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iHV Fellow hosts Japanese Public Health Nurses in Haringey

17th May 2018

A blog by iHV Fellow Jackie Gaventa, Whittington Health Haringey Children’s Community Service, on her recent experience of hosting two Japanese public health nurse lecturers.

From left: Riho Iwasaki, Jackie Gaventa and Takashi Naruse

From left: Riho Iwasaki, Jackie Gaventa and Takashi Naruse

The Institute of Health Visiting asked the Hornsey Central Health Visiting team to host two Public Health Nurse lecturers from Tokyo University.  Takashe, who is the Public Health Nursing programme lead, and Riho his research associate, shadowed members of the HV team for three days in March 2018.

The Health Visiting team including health visitors, community nursery nurses, community paediatric nurse and admin team, showcased their work on the Health Visiting Universal offer of 5 mandated contacts to young children and families in Haringey.  Our visitors from Japan were taken to new birth and follow up visits, and observed baby clinic and developmental assessments of 1 and 2 year olds.  The visitors were enthusiastic and appreciative of this opportunity to learn about health visiting in the UK, which they suggested was highly specialised when compared to the public health nurse programme in Japan.  They also appreciated the record keeping and data collection opportunities of our electronic records.

The Hornsey Central team and the visitors exchanged their experiences of public health nursing in the UK and Japan.  In Japan, public health nursing is a broad-based qualification and the nurses may be asked to perform all of district nursing, school nursing and health visiting roles.  The Japanese public health nurse role is from birth to grave and work is targeted to the most vulnerable patients only.  We also learned that a public health priority in Japan is preparation for survival of natural disasters such as Tsunami and Typhoon.  Record keeping in Japan continues on paper.

They seemed to be impressed with the wealth and depth of knowledge of the team members from band 4 community nursery nurses offering ASQ developmental checks and all the band 6 and 7 HVs who have taken them to home visits and clinic. We managed to offer a visit and insight around all the 5 mandated visits and use of electronic record keeping and how we collect data from this to evidence our work to the commissioners.

Japanese public health nurse lecturers with the Hornsey Central HV team

Japanese public health nurse lecturers with the Hornsey Central HV team

The HV team embraced our visitors so well and enjoyed sharing their work, from band 2 to band 8, then invited them to a Bring and Share lunch to celebrate the 18th birthday for our youngest team member who is on the Whittington Health apprentice scheme. A lovely way to end the visit.

The visit has been a huge success for all of us with an exchange of ideas and experiences as public health nurses in London and Tokyo.

Feedback from our Japanese visitors:

Thank you for your kindness during the stay.

We received stimulus to reconsider the professional skills of Japanese public health nurse.

We really appreciate it.



It was great to meet you and see everything in your center.
We are so surprised by your deep professional skills, well systematized team, and record tools.
Takashi NARUSE

Jackie Gaventa, Health Visitor / Practice Teacher / FiHV Team Leader Highgate & Muswell Hill

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