We are now in the last few months of the national Health Visiting (HV) programme and it is a good time to reflect. The programme was initially set up to meet the Government’s commitment to increase the capacity of the profession, improve the health of children and their families, expand access to their services and reduce inequalities. We have made huge progress and immense credit goes to the practitioners, teachers, leaders, academics and managers who have made this happen. Increasing the number of health visitors was, and remains, vitally important.
The Health Visitor service transformation has had four phases:
In 2010, we did the policy work to support the government commitment - agreeing with ministers how this translated into action. We worked with the profession and designed the four-level service model as the basis for service transformation.
Between 2011-13, we launched the ‘Call to Action’ and set up the ‘Early Implementer Sites’ which developed and transformed services based on the four-level model.
Since 2013, we have been growing and embedding the transformed services across the country. This has been made possible as health visitor numbers have increased. In addition, we have updated the ‘Call to Action’, lessons from ‘early implementers’ have been shared and the Department of Health. Health Education England have commis- sioned professional development and support for innovative practice. So what do we need to do in the next few months? This is our fourth and final stage and I know that together we can do it.
SuStaiNable Future 2014 oNWard
There are three major elements to our work now: Supporting and sustaining the workforce growth; embedding the transformation we have achieved; and transferring the commissioning of the Healthy Child Programme to local authorities. We will continue to work on embedding and demonstrating the impact of the service and work with the Institute of Health Visitors (iHV) Fellows and HV Champions – our future leaders. The 0-5 Healthy Child Programme (HCP)and the HV programme will continue to work together to ensure a smooth transfer of the transformed services. These will enable local authorities to use health visiting expertise in universal child health, identification of needs, expert response and early intervention and join with other local services to ensure local families receive the support that they need.
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