The role of a Health Visitor entails early intervention and prevention of illness/disease through health promotion, screening and education of a defined population within the community they serve. All populations have diverse health needs which requires actively helping to identify these needs and enabling the community to partake in health enhancing activities, thus leading to a reduction or prevention in poor health outcomes and morbidity.
To meet the needs of a diverse community requires the Health Visitors to: -understand what is required for behaviour change -have knowledge of cultural and social differences that affect health and the relationship -have an awareness of socioeconomic status access to resources and wellbeing of the community. -be culturally sensitive and community orientated - be open to innovative ways of working and work collaboratively way with other services.
The Healthy Child Programme (HCP) offers children and their families a universal service and is offered to all children in England, with additional support for those with specific needs and risks. A progressive universal HCP is one that offers a range of preventative and early intervention services for different levels of risk, needs and protective factors. In a diverse country such as England, the HCP will require adaptation to meet the individual and cultural needs of families. This may require the use of interpreters, understanding different childcare practices and taking services to the homeless, asylum seekers and traveller families are all key features of the local/community programmes. Health visitors are key to the effective delivery of the HCP and work with other professionals and organisations such as: Children Centres staff and members of the primary health care team in ensuring the HCP is delivered during pregnancy and the first years of life.
My presentation will demonstrate how Health Visitors make a difference to diverse communities through the influence of a diverse workforce, training and the HCP.
Pamela Shaw, Practice Educator, Health Visitor, Queen’s Nurse