27th February 2023
We are delighted to share this Voices blog by Clare Shears, Senior Nurse for Health Visiting, Bridgend Locality | Uwch-Nyrs ar gyfer Ymwelwyr Iechyd Pen y Bont, on adapting the iHV infographic ‘Who are health visitors and what do they do?’ to support health visiting practice across Wales and enable Welsh health visitors to articulate the complexity of their role to families and professionals. This infographic is available in Welsh as well as English.
The Welsh Heads of health visiting are delighted to be working in partnership with the Institute of Health Visiting on the Welsh infographic ‘Who are health visitors and what do they do?’. Launched today, this infographic provides clear information on Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (health visitors) and the vital role they play in positively influencing health outcomes for future generations in Wales.
The Heads of health visiting want to recognise the work and support of the All Wales Quality Assurance Group for Health Visiting and the Health Visiting Project Lead for the All Wales Nurse Staffing Programme in this project. This dynamic and innovative group have been pivotal in developing robust governance and quality assurance mechanisms to ensure the safe and effective delivery of the health visiting service across Wales.
Research and evidence is clear, investment in the early years of life has significant positive impact on health, social and educational outcomes across the life course. The role of the health visitor focuses on children and families between the ages of 0-5 years, beginning their important relationship with families in the antenatal period.
The Healthy Child Wales Programme (HCWP) is the health visiting service framework in Wales and was adopted by all Health Boards in 2016. The programme recognises the challenges and intensity of work required to address health inequalities which will contribute to the work of Welsh Government tackling child poverty across the Principality.
The HCWP provides a core set for children and families aged 0-5 years in all of Wales. The core contacts will ensure that children and families receive the robust health needs assessment using the Family Resilience Assessment Instrument and Tool (FRAIT) in partnership with families so needs can be identified early and early intervention and support is given when families need it the most. The programme is supported by all Wales documentation and policy which improves service delivery when children and families move around Wales and between Health Boards. This ensures a consistent approach to care delivery and improved information sharing processes between health visitors.
The key to the success of the HCWP has been its whole system approach to improving health outcomes working in partnership with colleagues and services in local authority, communities, education and third sector.
The Welsh Government and its partners have developed shared outcome frameworks to help key stakeholders understand the impact of policy, programmes, services and behaviours are having on health and wellbeing in Wales. The HCWP will contribute to improving outcomes across Early Years and Public Health Outcomes Frameworks, specifically:
- Percentage of 0-7-year-old Welsh residents presenting at Emergency Departments having had accidental injuries at home
- Percentage of children reaching or exceeding their developmental milestones between the ages of 2-3
- Percentage of 4 year olds up to date with immunisations
- Percentage of 4/5 year olds who are a healthy weight
- Dental caries at age 5
In addition, to support the work across Wales to reduce inequalities, the HCWP will contribute to the Child Poverty Strategy outcome indicator:
- Percentage of children living in low income households who are reaching health, social and cognitive developmental milestones when entering formal education
The future of Welsh health visiting is looking to exciting new opportunities with the development of the Welsh Levels of Care as part of the Safe Nurse Staffing Act, free childcare for all 2 year olds and the expansion of Flying Start. We are looking forward to working with our iHV partners as we embark on this journey.
Clare Shears, Senior Nurse for Health Visiting, Bridgend Locality | Uwch-Nyrs ar gyfer Ymwelwyr Iechyd Pen y Bont