Our health visitors were thrilled to welcome Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales to Hackney in March this year as part of her work with The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood on the vital importance of our earliest years.
She spent over two hours with the team at Lower Clapton GP Group Practice. Whilst at the Practice, she sat in on consultations between a health visitor and mothers with babies, and joined in staff briefing sessions to discuss cases and life as a health visitor. She also took time to chat to the GPs and their staff at the Practice who work closely with the health visiting team.
She then joined health visitor Carmel Murray on a home visit to a mother and her newly born baby.
Elizabeth Begley, Senior Nurse Health Visiting and Early Years for Homerton Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness to Hackney so she could get first-hand experience of the work our teams do with local families.
"The Princess was extremely personable and full of questions about the role of health visitors, including some of the challenges they face on a daily basis. During her visit she sat in on clinic visits – including antenatal and 10 month review - and a new birth visit at home. She took great delight in joining our health visitors in consultations with families and taking part in the discussions. The families all commented on how enthusiastic the Princess was and how they felt safe and secure in her company and appreciated her genuine interest in their stories.
"We feel privileged to have hosted Her Royal Highness and allowed her an opportunity to see for herself how important health visitors are in supporting families during the first 1001 days of a child’s life."
The Princess of Wales is supporting The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood and this visit coincided the second in a series of Public Perceptions reports which has found that the role of Health Visitors is not always fully understood. One key finding is that the majority (56%) of the public are unfamiliar with role played by Health Visitors. Read the 13 page Public role of Health Visitors report.
The Princess of Wales also participated in a video of her meeting with some of our health visitors and some parents below
Photo credit: Will Warr/The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.