Posted: April 11 2022
Viv Bennett is chief public health nurse, Office for Health Improvement & Disparities, Department of Health & Social Care
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust recently welcomed Chief Public Health Nurse, Professor Viv Bennett to the region (7 April). The office of chief public health nurse provides a focus to maximise the impact that our nurses, midwives and health visitors, have on improving health outcomes through the work they do with individuals, families and communities. It also helps ensure that their contribution is recognised in keeping people well.
Professor Bennet, who is herself a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN), was keen to hear about how we delivered Public Health services during the pandemic. HCT’s Family Support partners (collectively known as Family Centre Services) outlined our joint work during the COVID pandemic, what we had learned and our current priorities.
During the day Professor Bennett took time out to talk with front line Family Centre staff and find out about the health and wellbeing of families in Hertfordshire, and the professional challenges they face such as health inequalities and digital poverty.
Operational Manager, Jo Preston, led a session on Health Inequalities focusing on; young carers; breastfeeding, SEND, and the Afghan resettlement scheme.
Guests were joined by Senior Lecturer for the SCHPHN, Dr Michael Fanner, who added to a very lively debate about professional issues and best evidence, through the lenses of clinical expertise and academic research.
Kay Gilmore, Deputy General Manager for Children’s and Young People’s Services (CYPS), said: “Professor Bennett’s visit is of significant importance as the office she holds is all about raising the profile and value of Public Health Nursing.
"We were able to flag some areas we are working on like access to dentists, working with refugees, and recognition of The Lancaster Model in bringing out the voice of the child. She gave us an update on the development of the Healthy Child Programme - which created a bit of 'buzz'.”
The healthy child programme aims to bring together health, education and other main partners to deliver an effective programme for prevention and support.
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