Health Visiting Monthly News – March 2015

Welcome to March’s Health Visiting Monthly News. 

images (1)East of England HV Awards Event images (1)

Over the last 4 years we have worked in partnership with our provider organisations and 5 universities to support around 750 health visitor students to successfully qualify, and increase the health visitor workforce across the east of England by almost 500 wte additional HV’s to date.

We have supported transformation of practice through extensive training and development programmes, have supported the development of exciting communities of practice, and have hosted 9 regional conferences to share best practice and recognise successes across the region.  we have also commissioned bespoke leadership development for all Health Visitors to support them in moving forward with their careers and developing new ways to deliver the Healthy Child Programme.

New ways of delivering practice education have been developed and evaluated and the east of England is the only LETB to embedded the development of Building Community Capacity Skills into the preceptor-ship programme for all newly qualified health visitors. We are so proud of the drive and determination that has been shown by all Health Visitors across the region to achieve the amazing service transformation with increased numbers, a changed model of delivery and integration of new ways of working.

On Friday 6th March we hosted an awards event for the HV Programme to celebrate the fantastic achievement of our Health Visitor Providers in successfully delivering the Health Visiting Call to Action. The evening was our way of thanking and celebrating the fab EoE HV’s.

please click here for a pdf programme of the events from the night! 

Awards were presented by Professor Viv Bennett Director of Nursing Department of Health and Public Health England.

Winners :

Practice Teachers

The standard of nominations in this category was particularly high and for this reason the panel chose two winners.

 EOE HV Awards 2015 (102)Maggie Ambrose (CPFT)

 This nomination contained a wide range of testimonials from former students and mentors. The panel was incredibly impressed by the descriptions of this Practice Teachers calm and nurturing personality, the ability to build on the strengths and empower her students, together with an exceptional knowledge base of health visiting practice. Words like wonderful, amazing, caring, positive, and others feature frequently in the testimonials. Initiatives such as monthly ‘Mentors Moots’ where mentors were facilitated to analyse trust policies and explore their impact on students, and to gain support to help them bring out the best in their students demonstrate just how this practice teacher used innovative methods to meet the challenges of this programme.

EOE HV Awards 2015 (103)Sue Burridge (NELFT Essex)

This nomination demonstrated particularly well the breadth of a practice teachers role and how it can be used within an organisation to lead on a whole range of education initiatives. for example developing and delivering a training package across the organisation on Ages and Stages Questionnaires. The panel was impressed to read how this nominee immediately rose to meet the challenge of high numbers of students and embodies the 6 C’s in her work. Not only has this nominee demonstrated excellence in her own organisation but has found the time to complete a Masters in Education and has worked with the Institute of Health Visiting to develop a training package on Compassionate Resilience.


EOE HV Awards 2015 (101)Marie Gibbons (SEPT SE Essex)

The winner of this category demonstrated just how our health visitors in the East of England have embraced the challenge of being part of a team approach to delivering high quality practice education to our student health visitors. The nomination describes this health visitor’s public health approach to her practice and how this has influenced the practice of the student she is mentoring, giving her the confidence to step outside her comfort zone and take on the leadership role of a health visitor.


EOE HV Awards 2015 (99)Glenda Booth (NCHC)

This nominee is an experienced practice teacher and has been instrumental in developing to model of preceptor-ship and induction for newly qualified health visitors across her organisation. Working alongside the Institute of Health Visiting she has tested out the model, which has received positive feedback from staff saying how they feel supported and valued.

Workplace Advisor

EOE HV Awards 2015 (98)Kate Hillman (NCHC)

The winning nominee in this category has led on the delivery of Building Community Capacity across their organisation.  We know that our strategy to include BCC as an integral part of the preceptorship period has at times been challenging but this nominee has demonstrated real success in reintroducing public health skills into health visiting practice. The panel was very impressed by her encouragement of partnership working in order to support the newly qualified health visitors in their BCC projects, and also particularly enjoyed reading the emails sent to health visitors, which demonstrated her excellent level of support and encouragement.

Team Awards: Anglia Community Enterprise Practice Teachers, Cambridgeshire Community Services Health Visiting Teams, Suffolk County Council Practice Teachers and Locality Community Development Officers, Cambridge Community Services Luton Practice Teachers, Hertfordshire Community Trust Practice Teachers, SEPT West Essex Practice Teachers, Norfolk Community Health & Care Practice Teachers.
Programme Lead Special Recognition Awards:
delivered by Julia Whiting

Over the course of this programme I have been privileged to come into contact with and work alongside a great many talented and committed colleagues. Whilst we were developing this awards ceremony I felt that, apart from the people that we have already recognized tonight, there are a number of people that have stood out to me as just going that extra mile in supporting the delivery of this programme.  I discussed it with my team and we would like to recognize two people in particular. 

The first person I would like to recognize is a practice teacher who always carries out their work with wonderful humour and a positive approach.  Their communication with our team, with the university and others is second to none, which has been essential in such a highly monitor programme as this. I am absolutely delighted to award ………..

Kevin O’Regan from Luton

EOE HV Awards 2015 (104)       

“The second person is also a practice teacher but has worked recently as an education lead within her organisation. This organisation has managed exceptional numbers of students – 85 in the 13/14 cohorts and this person has worked, together with the university to ensure an excellent quality of practice education for each and every one.  Her commitment to health visiting is undoubtable and as such she has also become a fellow of the Institute of Health Visiting, which is well deserved.  So can i please give the second award to ……”

EOE HV Awards 2015 (105)   Karen Afford from Hertfordshire

Sue & Rowena

Thanks must go to Sue Mills and RowenaHarvey for organising such a successful and enjoyable night – ladies maybe you could have new careers in Event management!

To see what happened on the night follow us on Twitter @healthvisitors #fabeoehvs.

Julia Whiting

Lois Seddon –  Health Visiting Senior Lecturer UCS – sent the following which echoes many of the messages we have received since the evening

“I just wanted to say thank you so much for inviting me to the above awards ceremony last week, I felt very privileged to be part of that amazing celebration!
It was amazing, not just because the night was such fun…and we all looked so glamorous….but because of the wider feeling of celebration that went beyond the nominated and awarded, and embraced the whole of the East of England teams of mentors, practice teachers and managers and we got a sense that they were (rightly)  all ‘highly commended’ and especially as all that hard work was acknowledged by Viv Bennett’s presence there.
 It is not very often that practitioners get recognised for their ongoing and exceptional hard work and I felt it was a brilliant way to honour staff who have accomplished so much, along with their colleagues who they brought as guests. And the quality of the setting, the food, the service, the entertainment reflected how valued this workforce is. 

Listening to the achievements of the award winners we couldn’t help but be impressed by their commitment, determination and exemplary accomplishments. We will be regaling current and future students for a long time to come, with tales of the achievements of their colleagues in responding to the ‘Call’. And quite rightly too, because we have learned so much from this….. the Mentors, Practice Teachers and Workplace Advisors have together created an  legacy for professional development which will underpin the practice training for many future generations of Health Visitors!
Us at the HEIs look forward to continue working together with our practice partners in building on the success of these inspirational individuals and their teams.”



Please click on the link below for full blog post :


 Jenny Gilmour   EOE HV Awards 2015 (3)edited   and   Helen Wallace EOE HV Awards 2015 (1)edited

As the HV Programme comes to an end the team has said farewell to Jenny and Helen who are retiring from their posts as HV Locality Leads at the end of March.

Both have contributed a huge amount to the success of delivering the programme across the East of England and will be missed.  The team has marked the occasion by a number of events over the past few weeks, all including cake and presents.

Jenny and Helen are wished the best of success in whatever they choose to do


154 fantastic Fellows celebrate Health Visiting – 12th March 2015

154 health visitors celebrated in great style after receiving their Fellowships of the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) from Dr Dan Poulter MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health, and Professor Viv Bennett, Director of Nursing, Department of Health and Public Health England, at Church House, Westminster, London, yesterday evening (11 March 2015).

The ceremony, the first of its kind for the Institute of Health Visiting, recognised the professional achievement of 154 exceptional health visitors – creating a new country-wide group of expert and confident health visiting leaders who make a real difference to the health outcomes of children, families and communities.

Dr Dan Poulter MP, in his keynote speech to the Fellows and their guests, acknowledged the impact that health visitors have on children and their families in delivering health and wellbeing improvements. He praised the achievements of the iHV Fellows – endorsing them as leaders of health visiting.

Professor Viv Bennett described how proud she was in the achievements within health visiting both locally and nationally. She told the Fellows that “the future (of the health visiting profession) is safe in your hands.”

Dr Cheryll Adams, Director of the Institute of Health Visiting, said: “We are immensely proud of our Fellows.  They have worked hard to be here today.  But today is just the beginning of their role as Fellow with the Institute.  And together, the Fellows and the iHV, will ensure that health visitors continue to make a real difference to the health outcomes of children and their families.”

After the ceremony, the Fellows and their guests attended a small reception to celebrate and network.

picture 3

Photo caption: The 154 Fellows of the Institute of Health Visiting at the inaugural conferment on 11 March 2015.

iHV Fellows in the East of England

Jenny Gilmour

jenny photoThe opportunity to become one of the first 150 Fellows of the Institute of Health Visiting is one of the best things that has happened to me in my health visiting career as I am passionate about the work and the possibilities that we, as health visitors, have working with families and children to make a difference to their outcomes. I am delighted to have been supported by Health Education East of England Director Kathy Branson and HV Programme Lead Julia Whiting  in my application as well as colleagues in the HV programme team and the Essex Workforce Partnership.

The iHV Fellowship Programme has been a fantastic experience for me and I am lucky to have met other exceptional iHV fellows as well as some excellent speakers to inspire, inform and enthuse us on our way forward. We have been invigorated to lead and promote as well as further develop the work of health visiting and the profession going forward in the new landscape and working more closely with Local Authorities as new HV service Commissioners from Oct 2015 and beyond. I feel well equipped and truly inspired to lead on this initiative as an ambassador for the iHV, working to promote the best interests and outcomes for children and families through empowering health visitors and health visiting in whatever capacity I will be working in looking forward. Thanks for your support and get involved with the iHV and access their resources designed for you as health visitors to develop and support your practice.

Fleur Seekins

photoBecoming a fellow has been an exciting journey with the pace and opportunities far exceeding my expectations. Meeting and developing national networks of professionally challenging and passionate health visitors has been a real privilege.

The 4 days of leadership has been thought provoking, energising whilst informative to ensure that as a group we are evidencing outcomes and driving agendas forward.  I have had access to conferences, information and political conversations as they happen. All of this has been instrumental when shaping and debating local services.

I am honoured to have had access to new opportunities such as, Department of Health webinars, email conversations discussing national agendas and representing iHV in meetings at Westminster. I have peer reviewed iHV publications, shortlisted for new Fellows, been an advisor for the National Induction/ Preceptorship framework and published DH case studies of good practice.

I have been encouraged to access coaching for my leadership journey which has enabled me to reflect upon ‘who’ I am, as a leader and catalyst me to think about my future direction.

1001 Critical days : the importance of the conception to age 2 period

Update and reminder to pledge your support to this important initiative

Minor Illness Word Cloudplease take a look at the website for more info:

Read the manifesto, launched in Oct 20133 and still alive and growing! The vision:

The 1001 Critical Days Manifesto Coalition looks forward to a society where:

  • Every baby receives sensitive and responsive care from their main caregivers in the first years of life.
  • Parents feel confident to raise their children in a loving and supportive environment.
  • A holistic approach to first 1001 days: conception to age 2 period
  • The manifesto seeks to engage organisations who have pledged their support, to create a relationship based ethos with a commitment to actively support and promote at a local and national level, the establishment of universal and specialist provision to offer relationship-based services, where appropriate to parents and their babies during the 1001 Critical Days

See full version here:

Update yourself on the recently published report Building Great Britons and read the 9 recommendations:

Sign up and take the pledge to support the manifesto and start to work with your HV service providers so they are addressing the identified needs and ask your NHSE and LA Commissioners how they are planning to meet the identified needs and work to commission the recommendations to be delivered.

Case Studies

downloadHealth Visitors with Special Interest role in Looked After Children

The Health Visiting Service in ACE in partnership with The Looked after Children’s Health Team has introduced a special interest role for Health Visitors working with Looked after Children across North East Essex.

Nine health visitors have been selected and are undertaking this innovative role. They have received additional training and support to ensure all Looked after Children (LAC) placed in North East Essex area receive high quality assessments of their health needs. Not only does this model aim to improve outcomes for LAC but also means improved knowledge, skills and competencies for practitioners undertaking this role. Its long term aim will be to provide a skilled workforce to go on to become named and designated professionals of the future.

We know from national research that LAC and young people share many of the same health risks and problems as their peers but often to greater degree. They frequently enter care with a worse level of health than their peers.  For LAC there is a statutory requirement for their health needs to be assessed 6 monthly if aged under five years of age and annually thereafter.  It is vital that all LAC have their health needs assessed thoroughly and the resulting recommendations for the child’s care plan ensure that any identified health needs are met.

Health care staff who work with LAC and their carers must have the right knowledge, skills, attitudes and values, particularly as evidence has highlighted that where LAC have access to specialist health practitioners their health outcomes improve. The LAC health team already have specialist roles working with the eleven plus young people, a model which has been very successful. This will now be replicated with the under-five age group with the special interest HV’s.

Following an Ofsted pilot inspection in November 2012, one of the recommendations made was for a quality assurance tool to be introduced to assess the quality of health assessments undertaken for LAC locally. This tool has now been in use for some time and the quality of assessments has improved as a result.  This was recognised in a more recent CQC inspection in February 2014 where it was highlighted that in this area robust quality assurance was driving consistency and improvements in the quality of health assessments for this very vulnerable group of children. It however went on to recommend that more work was needed to ensure these detailed health assessments were linked to SMART care planning which has resulted in the development of the Special Interest Roles in Health Visiting Teams..

Following further analysis of the results of the auditing process in place whilst it was clear that competency levels of staff undertaking health assessments had improved greatly over the past year, one key finding was that in order for competency levels to be improved further, staff needed to be doing these assessments regularly.

Analysis of the results of this audit clearly evidenced that it can take up to three attempts to get these assessments to meet the minimum standards as set out in the national audit tool being used in this area. Within the health visiting workforce some staff members had not completed any LAC assessments in the past year, with some having only completed one.   Therefore there may be a long gap between staff attending training and actually putting this learning into practice. Equally there may be a long gap between assessments allowing practitioners little opportunity to consolidate any advice/feedback given by the LAC Health Team.

Although excellent progress has been made in this area, we needed to continue to ensure the ability to evidence robust quality assurance arrangements hence the introduction of this new specialist interest role.  From January 2015 all statutory health assessments for looked after children (under five years of age) have been undertaken by Health Visitors with a special interest in LAC.

Children’s Services Management Team ACE

for further information please contact:

Dot Cordle

HV Implementation Project Lead

Tel No: 01255 206257

E-Mail :


Public Health England, March 2015. Rapid Review to Update Evidence for the Healthy Child Programme 0–5

Launch of the Rapid Review to Update Evidence for the Healthy Child Programme 0–5. The report was written by Dartington Social Research Unit, Warwick Medical School (University of Warwick), the Centre for Children and Families Applied Research (CCFAR) at Coventry University, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry, and NIHR CLAHRC South West Peninsula.

The purpose of this rapid review is to update the evidence about ‘what works’ in key areas. These are; parental mental health; smoking; alcohol/drug misuse; intimate partner violence; preparation and support for childbirth and the transition to parenthood; attachment; parenting support; unintentional injury in the home; safety from abuse and neglect; nutrition and obesity prevention; and speech, language and communication. In addition, the review seeks to draw out key messages in relation to: identifying families in need of additional support; the delivery/effective implementation of interventions at the programme/service level and individual practitioner level; workforce skills and training; and the economic value/cost benefits of the HCP, including both health and wider societal costs. Three subgroups helped steer the review focussing on Policy, Commissioning and Practice.

PHE would like to extend their thanks to the following organisations who supported the development of this document: National Children’s Bureau, Early Intervention Foundation, Department of Health, Health Education England, the National Health Service, National Institute of Clinical Excellence, Bristol University, Imperial College London, University College London, Kings College London, Newcastle University, Nottingham Trent University, University of Oxford, University of the West of England, Birkbeck University of London, Family Nurse Partnership, Institute of Health Visiting, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Unite the Union. Also, our thanks to the Children’s Health and Wellbeing Partnership.

The report can be found here and executive summary here. Please note, PHE will be publishing in due course tailored briefings for health visitors and  local authorities as a supplement to the report.

We hope that you find the report useful. Please forward on to any colleagues who may be interested. For further information please contact Alison Burton

Department of Health, March 2015. Delivering High Quality, Effective, Compassionate care: Developing the right people with the right skills and the right value.

A mandate from the Government to Health Education England: April 2015 to March 2016. Items 2.6, 2.8 and 3.6 in particular are applicable to health visiting.  We hope to get more information about what it means for us over the coming week

For more information on the Government’s refreshed mandate please click on the link below:


iHV Literature Review – Supporting Health Visitors and Fostering Resilience – March 2015

This document provides health visitors and organisations with evidence-based information about supporting the health visiting workforce and building resilience.

For more information please read the full review via the link below.


Hints and Tips for Use of Social Media

iHV have produced some useful information regarding the use of Social Media

What is social media?

“Social media” is a way for people to communicate and interact online. It is an Online way of:

  • connecting with others
  • liking, following, commenting on others’ posts, joining a group
  • sharing information – posting content, ideas, links, photos, videos etc.
  • just think of it as a variety of methods for getting in touch with like-minded people
  • deliver messages
  • find out what your connections want/are interested in

Advantages of social media

  • Interact directly with peers, service users, commissioners
  •  Add a personal touch to your communications – to engender loyalty, trust – a personal contact
  • Reach a wider audience
  •  Access to your “fans” and also “fans’ friends”
  • Word of mouth
  •  People are curious and want to know what others are doing
  •  Easier to get feedback and learn more about your contacts
  •  See what and who others are interested in

What social media is out there? Over 120 Social networks – need to choose the most appropriate one

Social media has a reputation for being time-consuming.

For further information and guidance please read the full article which has some useful links:

iHV Social Media

Useful Information

Jenny Gilmour has written reports on the Minor Illness and Healthy Weight training which were held in February and March.  The reports give details and evaluation of the courses and useful links to publications which can be downloaded or bought.

Minor Illness Training Report and Links

Healthy Weight Training Report and Links


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