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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

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Debbie blazes national trail for new course

LOCAL children and young people are to benefit from the expertise of a newly-qualified health worker.

Debbie McDowell, who works in Whitehaven, is now one of only six children’s service workers in the UK to qualify as an assistant practitioner.

She gained the qualification alongside her colleagues, Debbie Graham, and Karen Taylor, who also work in West Cumbria.

Debbie said: “We have always worked with children and families, but we are now able to support them with issues such as maintaining a healthy weight, constipation and hearing screening.

“We are also able to play an active role in supporting the health visitors and school nurses, allowing them to undertake more complex caseloads.”

Debbie has helped shaped the assistant practitioner course for future students.

“We have worked with the University of Central Lancashire to identify if the modules have been suitable and helped design new modules.

The assistant practitioner course consisted of two years full-time study, which was undertaken while we continued to work within children’s services.

“Although the course has been challenging with a lot of study and hard work it has also been very rewarding. The course has improved our self-confidence and has given us a sense of personal achievement because of the difference we hope to make for children, young people and families.”

Hilary Fenton, head of Children’s Services for Cumbria Partnership, said: “I am exceptionally proud of these three assistant practitioners, and would like to congratulate them on their success. It is an exciting time for children’s services in Cumbria as our teams are working more closely together to support children and their families.”

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