Public Health role of Health Visitors

An investigation into how the wider public health role is perceived and undertaken by Health Visitors

within a Community NHS trust in the East of England study results showed that all the Health

Visitors interviewed had a common understanding of wider public health activities, but not a clear definition, and that their ability to undertake such activities was influenced by the pressure placed upon them to deliver Key Performance Indicators to meet the commissioned Health Visitor service specification. They were willing to

undertake public health work but did not have the capacity to do so. The findings also showed that there was no template for recording information about wider public health activities and any public health work undertaken at the community was not being recorded.

This research suggests introducing the concept of self-managed teams and the possibility of having some national outcome measures to help document wider public health activity. There is also some work needed to help Health Visitors understand how the overall healthcare system now works within the United Kingdom and recommendations have been offered for further clarity relating to evaluating Building Community Capacity Initiatives.