Confidential text message service launched for parents and carers
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 or if they wish to make an appointment with a health visitor. They can also find out how to access other local services.
The award-winning messaging service was created by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, who liaised with school staff, parents, governors, clinical leads, school nurses and safeguarding leads to develop guidance and test to ensure its safety. The approach to safeguarding young people and their personal information is robustly governed. Other organisations such as the police, NSPCC and the Royal College of Nursing were also extensively consulted.
Parentline is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 4:30pm. Parents and carers can send a text anonymously to a dedicated number – 07507 331456 – from any type of mobile phone. Texts are delivered to a secure website and responded to by Bedfordshire Community Health Services’ health visitors. 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.
Is the service free?
Yes the service is provided free of charge. Any SMS messages sent whilst using the service may incur the usual network provider charge.
Is the service confidential?
If there is concern about safety this might be escalated, but consultation with the parent or carer would be attempted before doing so.
Is information stored?
All messages are securely recorded and can be seen by other healthcare staff who follow NHS confidentiality rules.