There is plenty to celebrate across nursing and midwifery. It is important we take the time to share our successes and good practice, and to connect with others to hear about the progress they are making and the challenges they face. Learning from others helps maximise our contribution to improving health and well-being. Over the last couple of years the DH and PHE have hosted a number of 'weeks of action' dedicated to promoting the excellent work being done across England in public health, using social and traditional media to connect, share, learn and celebrate.
In the week of 17 November we will be hosting our next 'week of action,' on supporting parents and helping children and young people to have the best start in life.
Children and young people are our future and giving them the best start in life is vital for individuals, families and society. We know that investment in pregnancy, early childhood and education makes a huge difference to health and chances throughout life. Nurses, midwives and allied health professionals are well placed with their access and influence to significantly impact the key stages of development. Health visitors and school nurses, in particular, have a special role in helping families give children the best start and support them as they grow.
To make the best start a reality for all our children we must share and build on good practice and address the inequalities that persist.
Our 'Personalised Care and Population Framework' provides a menu of facts, evidence and actions to underpin our work, from understanding and acting on the wider determinants of health, through to making every contact count. It includes a model for maximising our contribution in the 'vital first 1001 days'. We will shortly launch a model for healthy two year olds, to ensure families get the information and help needed to prepare children so that they can reap the benefits of school.
The evidence that early intervention can have a huge impact on health and wider social outcomes is compelling. We have come a long way since the government first committed in 2010 to increase the number of health visitors and transform the service they deliver. Families and children are now benefiting enormously. We have seen an increase in the number of families being visited during the antenatal period and there is increased coverage for two-and-a-half year reviews. Health visitors have created national champions in priority areas such as domestic violence and abuse, and maternal mental health. The school nursing programme has made great strides, working with young people to develop health champions and to focus on groups such as young carers.
Please join us from 17 November to hear from those making the difference and those benefiting from it, and to consider future challenges. The schedule of activity will appear at https://vivbennett.blog.gov.uk. < https://vivbennett.blog.gov.uk>
Follow me on Twitter @VivJBennett or using the hashtag #PHPCYPWeek