Healthy child programme: health visitor and school nurse commissioning

This service specification is for local authorities commissioning health visitors and school nurses, for public health services for children aged 0 to 19.

Applies to England



The Health and Social Care Act 2012 sets out a local authority’s statutory responsibility for commissioning public health services for children and young people aged 0 to 19 years.

The healthy child programme aims to bring together health, education and other main partners to deliver an effective programme for prevention and support.

This guidance is designed to support local authorities commissioning public health services for children and young people and in particular delivering the healthy child programme 0 to 5 and 5 to 19. While recognising the contribution of other partners, there will be some elements which require clinical expertise and knowledge that can only be provided through services led and provided by the public health nursing workforce, for example, health visiting and school nursing teams. Consequently, this guidance:

  • describes the health visiting and school nursing high impact areas and related outcomes
  • provides a national template for local authorities to use and adapt to meet local needs
  • supports integrated delivery and provides opportunities for local authorities to consider integration and co-commissioning
  • offers quality and standardisation of service delivery while recognising the need for local adaptability
Published 20 January 2016
Last updated 27 June 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated to publish in HTML and to reflect HCP move to OHID from PHE.

  2. Added updated versions of the 3 guides.

  3. Replaced commisioning guides with updated versions.

  4. First published.