The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has appointed eleven newly qualified health visitors who will be helping families to help give their children the best start in life.
Health visitors are registered nurses who are specially trained in child health, child development and health promotion.
They work in partnership with families from pregnancy until their children turn five, offering practical support and advice to help ensure their best outcomes.
Congratulating the new graduates, Paul Morgan, Director of Children and Young People’s Services for the Trust said: “In the Southern Trust our population is the fastest growing in Northern Ireland and we have the highest increase in births – 21% since 2001 compared to the Northern Ireland average of 15%, so it is vitally important that we have the staff in place to support these families.
“We are delighted that this year has been the most successful to date in training 11 new health visitors and wish them every success as they join the rest of the health visiting team and all of the other staff who deliver high quality care for children and families throughout the area.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the wider team around our students, health visiting managers and teams, the Safeguarding Children’s Nurse Specialist Team, their practice education facilitator and their University of Ulster Link lecturers, who have helped them complete their programme.”
Francis Rice, Executive Director of Nursing for the Southern Trust added: “Health visitors have a unique role in working so closely with families, so we are delighted to have been able to secure funding to ensure that all of our new students will take up permanent posts in the Trust.
“In the Southern Trust we are committed to the training and continuous development of our staff to meet the changing needs of our population.
“I would like to commend our new recruits on choosing Health Visiting as career path and wish them well in their continued development.”
Health visitors work closely with midwives, GPs, other professionals and if required, voluntary and community agencies.
For more information http://www.southerntrust.hscni.net/services/1678.htm