The Institute of Health Visiting has given fellowships to 154 health visitors at a special ceremony in London last night.
The institute said the fellowships had created a new country-wide group of “expert and confident health visiting leaders” who would make a “real difference” to the health outcomes of children, families and communities.
The fellowship programme was funded for 2014-15 by the Department of Health.
Each fellowship candidate went through a “very rigorous” application process in which they were assessed for their contributions to health visiting and also to children, families and communities, the institute said.
The event was attended by health minister Dr Dan Poulter and Professor Viv Bennett, director of nursing at Public Health England.
In a speech, Dr Poulter acknowledged the impact that health visitors had in delivering health and wellbeing improvements, endorsing the fellows as “leaders of health visiting”.
Dr Cheryll Adams, director of the institute, added: “We are immensely proud of our fellows. They have worked hard to be here today. But today is just the beginning of their role as fellow with the Institute.”
The Institute of Health Visiting was created in November 2012 to promote excellence in health visiting practice.