Published on: 22 July 2022

A team of Specialist Community Public Health Nurses have been recognised from the Local Government Association (LGA) in a recent publication summarising the importance of children’s health and wellbeing.

The Specialist Community Public Health team have worked with asylum seeking families, in particular children within these groups, to help reduce inequalities in health and social care across Derby city.

The team who are part of Derbyshire Healthcare Trust’s 0-19 Derby Integrated Family Health Service, includes two public health nurses who are trained as health visitors and school nurses, a family health practitioner and a child practitioner from the local authority who visit families to assess their health and social care needs.

A health assessment requires assessing the child for any health needs, checking if the child is up to date with their vaccinations, to determine next steps such as possible prescriptions for medication, GP referrals or referral to mental and emotional health support services.

The LGA is a national membership body for local authorities, working with councils to support, promote and improve the local government, such as the need to provide wider health and social awareness and support to asylum seeking families.

Virginia Hickman, Specialist Community Public Health Nurse for asylum seeking families, is particularly proud of her team and the recognition they have received.

She said: “The work we carry out as a team can be extremely challenging as it is all about building trust with families, which can initially be hard to create when families do not want to immediately engage with us.

“The role involves a lot of patience as there are many barriers such as differing cultures and languages.

“However, our team of trained nurses have worked well to provide an accessible and tailored service for those struggling.”

“This service has helped tackle unmet health needs such as some long-term conditions through immediate action and treatment by the team.

“It is this approach which has helped to improve the integration of families, especially children, into the community.”