Today (11 March 2015), NHS Change Day, Juliette Penney from The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust will be one of 150 outstanding health visitors who will convene 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, Juliette Penney went through a very rigorous application process in which she was assessed for their contributions to health visiting and also to children, families and communities. Juliette has been influential in applying national policies and has demonstrated leadership, to develop integrated working which supports children and families. As a perinatal mental health champion Juliette views the cascading of this training initially to health visitors as a positive for the children and families of Rotherham.
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!