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Does your health visitor deserve a big thumbs up?

Applications are now open for the 2012 NHS North East Health Visiting Awards and the region's NHS is asking families across the north east to nominate their health visitor. The awards seek to recognise and reward the work of health visitors and the difference they and their teams make to families right across the region.

Health visitors aim to improve the health of families and children in the crucial first few years of life.  Working in the community, they prevent illness and promote health and wellbeing.

The awards are open to all health visitors and health visiting teams working in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Darlington and Teesside and NHS North East wants people to tell their stories about the care and support they received by nominating their own health visitor for the 'family award'.

Many parents find the help they receive from their health visitor invaluable as they adjust to life following the birth of their child.  Working in a variety of settings including family homes, local clinics and Sure Start centres, health visitors offer advice and support on all family health issues, from new birth visits and immunisations, to undertaking physical and developmental checks as well as providing support for mum and dad.

All families who have recently used their local health visiting service can nominate their health visitor for the 'family award'.

Jane Cummings, chief nurse for NHS North of England said: "Health visitors play a key role in supporting families with young children and are a vital part of local communities. The awards are a chance to give health visitors the spotlight they deserve and showcase the important work they do every day for families right across the north east. I'd like to encourage people to come forward and tell us about the care they received and nominate their health visitor for an award."

Ian Dalton, chief executive of NHS North of England added: "Supporting families in the early days, months and years of a child's life is a challenging yet highly rewarding role and one which is highly valued by the NHS. Health visitors help people to achieve the health and happiness they deserve and help children get off to the best possible start in life.  We of course value all of our NHS staff, but this is an opportunity to give health visitors their chance to shine."

To nominate your health visitor for an award visit www.northeast.nhs.uk/familyaward to complete a nomination form.  If you don't have access to a computer call 0191 210 6441 for a paper copy of the nomination form.

Nominations close 20 February 2012.

Published: 25 January 2012

'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after and very impressed.'

Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital