Health visitor Elaine joins country’s top group
A health visitor in Northumberland has been recognised as one of the best in the country.
Elaine Luff, from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, is one of 80 health visitors from across the country who has been chosen to join the prestigious Institute of Health Visiting’s (iHV) Fellowship programme.
The programme recognises the professional achievement of exceptional health visitors – creating a new country-wide group of expert and confident health visitor leaders who make a real difference to the health outcomes of children, families and communities. They are known as professionals who ‘push the boundaries’.
Elaine is the first health visitor from Northumbria Healthcare to have been chosen to join the programme.
Health visitors offer support and encouragement to families through the early years from pregnancy and birth, to primary school and beyond, to help families stay healthy and avoid illness.
Elaine is based at Wellway Medical Group in Morpeth and supports families in the town, Bedlington, Choppington and Pegswood.
Elaine, who started as a cadet nurse in the NHS over 40 years ago, said: “It is a great honour and truly humbling to be chosen to join this prestigious group and be recognised as a visionary leader in health visiting.
“Health visitors play a hugely important role in ensuring children have the best possible start in life and achieve their full potential.
“I relish the prospect of helping to develop the health visitors of the future and ensuring that families in Northumberland and beyond continue to receive the highest level of support.”
Throughout her career as a health visitor, Elaine has had a particular interest in maternal and infant mental health and the impact relationships with parents and close family and friends can have on a child’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
Elaine said: “The period of a child’s life from conception to the age of two is vital to their long-term mental health and wellbeing and one where health visitors can provide families with much-needed help and support.”
Dr Cheryll Adams, director of the iHV, said: “We are delighted to appoint more Fellows to the Institute to strengthen leadership in the health visiting profession and to help develop the next generation of health visitors.
“There is immense talent in our profession and our Fellows lead the way in pushing the boundaries to ensure excellence in practice.”
As a new Fellow, Elaine is invited to undertake a four-day leadership development programme, and will be awarded her certificate at a celebration event in March 2015.
Becoming a Fellow is just the start of a journey with the iHV. Together, the Fellows and the Institute will develop the next generation of health visitors; integrate new policy and research into practice; whilst ensuring that they and their colleagues continue to make a real difference to the health outcomes of children and their families.
Every family with a child under five has a named health visitor and they work with midwives, GPs, children’s centres and community and voluntary services to best support families.
For more information about the Fellows programme, please see www.ihv.org.uk