Child psychotherapists have been involved in the development of a new framework for specialist health visitors in perinatal and infant mental health which is due to be published soon by Health Education England.
The framework, Specialist Health Visitors in Perinatal & Infant Mental Health: What they do and why they matter, has been endorsed by the Association for Infant Mental Health, the Institute of Health Visiting and the Royal College of Psychiatry.
It is a practical document which gives information about the clinical and service development aspects of the role and includes a sample job description as well as information about relevant training for the role.
Consultant child and adolescent psychotherapist Sara Rance describes how a collaborative process following a working group that she convened at Health Education England North Central and East London in 2014-15 let to the writing of a document aimed specifically at commissioners and service managers.
Sara says she is hoping the framework will influence commissioning decisions and contribute to the development of new specialist posts for health visitors working in the perinatal period and beyond with women, their babies, partners and families.