could encourage a “more flexible and holistic approach to the delivery of children and young people’s health and wellbeing services” and “ensure older young people receive a more age-appropriate service”.

Councillors were told that all commissioning work had been paused by May 2020 because of the pandemic.

Plans to resume work on the new service last autumn “did not prove possible”, with significant resources expected to be focused on fighting the pandemic “until at least the early summer of 2021”.

In a joint statement, health boss Cllr Chris Kennedy and Deputy Mayor Anntoinette Bramble said: “It is proposed that the existing contracts for the Young People’s Clinical Health and Wellbeing service, Hackney and the City Health Visiting service, 0-5 Healthy Eating and Obesity service, and Bump Buddies are extended until 31 August 2023.

“These extensions will ensure continuity of service whilst a comprehensive review and redesign process is completed, to allow us to commission, as far as possible, a fully Integrated Children and Young People’s Wellbeing service for 0-25-year-olds, which will maximise the potential to deliver service improvements and value for money. This will include a detailed analysis of which services can most effectively be insourced.”

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