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Work of top health visitors recognised with awards

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A community practitioner from Argyle in Scotland has been named the “universal health visitor of the year” at an awards ceremony.

Fiona Semple, a health visitor and school nursing team leader at Campbeltown Hospital, was praised for her “exceptional dedication” by the Community Practitioner and Health Visitor Association.

Meanwhile, Amanda Hulse, a specialist community public health practitioner in school nursing at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, was “school nurse of the year” and the Children’s health inclusion team from Liverpool’s Vauxhall Health Centre was named “team of the year”.

They were among the recipients of awards to recognise the work of health visitors and children’s nurses. Last week the CPHVA, which is part of Unite, celebrated the best of community health practice in 2016 at a ceremony in London.

The 2016 CPHVA Awards, which took place on 8 April, are intended to “recognise and celebrate the exceptional work” that the organisation’s members carry out.

The first ever CPHVA awards took place in March 2012. The award categories for this year were expanded to “reflect evolving community practice and diverse professional roles that practitioners undertake”.


This year’s winners at the CPHVA Awards

  •  Public Health Winner: Janet Taylor – Nurse manager, children’s services, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Janet’s nominator said: “Janet cares about public health practice and inspires others to care as well. She advocates vociferously on behalf of marginalised groups to ensure their health needs are not overlooked. She promotes health visiting at every opportunity and continually stresses the importance of supporting parents to give every child the best start they deserve.”

  • Universal Health Visitor of the Year: Fiona Semple – Health visitor/school nursing team leader, Campbeltown Hospital, Argyll, Scotland

Fiona’s nominator said: “Fiona is an exceptionally dedicated health visitor who ensures the families she works with receive a ‘gold’ standard health visiting service.” Fiona has contributed to the Early Years Collaborative and Getting it Right for Every Child programme in Kintyre and the NHS Highland quality improvement methodology.

  • Student of the Year: Jenny Harmer – Student health visitor in Guy’s and St Thomas’ Trust, Lambeth, London

Jenny’s nominator said: “Jenny is a great inspiration both to her student colleagues and to the teachers who work with her. From the time that she applied for the programme Jenny has singled herself out by her commitment to getting the most out of her programme of study in order to make a significant contribution to child and family health, despite being a part time student. Jenny also encourages the same approach amongst her student colleagues. She has boundless energy and enthusiasm and has made a significant contribution to her student group over two years.”

  • Lecturer of the Year: Cath Coucill – Lecturer of family, community and public health, University of Central Lancashire

Cath’s nominator said: “As a lecturer Cath has successfully introduced training within health visitor and social work programmes in Solihull and is supporting the development of lecturer colleagues so that there is greater capacity to support workforce training. This achievement has been recognized widely and she has been invited on several occasions to speak at international conferences (recently speaking in Iceland) to support the training of practitioners in other countries.”

  • Community Nursery Nurse of the Year: Aleksandra Dackiewicz – Community nursery nurse, The Laurels Healthy Living Centre, Haringey, London

Aleksandra’s nominator said: “Alex has been working in her team for over 8 years. She is dedicated, committed, courageous and is always so full of life. She is always asking if there is more that she could do. She is always up for a challenge and also translates and works with most of the Polish families. She is the champion for ASQ’s in the team and will soon be involved in training some of the newly recruited nursery nurses. She deserves to be recognised.”

  • Leader of the Year: Josephine Fee – Specialist safeguarding children’s nurse, Rusholme Health Centre, Manchester

Josephine’s nominator said: “Approaching retirement Jo has never slowed down. She is like a whirl wind and her energy and passion is contagious. During her career as an ambassador for supporting marginalized and vulnerable groups in society she has earned herself a reputation as an outstanding leader which is reinforced by her dedication and commitment to safeguarding the most vulnerable in society. She really is an unsung hero.”

  • School Nurse of the Year: Amanda Hulse – Specialist community public health practitioner in school nursing, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Cumbria

Amanda’s nominator said: “Amanda’s passion, alongside hard work and determination, has helped to maintain a quality school nursing service within Cumbria, and to raise the morale of the school nurse and health visitor colleagues with whom she works. Comments from young people, alongside Amanda’s own evidence of exemplary practice, led to her being awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse in November 2014.”

  • Specialist Health Visitor of the Year: Carroll Johnson-Chapman – Clinical team leader, health visiting teams for Spitfire and Boldmere, Stockland Green Primary Care Centre, Birmingham

Carroll’s nominator said: “Carroll deserves recognition because she has used her experience in an innovative way to support anxious parents to think clearly about their children’s health. She has worked on her project single-handedly raising funds and gaining support for her idea to become a reality. She has been inspirational in her leadership.”

  • Practice Teacher of the Year: Patricia Kelly – Associate practice teacher, Health Visitors Clinical Academic Hub, Sudbury Primary Care Centre, Wembley, London

Patricia’s nominator said: “As an associate practice teacher supporting health visiting staff and students across three boroughs, Trish ensures that she keeps herself up-to-date with current research and leads and chairs regular development forums with health visiting practice teachers. She has made a substantial contribution to the development of health visiting PTs and students to meet the requirements of the national Implementation Plan.”

  • Team of the Year Award: Sue McCormick, Helen Golightly, Janine Newhouse, Julia Roose, Sandra Davies, Lisa Benn, and Jade Byatt – Children’s health inclusion team, Vauxhall Health Centre, Liverpool

Sue McCormick who nominated her team said: “The team really excel in showing compassion in a professional manner, and many families have moved on with renewed hope. Frequently the team see families whose only possessions are the clothes they are standing up. This team are 100 per cent committed to this client group. They constantly strive to improve the care given by amending working practises. They really deserve recognition as this is a very challenging role. Every day they listen to traumatic histories from families and there can be a lot of tears. This is all in the context of an asylum system.

  • CPHVA Advocate of the Year: Angela Lewis – Independent consultant for public health nursing, East Riding of Yorkshire

Angela was selected as the Advocate of the Year by the CPHVA in recognition of her support for the association. Angela trained as a nurse in 1979 and as a midwife in 1981 prior to becoming a health visitor. She subsequently worked as a health visitor and practice teacher in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire. As Professional Lead for both health visiting and school nursing she was responsible for service improvement and for developing integrated working with the local authority. Angela is an active supporter of the #CPHVAtt Twitter chats every Tuesday and is passionate about promoting the work of the association.

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