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Bridgewater boosts health visitor support for north west families
Wednesday 26th September, 2012

FAMILIES across the north west are set to benefit from the skills and expertise of health visitors recruited by Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust (Bridgewater).

The organisation which provides a wide range of community health services across the boroughs of Wigan, Halton, St Helens, Trafford and Warrington, has recently recruited 24 qualified health visitors and a further 39 will be trained to work across these areas.

The health visitors, recruited under the Government’s “Call to Action” programme, will provide help, support and information to all new parents.

Health visitors are qualified nurses with additional intensive training and Bridgewater will continue to support their learning and development to ensure they are equipped with the skills to provide families with essential help and support during the vital early years.

The Chief Executive of Bridgewater, Dr Kate Fallon, a member of the Department of Health’s Health Visiting Task Group, said:” For many years as a GP I saw for myself how vital and important the role of the health visitor is, not only to new parents but their extended families too.

“Under this programme of dedicated recruitment we have been able to boost our health visitor numbers and so increase the amount of support we are able to offer hundreds of families. All of those recruited bring with them a wealth of knowledge, skills and expertise and will support what is already a thriving and greatly appreciated health visitor service.”

Earlier this year Bridgewater was successful in securing further Government support by being accepted as an Early Implementer Site. This status gives it access to a dedicated programme of development and support and allows it to share best practice at both a regional and local level.

Under the Government’s “Call to Action” programme the Government unveiled its ambitions to rejuvenate and expand the health visiting service by recruiting an additional 4,200 health visitors by 2015.

During the next three years, Bridgewater, in common with other health care trusts across the UK, will be seeking to further increase its health visitor numbers so offering even greater support to some of the most vulnerable families in its communities.

Bridgewater is aspiring to become a Foundation Trust in 2013. Support the Trust and become a member so that you can influence decisions and give your views on services provided by the Trust. Sign up as a member at www.bridgewater.nhs.uk

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