Families in Bedfordshire encouraged to talk to school nurse or health visitor by text

With more and more people using mobile phones, two secure text only numbers have been launched by Bedfordshire Community Health Services to provide another easy way to talk about health.

ChatHealth is for young people (aged 11-19) to confidentially ask for help about a range of issues, or make an appointment with a school nurse.

They can also find out how to access other local services including emotional support or sexual health services. Simply text 07507 331450.

Glenda Hall, 0-19 service manager, said:

“With young people increasingly using technology to access services we felt ChatHealth was ideal to encourage them to engage with us.

“It’s really important that young people feel they have someone to contact to ask about their health and wellbeing, without fear of judgement or embarrassment. Our school nurses can support them on a wide range of issues.”

Parentline is for parents and carers of those aged 0-19 and offers advice and support on a range of issues such as weaning, sleep and emotional health.

They can also find out how to access other local services. Simply text 07507 331456.

Jacky Syme, service development manager children’s services, said:

“We are really pleased to be able to offer Parentline in the county, to compliment the support we provide to families. It will make accessing health services easier and less daunting.”

ChatHealth and Parentline are available Monday-Friday from 9am – 4.30pm. Messages can be sent anonymously to the dedicated text numbers and are delivered to a secure website. 

Out of hours, anyone who texts the service receives a bounce back message explaining where to get help if their question is urgent, and when they can expect a response. Texts are usually replied to within one working day.

Bedfordshire Community Health Services is delivered in partnership Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and East London Foundation NHS Trust.

To find out more about these services, please visit: www.cambscommunityservices.nhs.uk and search ‘beds chathealth’ or ‘beds parentline’ or follow NHS Bedfordshire Children & Young People’s Services on Facebook.