Last night 150 health visitors celebrated their achievements as fellows of the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV).
Each fellow was selected through an application process and had to demonstrate leadership and entrepreneurship in their local area.
Speaking at the conferment, health minister Dr Dan Poulter, said that the fellows had a vital role in developing the profession. 'The fellows can help to secure a smooth transition for commissioning as they know the needs of their local community. They are crucial in strengthening the profession from the bottom up.
'They can also ensure that the profession continues its transformation and future proof the work from the last four years.'
Cheryll Adams, the founding director of the iHV, recognised the need for health visitors to be more strategic. 'It hasn't been easy but our fellows are working with the DH, local authorities and the media to champion the profession.'
iHV fellows are health visitors who have shown high levels of leadership qualities and deliver excellence in practice. Although the majority are in clinical practice some are also in research and education.
Viv Bennett, the director of nursing at PHE, said that health visitors should be rightfully proud of the profession
To complete the process applicants have to complete a four day Fellow Leadership Development Programme.