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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Health visitors to support families

An influx of newly-qualified health visitors will soon be providing extra support to families.

In the next few months eight new health visitors will start in post, with a further 15 nurses have now started their health visitor qualification.

Health visitors are employed by the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides community services across the county.

They work to support families and young children in the crucial first years of life. The diverse role involves working to prevent illness and promote health and wellbeing.

The trust is currently aiming to increase overall numbers by 20 per cent by 2015.

Sarah Cooper, its pathway lead for pregnancy and early years, said: “There is currently a national drive to increase the number of health visitors in England. This drive has been successful in Cumbria with 100 applicants for 15 places on the health visiting course.

“Research has shown that health visiting is very important for the best start to a person’s life.

“It positively affects the health and social outcomes during the crucial early years which can lead to improved health and well being as children grow older and into adulthood. I welcome this focus on increasing the number of health visitors as they are best placed to help families and young children.”

The current crop of students include Lesley Martin, 30, who is just starting her placement in Carlisle.

“All of my other jobs have been hospital or clinical based so this is very different for me,” she said.

“Part of my job involves promoting health services and I am looking forward to being able to give families the information they need to make the right choices for them and to help make a difference in their lives.”

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