Summary - Twitter chat- Transfer of commissioning 26/01/15
Challenging the status quo
The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) was pleased to welcome 49 twitter users and 280 tweets to join
its fifth Commissioning Twitter Chat which engaged with Local Government, NHS Commissioners and
Health Visitors.
What can we do differently to improve outcomes for children and families? What opportunities does
the transfer of 0 to 5 commissioning offer?
With the transfer of commissioning we have a window of opportunity to re-work health and social
care contracts to deliver a successful public health service.
The 456 model provides a great summary of what we do but we do need to emphasise the four
levels of service, as Health Visiting is much more than the five mandated visits. The Universal
(mandated) visits will standardise practice whilst targeted intervention will vary according to need.
Early Intervention is key as stated in the First 1001 Critical days cross party manifesto. HVs need to
feel confident in articulating ‘Why Health Visiting’. This includes returning to the four Principles of
health visiting: the search for health needs; the stimulation of awareness of health needs; the
influence on policies affecting health; and the facilitation of an awareness of health needs. With
increased numbers, HVs are taking back and simultaneously taking forward the public health role.
HVs need to demonstrate outcomes relating to public health and early intervention; this includes
marketing of the four levels of service and the 6 high impact areas, auditing our work and long term
follow up. HVs need to raise the profile in localities, one way of achieving this is to use the baby to
board approach with case studies using the voice of the child. The service should ensure it is relevant
to parents needs by engaging with parent forums and ensuring clear pathways for feedback. HVs
need to market the Building Community Capacity work that they do, as this provides sustainable
early intervention and prevention of long term health issues.
The iHV transfer of 0-5 commissioning factsheet for health visitors is a useful guide. Health Visitors
offer a universal service; we are excellent communicators and this allows us to build a relationship
with the family built on trust. This ensures improved access to support for families and less stigma.
Our communication skills are also crucial for working together across the services in an integrated
way. More areas need to hold local joint events to showcase services to commissioners and the
public. There is a need to educate the workforce in the future of health visiting, think differently and
market health visiting as a service worth investing in.
The final word for tonight was from 1001 Critical Days ‘Thank you for the amazing work HVs do
around the country… many unsung heroes’.