Institute of Health Visiting raises their concerns that the Green paper proposals for Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision are a missed opportunity to reduce the number of children and young people ever experiencing mental illness.

In a letter to Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt MP, the Institute sets out the evidence for the green paper to address the opportunities for building emotional resilience in childhood from pregnancy onwards, and reducing the incidence of mental illness in childhood.  It also highlights the critical contribution of the health visiting service to early intervention, through full delivery of the Healthy Child Programme as a gateway to appropriate levels of support for children and, where needed, specialist services.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will announce new nursing degree apprenticeship, opening up a career in nursing to more people.

The first apprentice nurses could be working on wards from September, and once established, up to 1,000 apprentice nurses could join the NHS each year.

Aspiring nurses will join the apprenticeship at different stages, depending on their qualifications and experience, and stay in work whilst learning. By offering staff who want to progress more flexibility, regardless of whether they are health care support workers or already working towards higher level qualifications, employers will be able to open up a career in nursing to people from all backgrounds.

The new nursing associate role will work alongside healthcare support workers to deliver hands on care, freeing up existing nurses so they can spend more time using their more specialist training to focus on clinical duties and take more of a lead in decisions round a patient’s care. Interest in the role has already seen Health Education England expand the number of training places on the pilot scheme increase from 1,000 to 2,000.

People who complete the nursing associate apprenticeship will be able to count that training towards a nursing degree.

New measures to make giving birth safer, including maternity safety funding and publishing maternity ratings, have been announced.

In a major speech today, Jeremy Hunt unveiled a comprehensive package of measures designed to further improve the safety of maternity care in the NHS.

This will provide resources to Trusts to improve their approach to maternity safety; make sure lessons are learned from mistakes and shared openly and transparently across the NHS; and take the first steps to dismantling the litigation culture that acts as a barrier to this by consulting on a new voluntary compensation scheme as an alternative to costly legal processes for families with brain-injured children.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, commented:

“The steps announced today to improve maternity safety are significant and to be applauded.  Health visitors must be aware of them too and consider the part they can play supporting mothers during their antenatal visit.”

The safer maternity care action plan also includes:

  • a £250,000 maternity safety innovation fund to help create and pilot new ideas for improving maternity care, like the successful PROMPT scheme pioneered by Professor Tim Draycott in Southmead, which has some of the lowest child mortality rates in Europe
  • publishing new maternity ratings for every clinical commissioning group (CCG) across the NHS to improve transparency, raise standards and give families better information about the quality of local maternity services
  • a new national Maternal and Neonatal Health Quality Improvement Programme for all trusts to exchange ideas and best practice – a similar scheme in Scotland was linked to a 19% decrease in stillbirths over a 3 year period
  • a consultation to develop a ‘safe space’ to allow clinicians to speak openly about things that go wrong without fear that information they disclose may be used against them in court or professional misconduct hearings
  • the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, modelled on the highly successful Air Accident Investigation Branch, which will be up and running from April 2017

Also, announced today is a consultation on a new rapid resolution and redress (RRR) scheme. The RRR scheme could investigate and learn lessons from more than 500 incidents a year. In cases where harm was avoidable this would offer timely access to financial support without the current obligation on families to launch a formal legal process. At present, the average time families have to wait for resolution of a case is 11.5 years.

As part of the ambition to halve neonatal death, stillbirth, maternal death and brain injuries caused during or shortly after labour by 2030, the Department of Health has launched “Our Chance”, a new public health campaign in partnership with Sands and Best Beginnings.