Community Public Health

Health visiting

Health visiting teams may consist of health visitors, community public health nurses, community nursery nurses, family health workers and community clerical officers. They work in partnership with local GP practices and children’s centre staff. They visit families in their own homes, facilitate community based groups and run clinics in health centres and community settings. Health visitors are in a unique position to deliver government policies in relation to the public health agenda, working in partnership with families, education, social care and other allied professionals to assess for health needs and facilitate early intervention. Health visitors are ideally placed to provide ongoing support, playing a key role in bringing together relevant local services to help families with continuing complex needs, for example where a child has a long-term condition.

Health visitors offer universal core services to all families with children under five years old and targeted support to families with additional needs such as post-natal depression, substance misuse, domestic abuse, teenage parents and those living in disadvantaged circumstances. This way of working is set out by the Healthy Child Programme (Department of Health, 2009) and the 4-5-6 Model of Health Visiting (Department of Health, 2015). Health visitors work in partnership with families and communities to improve access, experience and outcomes and to reduce health inequalities. They consider individual community needs including asylum seekers, travelling communities, religious and culturally diverse groups.

Key learning opportunities

This setting will provide a wide range of opportunities for the student to complete the learning criteria across all the domains.

The student will have the opportunity to develop his/her communication skills to a high level in order to promote therapeutic, reciprocal relationships with families.

  • The student will develop skills in holistic assessment, family-centred care planning, evaluation of care and health promotion. 
  • The student will learn about child development, milestones and deviations and develop an understanding of how a child’s experience and environmental factors can influence their physical and emotional development. 
  • The student will learn about the public health agenda for children, young people and families including healthy weight, perinatal mental health, school readiness and safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.
  • The student will be working in a multi-agency arena and may have the opportunity to explore the role of other community professionals.

These may include; school nurses, specialist nurses, speech therapists, children’s centre workers and professionals from other community services that are used by children and families.

School nursing

The school nursing service delivers the universal healthy child programme 5 - 19 to improve health outcomes for the school aged population. The team works in partnership with children, young people and their families as well as other professionals and agencies to ensure that children's health needs are being met and supported within their school and local community The healthy child programme is aimed at children, young people and families to focus on early intervention and prevention. Therefore, the school nursing service aims to:

  • Immunise children to protect against disease and infection
  • Provide health education
  • Promote healthy lifestyles
  • Provide drop-in sessions
  • Work with agencies to safeguard children from harm
  • Complete school entry screening
  • Complete growth measurements for reception and year 6 children for the National Child Measurement Programme, and offering advice and support
  • Undertake comprehensive health assessments which can be completed at home, in school or within a clinic setting. 
  • They are able to offer confidential health advice and support on all aspects of children's development.

Key learning opportunities

This setting will provide a wide range of opportunities for the student to complete the learning criteria across all the domains.

  • The student will have the opportunity to develop his/her communication skills to a high level in order to promote therapeutic, reciprocal relationships with families. 
  • The student will develop skills in holistic assessment, family-centred care planning, and evaluation of care and health promotion. 
  • The student will learn about child development, milestones and deviations and develop an understanding of how a child’s experience and environmental factors can influence their physical and emotional development. 
  • The student will learn about the public health agenda for children, young people and families including healthy weight, and safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.
  • Safe management and treatment for children in school with long term health conditions - allergies and epilepsy.
  • The student will learn about key issues for young people including continence issues - bedwetting and constipation, emotional wellbeing, sexual health, drug and alcohol use, smoking, bullying, hearing concerns, online safety, behaviour management, healthy diet and lifestyle.
  • The student will be working in a multi-agency arena and may have the opportunity to explore the role of other community professionals.