Research carried out by the National Nursing Research Unit at King’s College London has revealed that while health visitors deliver real benefits to patients and families, there is a need for more research and better education in order to develop the profession. The review, entitled Why Health Visiting? supports the Department of Health’s Health Visitor Implementation Plan 2011 – 2015.
The role and function of health visitors has come to the fore in recent years, because of increasing evidence about the vital importance of pregnancy and the first few years of life to the individuals’ future health and social well-being. This review aimed to assess the research evidence about the impact of health visiting practice, including whether or not it makes a difference in terms of outcomes for families.
The project was led by Professor Dame Sarah Cowley, Visiting Professor of Community Practice Development, who was honoured with a DBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to health visiting, as well as a Life Time Achievement Award from Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association, in recognition of her contribution to the profession.
Why Health Visiting? A review of the literature about key health visitor interventions, processes and outcomes for children and families along with the Report Appendices is available on the National Nursing Research Unit’s website.