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Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust shares good practice with new parents
Date of article: 08-Aug-12
Article By: Rachel Baker, News Editor
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has taken a new approach to its role as an early implementer site for health visitors and was in the first wave of 26 NHS Trusts to do so.
In order to share good practice, the Department of Health has been working with Southern Health and other early implementer sites so new mums and dads are aware of the facilities and services available to them during the most wonderful, yet demanding period of their lives.
Southern Health has a team of health visitors who work to give support and advice to families in Hampshire during the early life of their child. They provide a rolling programme of support for parents and carers of babies up to one-year-of-age called 'Tiny Times' and for children aged one to three-years-of-age, 'Toddler Times'. Other work supports breast feeding and mothers with postnatal depression.
The benefits of the new way of working with families are being seen with health visitors working closely with mums and dads and building close and strong relationships.
Sarah Dodd, a mum from Eastleigh said: “When my baby was born it was just a whirlwind, life just changed overnight and I don’t know if anyone is really prepared for that. The team has been with me every step of the way in those early weeks giving me help and then when I found myself with Post Natal Depression. They have been an incredible support to all of us as a family and I’m so grateful that they are there.”
Karen Reed is health visitor from Eastleigh and like others is her profession works closely with families to understand the support and advice that they need. She said: “It’s a great job and so rewarding to be able to help families and young children when things get hard.
Having said that we’re not just there to look for problems or to make any judgements, we just want to build that relationship and trust with mums and also dads because they both have such an important and demanding job in bringing up a baby.”
Southern Health supports people in a number of ways including specially trained staff to help people with mental health issues particularly during and after pregnancy, with its perinatal service. It also provides school and community nursing along with children’s physiotherapy.
Image: Mum, Susan McCue and her daughter Eva, with Liz Taylor, modern matron for children at Southern Health