Health Visiting Monthly News – February 2015

Welcome to February’s Health Visiting Monthly News. 

It hardly seems possible that we have very nearly reached the end point of ‘A Call to Action’, a four year long journey to increase and transform the health visiting workforce.

Many of us are looking forward to the Celebration event on 6th March which will be a chance to look back on what has been achieved and congratulate those who have been nominated by their colleagues for their outstanding work and contribution to the success of this Programme. A report and photographs will be available in the next edition.

In this edition we have chosen to highlight some our colleagues from the East of England who have been awarded a fellowship from the Institute of Health Visitors. More will follow next month.

We know only a few can receive an award so we want to say thank you and well done to each and everyone of you who is continuing day in and day out to deliver a wonderful service directly to families, or supporting it in leadership and education.

Thank you

Julia, Helen, Rowena, Sue, Jenny and Fiona.

Dates for your Diaries

Communities of Practice Events

Please see in the table below the dates for Communities of Practice Events:

Date Area Venue Contact
18/3/15 C&P Huntingdon Racecourse,

25/3/15 Essex Marconi Centre, Chelmsford

The Flyer for the COP event now booked at the Marconi Cntre for Wednesday 25th March 2015 is belowCan you please cascade out to your teams, so that they can book their diaries in good time.

COP flyer 25-3-2015

eLearning Testing event

The CPHVA and SAPHNA are looking for expressions of Interest from qualified practitioners to test e-learning modules prior to national roll-out later this year.

Ideally a geographical spread of expertise is sought relating to emotional health and wellbeing and children living with disabilities.

flyer eearning Testing event V2

Report on iHV Midlands & East Regional Conference 27.1.15

Melissa RussellViv Crane and I had the privilege of attending the very first Institute of Health Visiting conference, specifically for health visiting professionals in Birmingham during January. We were kept thoroughly entertained throughout the day long event by a host of professional conference speakers. Dr Cheryll Adams, the founding director of the Institute of Health Visiting opened the conference and spoke of her joy, passion and dedication to health visiting. She reaffirmed my belief in what a difficult job we do and how truly fantastic we are! I felt utterly inspired by her enthusiasm and drive, as health visitors we really do have the power and freedom to make a difference within our communities. Following this, I feel that it’s really important that health visiting involvement at a community level does not end when we have completed our building community capacity project.  Dr Cheryll Adams then went on to say that health visiting is all about relationships and as health visitors we have this very special, innate quality to connect and relate with people from all walks of life. She concluded that it is this quality which defines us as a profession and we should all be very proud of our unique communication skills. We then enjoyed a short talk from Professor John Cox, who helped to create the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Score.  He was a thoroughly interesting gentleman, he used lots of psychiatric jargon; which was a little above my level of understanding, but he was still utterly fascinating and again full of spark, drive and passion!

The absolute best speaker was saved until towards the end of the day; this lady was called Tracey Biggs. She didn’t have a PhD or masters or in fact any particular speciality, but she was a hardworking, conscientious, health visiting practice teacher from Warwickshire. She was the best public speaker I had ever observed and she had us hooked from the moment she started talking. Tracey explained that she was a “Fellow” for the Institute of Health Visiting. Any health visitor can apply to be a Fellow, all you have to do is demonstrate excellence and drive within your area and this is rewarded with privileges such as meeting the prime minister and the chance to directly influence health visiting policy, applications for these posts can be made via the Institute of Health Visiting website.

Tracey talked about the importance of seeing our impending move into the local authority as a positive opportunity to become the leaders of child health and to drive forward all professionals in that area.  Tracey identified a few tools which will help to highlight our role and strengthen our position within the new service structure. My favourite tool was the “4,5,6 Model of Health Visiting” which provides a great, simple, fool proof summary of what we do as a health visitor.:

Number 4 identifies the four levels of service that we offer; (1) your community, (2) universal, (3) universal plus and (4) universal partnership plus.

Number 5 covers the 5 universal, mandated visits; (1) antenatal visit, (2) new birth visit, (3) six week visit, (4) 8-12 month review and (5) 2-2.5 year review.

Number 6 focuses on the six early years high impact areas; (1) transition to parenthood and the early weeks, (2) maternal mental health, (3) breastfeeding, (4) healthy weight and healthy nutrition, (5) managing minor illness and reducing accidents and (6) the health, wellbeing and development of the child age 2 and support to be school ready.

With this tool we can easily explain to our families, friends and clients exactly what it is that we do! Further information about the 4,5,6 model of health visiting can be found at: Tracey summarised her fascinating speech by claiming that early intervention is key as stated in the “First 1001 Critical Days” (another fascinating read!) cross party manifesto. She said that health visitors need to feel confident in articulating ‘Why Health Visiting’. This includes returning to the four Principles of health visiting: the search for health needs; the stimulation of awareness of health needs; the influence on policies affecting health; and the facilitation of an awareness of health needs.

We were truly inspired by this motivational gathering and we left the conference feeling uplifted, stimulated and full of drive to make positive changes within our communities. Being a health visitor is a privilege and we should all be proud to be part of such an exciting and evolving profession. The Institute of Health Visiting conference has filled me with hope and enthusiasm for the future health visiting.

Written by Melissa Russell, Health Visitor in North Lowestoft.

Attended with Viv Crane, Health Visitor in North Lowestoft.

Report on ARU Celebration event

This was a vibrant event with good attendance and representation from the organisations who trained SCPHN HV Students at both the Chelmsford and Cambridge ARU Campus sites during 13/14 and 14/15. Thanks must go to Amy Higgins – SEPT, Kay Dalby – ACE, Hannah Mora – CCS, Julie McKay – ACE and Nicola Sault – SEPT for their excellent poster presentations (links to these can be found on the Blog).

There were approx 70 attendees comprising HV students, recently qualified HVs, Practice Teachers, Mentors and other HV team colleagues who enjoyed the following broad ranging presentations:

  • What next after qualifying? – Future opportunities in Higher Education for newly qualified health visitors – Amanda Drye.
  • Making the Most of Health Visiting, Induction, Preceptorship and CPD’ – iHV.
  • Social Media in Health Visiting – an interactive presentation and quiz by Anita Robson.
  • ‘No Limits’ – Rowena Harvey asked the attendees to think about communication and best use of their skills and to start working on their pitch for Why Health Visiting?
  • Proactive Assessment of Obesity Risk during Infancy (ProAsk) Study – Sarah Redcell.

Table Top Sessions included:

  • BCC case studies from ACE and CCS.
  • We also had an interactive session on the redesigning of the iHV e- Community? of practice element delivered by Barbara Potter.
  • Elaine McIness delivered a session on preceptorship and use of the new iHV framework.
  • The Journal of HV led a session on writing for publication
  • Julie Smith led a small session on research development.

Provider Organisations had nominated the students they felt had achieved or progressed significantly in year and who evidenced the NHS values and all who were nominated received an award certificate in recognition of their achievements.

The conference ended with thanks to all presenters and organisers in particular Julie Smith for coordinating the event with R Harvey and J Gilmour providing support. The event ended with Ben Zander’s you tube clip ‘ Giving them an A’   which can be found here:

Posters –

Breastfeeding Support – HV Role – Hannah Mora – CCS Educating Practice

Teachers Maternal Psychological Birth Trauma Interventions – Julie McKay – ACE

Role of Fathers in Breastfeeding – Amy Higgins – SEPT Smacking Alternatives –

Maternal Psychological Birth Trauma Interventions – Julie McKay – ACEKay Dalby


Vitamin D – Nicola Sault – SEPT

Educating Practice Teachers

iHV Fellows in the East of England

The Institute of Health Visiting set up its Fellowship scheme in a bid to develop a network of expert health visitors across England.

To become a Fellow, the Institute states it is looking for “health visitors who are delivering excellence in practice and have made a real difference to the health outcomes of children and their families”.

It adds: “Fellows will act as local ambassadors for the IHV as well as being a unique resource for their employers and peers.”

Elaine McInnes

Elaine picBecoming one of the first five Fellows in the country was a great honour. For the first time in a long while I have felt a sense of achievement that represents my passion and dedication to Health visiting and public health. Being amongst leaders in the profession and other enthusiastic Fellows is truly inspirational. I have been overwhelmed by both the local and national interest and a number of opportunities for career development have also arisen. Through the Fellowship Programme, the next generation of health visitor leaders can step forward to take on the lead role in making a difference to children and families.

Val Thurtle

I wanted Val picto be a fellow because I have a consistent, long term commitment to the development of health visiting and the preparation of health visitors, nurses, nursery and nurses in different settings. I am primarily a health visitor educator, but am committed to health visiting via research, publication and strategic thinking, in other words by just keeping health visiting to the fore which being a fellow will further help me to do.

Applying for and achieving Fellowship has enhanced the profile of health visitor education within the University of Hertfordshire and the surrounding area. Personally it has increased my confidence and endorsed my skills and experience leading to my appointment as Programme Director Public Health Nursing & Primary Care at City University.

Julia McLean

Julia picI have been a health visitor for 24 years, coming via general nursing at Addenbrookes Cambridge and paediatrics at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, London.

I have been very involved (alongside my colleagues at Cambridgeshire Community Service) in the Call to Action initiative. Growing the service and having been honoured by the iHV through the Fellowship, I feel inspired and reinvigorated.
Through sharing the work coming from the iHV, I want to empower the health visiting team, and promote the pivotal role we have with families and children in those 1001 critical days, as we work towards local authority commissioning.

I also see, many of my “older” colleagues thinking they are no longer needed, because of all the newly qualified staff, I want to help all those health visitors who like me have years of experience, to realise we need that knowledge and experience as we are still the back bone of the service.

Christine Norgate

Christine picI have been a health visitor for thirty years.  I practiced in Luton for twenty-five years, and was also a practice teacher for nine years.  Having really enjoyed teaching students, I moved into education at the university of Bedfordshire, initially part-time and then full time in 2009, and am thus now developing the next generation of health visitors.

I am thrilled to be awarded the Fellowship of the Institute of Health Visiting, and am looking forward to the challenges this will bring, supporting the profession as it moves into the next phase of it’s development.​

 Sue Clarke

Sue picI am a Health Visitor in West Essex, where I use my allergy expertise to support my patients and act as a resource and trainer for colleagues and GPs within West Essex. I have been the Nurse Advisor to the Anaphylaxis Campaign for 20 years, and have developed their AllergyWise series of online training courses. I also work as a lecturer in Allergy and hope that becoming a Fellow will enable me to increases the profile of allergy and demonstrate that well trained HCPs will save the NHS money and improve the quality of life of patients with allergic disease.


There are two new CPD documents and the new online CPD Directory which are now available from our website – all developed as part of the Making the Most of Health Visitors Programme (sponsored by Health Education England) –

  • The new online CPD Directory for Health Visitors can be found under the new “learning hub” tab on the iHV website.

The use of these new CPD tools is to:

  • Ensure adequate and consistent quality of CPD provided for health visitors.
  • Enable organisations to benchmark their health visitor CPD provision or to commission training from a suitable provider in specific areas required.


DH factsheet (6 January 2015) –

Brookes information about the ASQ – and

NMC revised Code for all UK registered nurses and midwives (29 January 2015) –

IHV Learning Hub –

Useful Info

The i-Hop Service (Supporting all professionals to work with offenders’ children and their families) has sent through a poster i-Hop Babies of offenders_Poster and briefing for professionals working with babies and infants affected by the criminal justice system.

i-Hop provides professionals who work with these children and families (whether they are teachers, social workers, commissioners, health  visitors, community midwives etc.) with a free online information hub providing up to date resources, strategies, policies and research to support work with these families. There is also a free helpline that professionals can access for support (0808 802 2013).  Their site can be accessed here: where you can also sign up for free membership.



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