It was on route to Birmingham on Wednesday 22nd March that I heard the tragic news of the attack in Westminster, later to hear that there were police raids a few minutes from my hotel and the police were searching a property in my home county of Carmarthenshire. It all seemed too close for comfort.
The following morning I was Chairing the 2nd National Journal of Health Visiting (JHV) conference on Public Health, Evidence into Practice. The Keynote speech was presented by Professor Gillian Lang, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Health and Social Care NICE, providing clear instructions on the use of the NICE Guidelines and urging professionals to become more involved. (I suggested Health Visitors might think about the assessment tools they currently use). Her talk was followed by Dr Janice Christie, discussing the use of research evidence in practice with useful tips on reading research articles and taking the leadership role. An interesting panel discussion with Beverly Costa, Margaret Gunn and Angela Knight Jackson explored the meaning of culturally compassionate care and this was followed by Dr Kostas Agath, examining the misuse of substances and informing the audience of the support networks available to families.
Following the dinner in the evening, there was an Award Ceremony and I was honoured to present the Health Visiting Student of the Year Award to Heather Pointer from Wirral Community Foundation Trust. It was a joy to see Health Visitors being rewarded for their good works. As an added bonus, Health Visitor Sharon Fernandez was awarded ‘Heath Visitor of the Year’ for her work in perinatal mental health. Many congratulations to Sharon. Details can be seen at: http://www.jhvawards.com/