Community of practice for health visitors

Social workerThe aim of this project was to develop and implement a virtual community of practice for health visitors across two NHS trusts in England.

Empowerment of health visitors is achieved through a process of enabling them to increase control over and improve their practice. We propose to support the work of the developing health visitor workforce through a virtual community of practice for health visitors (CoP-HV).

The CoP-HV was piloted in two NHS trusts using a platform developed by the Open University (The Evidence Hub). This enabled health visitors to share, manage and co-produce knowledge in a virtual space that had not been previously available to them. The CoP-HV provided evidence and practice digests and an e-bulletin.

To ensure family priorities are met, we involved parents via the Netmums website in the development of the CoP-HV. We anticipated that the CoP-HV will contribute to professional learning, debate and discursive practice and ultimately to enhancement of practice. We evaluated both the process and the outcomes of the CoP-HV through an independent evaluation.

Empower-HV: A virtual community of practice for health visitors - Sally Kendall, Fiona Brooks and Faith Ikioda in partnership with the Institute of Health Visiting.

Collaborators: Cheryll Adams, Ros Bryar, Sarah Cowley, Institute of Health Visiting, Fiona Brooks, UH, Peter Scott, Open University, Hertfordshire Community Trust, Barts and the London NHS Trust, NetMums.

Professor of Nursing

Find out more about this research Email Professor Kendall