“Virgin Care are a good company to work for and have clear values. They listen to what staff have to say and are supportive towards innovative ideas.”
What’s your role?
I work as a Health Visitor in North Devon.
What’s your background?
I have had a wide variety of nursing jobs over the years! My main roles have been as a Practice Nurse but I have also ventured into Intensive Care for a few years. I was fortunate enough to live and work in western Australia for a few years and I worked in a busy Cardiac Catherisation lab with lots of very technical machinery that I never really understood!
What do you do?
I work with children under five and their families delivering the Healthy Child Programme, which is a national policy setting out a core offer of service for every family. It includes antenatal visits, new birth visits, 6-8 week Maternal Mental Health checks, pre 1 year and 2 year development checks all as a universal service. For those families with additional health needs there is a universal plus and partnership plus offer. Health Visitors also focus on addressing health inequalities such as the rise in obesity and we are pivotal in trying to improve the health outcomes for children and ensure that they get the best start in life.
What is your current area of focus?
I am currently developing a website/blog showing parents how to prepare home cooked food for their babies and children. I hope to use this along with Facebook and other social media sites to promote balanced diets. As we are shortly going to be mobile working, I hope that it can also be used by health professionals when working with families and children in the home environment.
What else do you look after?
I support Nursery Nurses and Staff Nurses working in our team.
How has your role developed since you started?
As Health Visiting is very driven by government policies it is constantly changing! I am always learning lots of new skills and I have just completed my Newborn Behavioural Observations (NBO) and am now offering intensive visiting to targeted families within the Devon Health Visiting in Partnership Programme (DHVIP).
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I feel very privileged to work as a Health Visitor for Virgin Care. I love the variety of my job and get to meet new people every day! Families let me into their homes (with few complaints!) and if I am lucky enough they let me back a few weeks later! I cover some fairly remote parts of Devon so I get to do lots of walking up and down big hills.
What is the most challenging part of what you do?
Juggling various demands of the role.
Do you have a favourite story from your time working for Virgin Care?
Doing my first NBO assessment on a two week old baby! I sat with the parents either side of me and was able to get the baby to focus on a red ball and follow it from left to right and then turn straight towards his mum when he heard her voice… it was magical! We all sat in stunned silence looking at the baby.
What are you most proud of?
Seeing families I have been working with slowly begin to take the first steps towards improving their child’s life makes me very proud of the job that I do.
What do you most enjoy about working for Virgin Care?
The opportunities for additional training and the investment that they are putting into the service. I also believe the parties are good! I am off to my first one in a few weeks!
Something about you?
I ride a very old Vespa scooter!
What makes you get up in the morning?
My alarm, Shaun Keaveny Radio 6 music and a park run at the weekend.
What would you say to someone considering a role at Virgin Care?
Go for it! Virgin Care are a good company to work for and have clear values. They listen to what staff have to say and are supportive towards innovative ideas.