20th October 2015
A Voices blog written by Elaine McInnes, Diane Massey and Cheryll Adams on their experience of attending the recent National Children and Adult Services (NCAS) conference in Bournemouth.
In the same month as the 0-5 years services commissioning transferred over to local authorities, the iHV spent 3 days at the National Children and Adult Services (NCAS) conference in Bournemouth. The country’s Adult and Children’s social care Directors came together with their Councillors, many of whom are elected cabinet members for children and young people, to share best practice.
The momentum is on for devolution (the statutory granting of powers from central government to a regional, local level) and the integration of health and social care. The conference also very much focused on person-centred approaches with an emphasis on co-production (delivering public services in an equal and reciprocal relationship between professionals, people using services, their families and neighbours).
We heard fantastic speakers talk time and again about the opportunities the commissioning transfer of the 0-5 years services brings in joined-up thinking. Also the Early Intervention Foundation, the Children’s Commissioner Ann Longfield and others told the 1000 conference delegates of the value of getting it right at the beginning of life. These are exciting and important times for health visiting with opportunities to raise our professional profile and explain our important vital contribution to this agenda.
Councillors and Directors were keen to hear about the work of health visitors and the added value that they bring to local communities and the positive impact they have on children and families lives.
We held a policy session on ‘the next steps to integrated working’. Together, the iHV, a Director of Public Health and a Children’s Services Director, took the opportunity to inform delegates how important the role of the health visitor is in improving the lives of children and families. During the session examples were given regarding the knowledge and skills that health visitors possess, the evidence-based model of working, examples of families’ experience of using the service and partnership working models.
It was genuinely exciting to be amongst those who really understand holistic and community health. We left the conference with a sense of if we can get past the current financial challenges, the new world that we are entering could offer health visitors phenomenal opportunities for leading health improvement. However, this will only happen if the health visitor’s voice is heard directly by their new commissioners.
Councillors thanked us for raising the profile of health visiting and are now keen to come out and shadow you for a day! Be seen, be heard and be remembered! Your families will be the beneficiaries!
Cheryll Adams, Elaine McInnes and Diane Massey