Lynne Watson, Gerry Haliburn and Judy Zur of Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust have all become prestigious Fellows in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the profession of health visiting. They were recognised at a ceremony in London recently to receive their Fellowship of the Institute of Health Visiting (FiHV).
The ceremony, the first of its kind for the Institute of Health Visiting, recognised the professional achievement of our exceptional health visitors – creating a group of UK experts who make a real difference to the health outcomes of children and their families in Hounslow and Richmond.
The Fellowship scheme, launched in May 2014 and sponsored by the Department of Health, culminated with an inaugural conferment ceremony in 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, our three health visitors went through a very rigorous application process in which they were assessed for their contributions to health visiting and also to children, families and communities.
Judy Zur, health visitor and practice development lead shared her reaction to the prestigious award: “The client experience is very important and knowing that the service is valued by Richmond and families is very satisfying.I consider early intervention to be crucial when working with families. Heath visiting is focused on supporting families, working with individuals who want the best for their children. We enable parents to develop effective and rewarding parenting strategies.”
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. They are 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.
Looking to the future, the Fellows will be well-placed to support our local community healthcare providers and new local authority commissioners with health visiting commissioning as it moves to local authority in October 2015.