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Helping health visitors to make every contact count for screening and immunisation

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: Screening Quality Assurance Service

PHE’s screening and immunisation teams ran successful continuing professional development (CPD) sessions on antenatal and newborn screening for health visitors in Lancashire.

The North West Screening Quality Assurance Service (SQAS) and Lancashire and Cumbria Screening and Immunisations Team (SIT) ran the events, focusing on giving health visitors up to date information on the screening and immunisation pathways.

Timeline illustration detailing all the antenatal and newborn screening tests offered to pregnant women and newborn babies. In chronological order they are: diabetic eye screening for pregnant women with diabetes, antenatal sickle cell and thalassaemia screening, infectious diseases in pregnancy screening, fetal anomaly screening, newborn and infant physical examination, newborn blood spot screening and newborn hearing screening
The timeline detailing all the antenatal and newborn screening tests that the NHS offers

Health visitors are particularly important stakeholders because they:

  • are specialist practitioners with public health degrees
  • provide a universal service to all babies from birth
  • can provide a safety net to make sure screening and immunisation pathways are followed correctly and completed

We (Michele Seddon and Angie McAlpine) ran the sessions together. We both have extensive and varied experience (as a health visitor and school nurse), so we recognise the value of making every contact count and making full use of the contribution of health visitors.

The events covered:

  • national quality improvement plans for the hepatitis B antenatal screening and selective neonatal immunisation pathways
  • local delivery of the BCG (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin) vaccination programme
  • general updates on all screening and immunisations

Feedback was very positive, with 95% of health visitor delegates reporting that the event will help them do their job more effectively.

The 3 most highly evaluated aspects of the sessions were:

  • screening knowledge
  • immunisation knowledge
  • communication between Lancashire Care, NHS England and PHE

Positive comments on the learning included:

Haven’t had an update in several years so really benefited from this

Really important, should be mandatory

Really useful session – need this yearly!

Plans are already in place to organise more of these events across the North West.

For more information, please email Michele Seddon or Angela McAlpine.

PHE Screening blogs

PHE Screening blogs provide up to date news from all NHS screening programmes. You can register to receive updates direct to your inbox, so there’s no need to keep checking for new blogs. If you have any questions about this blog article, or about population screening in England, please contact the PHE screening helpdesk.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Irene Stratton posted on

    Maybe similar events on diabetic eye screening for diabetes specialist nurses and for practice nurses would get as positive an outcome. In some GP practices practice nurses and health care assistants often are the main contact for people with diabetes for their regular checks so they are in a good position to encourage uptake of screening. Since diabetic eye screening was taken out of QOF they may not be so focused on uptake!
    We've shown that uptake varies a lot between GPs even when one adjusts for deprivation, age and distance from the surgery so there would be an opportunity to increase attendance in some practices.