The East Lancashire NHS trust has produced a policy for the distribution of vitamin D supplements for ante-natal and post-natal women and all infants from birth to five years of age. Due to a high number of rickets recorded in East Lancashire the trust has identified that it is more cost effective to implement the vitamin D supplements for all than to treat the disease.
The policy gives a brief insight into the condition and the objectives to manage the deficiency of vitamin D. The aim is to eradicate rickets by raising public awareness of the importance of vitamin D intake through safe exposure to sunlight, diet and supplementation. To educate the public and raise awareness could prove costly to the trust although when considering the financial implications in treating rickets, it can surely be a beneficial exercise to implement.
Health visitors and midwives are trained to distribute, audit and educate parents to use the vitamins appropriately. It is imperative that these professionals understand the implications and benefits in order to support parents and explain the importance of taking the vitamins. The policy indicates that such training of these professionals should become mandatory each year with a future to use e-learn to reduce manpower and save on costs. It would be of interest to see if this would become a national target. This policy is of useful reading for professionals as it documents the benefits of promoting the prevention of rickets in society and the financial implications of the campaign.
Department Of Health. (2011)The health Visitor Implementation Plan – A Call To Action, London: Department of Health
The Health Visitor Implementation Plan is of great interest to read for health professionals as it supports health visitors in their working progress for promoting public health. It is a plan of action devised by the Department of Health and identifies how supporting the health visitor’s role is paramount in obtaining a positive impact on society’s wellbeing. This is a document with a vision for the future from 2011-2015 to increase the numbers of health visitors working in practice. By identifying that early intervention for family support is crucial and by having a strong, highly trained service to meet these needs is essential. This can be achieved by working as part of a multi-agency team with health care professionals, Sure Start centres, and other organisations to promote the production of a healthier nation.
On study it appears to be a challenge to meet these figures by the year 2015. To train and increase a workforce in such a short time will require significant funding, resourcing and dedication. Although the plan does present clear milestones over the future years to monitor and implement the continual progress to develop and recruit such a high number of newly trained Health Visitors.
The plan has a positive outlook for the future of health visiting and promises to commit its plan to improve the nation’s health.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. (2010) Donor Milk Banks: The Operation of Donor Milk Bank Services .London: NICE. Retrieved from http://www.nice.org.uk/cg93
Donor milk banks operate in a way to provide breast milk to babies who are unable to feed at the breast. The NICE guidelines are in support of the Department of Health’s recommendations to encourage breastfeeding to the age of 6 years. In view of this NICE has devised guidelines for how milk banks can support and run as a successful commodity for societies wellbeing. In these guidelines it details training for employees and the donor, screening of the milk, transportation and storage, record keeping and research.
The guidelines demonstrate great support of the