Date of release: Monday 16th March, 2015
On 11 March 2015, NHS Change Day, Sarah Brackwell from The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust was one of 150 outstanding health visitors who convened at a conferment ceremony in London to receive their Fellowship of the Institute of Health Visiting (FiHV).
The ceremony, the first of its kind for the Institute of Health Visiting, recognises the professional achievement of exceptional health visitors – creating a new country-wide group of expert and confident leaders who make a real difference to the health outcomes of children and their families.
Dr Cheryll Adams, Director of the Institute of Visiting, said: “Our Fellows are already really strengthening leadership in the health visiting profession and will now help develop the next generation of health visitors. So what better day, than NHS Change Day, to celebrate 150 health visiting change agents who demonstrate there is immense talent in our profession and who will lead the way to ensure excellence in practice.”
The Fellowship scheme, launched in May 2014 and sponsored by the Department of Health, culminates with an inaugural conferment ceremony being held at Church House, Westminster on 11 March 2015. The scheme set out to identify and acknowledge 150 exceptional health visitors who have made a real difference to health outcomes for children and families in England.
To become a Fellow, Sarah went through a very rigorous application process in which she/he was assessed for their contributions to health visiting and also to children, families and communities. Sarah is the professional lead for Health Visiting In Wolverhampton and has enthusiastically lead the service , through challenging times , towards integration with the Local Authority, in particular workforce development with Children centre support workers. New developments include the planned implementation of a single electronic Health Visiting and Social Care records system and integration of yearly reviews between Health Visiting and Social Care for all 2 to 2 and a half year olds. This will reduce the number of times parents are asked to tell professionals “ their story” as well as streamlining and reducing duplication of assessments.
Each Fellow needed to demonstrate excellence in practice and also their leadership potential. They had to submit three testimonials, one from a family, one from a peer and one from a senior manager. Since being accepted, all Fellows have undertaken a special four-day leadership development programme before the conferment ceremony on 11 March. There they will be acknowledged as “expert and confident” health visitor leaders who are ready to become local ambassadors for health visiting, as well as for the Institute of Health Visiting.
The Fellows receive their Fellowships on NHS Change Day, 11 March 2015 – a day to mark ‘collective energy, creativity and ideas to make a change’ to ‘make a big difference in improving the care and wellbeing of those who use the NHS’. Change doesn’t just happen on a single day and the emphasis on NHS Change Day 2015 is to recognise changes that have taken place over a period of time, rather than on the day that they take place.
Looking to the future, the Fellows will be well-placed to support their local community healthcare providers and new local authority commissioners with health visiting commissioning as it moves to local authority in October 2015.
Dr Adams continued: “Becoming a Fellow is just the start of an exciting journey with the Institute of Health Visiting. Together, the Fellows and the Institute will develop the next generation of health visitors, and integrate new policy and research into practice. Fellows and the iHV will ensure that health visitors continue to make a real difference to the health outcomes of children and their families.”
So, on NHS Change Day, the health visiting profession has 150 reasons to celebrate!
For more info contact RWT Head of Communications Richard Radcliffe on 01902 695900.