The Barnsley health visitor service, which is provide by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, will begin rolling out a redesigned service to Barnsley families after being granted Early Implementer Site (EIS) status by the Department of Health (DH).
Being a national Early Implementer means the organisation will work not only locally, but also across the region and as part of a national network of Health Visiting Early Implementer Sites (EIS), bringing the most up-to-date improvements to the service for Barnsley children, families and communities.
Health visitors are trained nurses or midwives with specialist training in family and community health. They work with parents and their families to help improve their health and wellbeing. Health visitors begin helping families during pregnancy and continue to offer support through the first few weeks after the birth of the baby all the way through until early childhood
The DH launched the early implementer programme in 2011 as a way to fast track the Government’s plans to improve the health and wellbeing of children, families and communities.
Selected sites such as Barnsley are already delivering parts of the new service and will be supported to quickly progress to the full family offer, as well as helping other areas develop their service by sharing learning and best practice.
The purpose of the Early Implementer Sites will be to lead the way in:
• realising the Government’s ambition to improve local child and family services through increasing the number of health visitors • mobilising and supporting health visitors and their teams to develop and deliver the new service model and family offer; • demonstrating how local commissioners and their providers can implement the service model and family offer – ensuring that increased capacity delivers a transformed service; • strengthening the Healthy Child Programme by drawing on learning from the Family Nurse Partnership Programme and other evidence based methods and programmes; • sharing learning from the development process and demonstrating early success.
Speaking about the achievement Anita McCrum, lead nurse health visiting, said, "Being selected as an Early Implementer site is a great achievement for our Trust and for Barnsley as it means our local service is already thought of as offering best practice and is suitable already to begin rolling out the new programme. This means that people in Barnsley will benefit from the new service sooner, rather than waiting for the national roll out expected between now and 2015.
"Over the next few months, we will work hard to make further improvements so that we provide parents across Barnsley an even better service which meets their health and care needs, and those of their children."