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Musical mums sing family nurse praises - literally!

Two musical mums were so impressed with the care provided by their family nurse that they decided to team up and sing her praises – literally.

Khalilah Nembhard and Kelisha Clarke, of Moseley, wanted to say ‘thank you’ in a memorable way when the time came to say goodbye to family nurse Rachel Tuton after nearly three years of dedicated care and support.

The keen singers wrote, arranged and recorded a song together, with lyrics paying tribute to Rachel and describing their mixed emotions as they look forward to a more independent future as young parents.

“Rachel gave us such amazing help and support that we really wanted to find a special, sentimental way to pay tribute,” said 21-year-old Kelisha, whose daughter Ju-Naid is now two years old.

“We couldn’t afford to buy her a big expensive present or anything so we thought ‘what else can we do?’. We both love singing so writing a song seemed the perfect way to show how grateful we are for all her support.”

Khalilah said becoming a mum has been hugely rewarding – and that positive experience is in large part due to the dedication of her family nurse and other health professionals like her.

“Becoming a single mum while you’re still a teenager is challenging," said the 22-year-old mum of two-year-old Destiny and one-year-old Karma.

"There’s so much to learn about caring for your baby and how they should be developing. So you need someone to turn to for support and advice.

“Rachel was fantastic, I still ring her for advice, or just for a chat.

“She was always very professional and knowledgeable but, at the same time, became more like a close friend. The Family Nurse Partnership is a wonderful scheme and I hope that lots more young mums and their kids get to benefit from it like we have.”

Kelisha Clarke and Khalilah Nembhard with their children

Khalilah has just successfully completed an access to higher education diploma in health and nursing at Joseph Chamberlain College and is due to start an undergraduate degree in psychology in October; while Kelisha is studying for a degree in business and finance and then plans to take a business-related Masters degree.

Rachel Tuton, a family nurse supervisor with BCHC, said Kelisha and Khalilah earned a standing ovation when they premiered their song at a conference for professionals engaged in delivering the national Family Nurse Partnership.

“I was incredibly touched,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of nice feedback from the mums I’ve worked with but no-one has ever been moved to song before!

“Kelisha and Khalilah are both examples of how young mums and their children can thrive and fulfil their potential socially and professionally if the right support is readily accessible when they need it.”

The Family Nurse Partnership is an intensive, structured, home visiting programme, offered to first-time parents under the age of 20. A specially trained family nurse visits the mother regularly from early pregnancy until the baby is two years old and builds a close, supportive relationship with the family.

The programme was extended in April as part of national policy to improve and extend the care and support available to babies, young children and their parents. As part of a national expansion of NHS health visiting services, Birmingham Community Healthcare is increasing the number of health visitors in the city by 120 by March 2015.

 

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