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. They 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.