Health visitors are able to build community capacity. Building from the principles which we have espoused for more than three decades, to search out health needs, to stimulate awareness of health needs among individuals, families and communities, to influence policies affecting health and wellbeing and to facilitate people in engaging with health-enhancing activities (CETHV 1977). Health visitors are seen as bridging and guiding the complex networks of people required to support children, families and communities to achieve the best possible health outcomes. However, whilst the existing workforce has the potential to undertake this role, many people have been overwhelmed by current workloads, and few have been able to sustain the necessary skills or up to date knowledge. This package is designed to facilitate existing health visitors to gain confidence and extend or renew their skills in building community capacity. The teaching and learning model adopted draws on principles from the work of Boud and colleagues (2006), in particular the notion of productive reflection which harnesses reflection on work experience and work practice to enhance engagement and outputs as well as learning.
Please see below a link to a podcast from the former Deputy Chief Nurse Professor Viv Bennett who is now the Director of Nursing in the Department of Health & the Principal Advisor on Public Health Nursing to the Government
In order to undertake this package:
- You need permission from your NHS employer
- Find out who your building community capacity lead is and how you can be supported by a workplace adviser
- Once you are registered you will receive a confirmation email
- You can now get started and work through the package
For further advice please contact your workplace adviser who is appointed by your NHS employer.
As part of your participation in the Building Community Capacity package you are expected to plan, implement and evaluate a change in your practice which demonstrates how you have worked with individuals, groups and the wider community to build their capacity to enhance health and wellbeing. Your chosen ‘project’ will help you implement what you have learnt through the programme and to demonstrate to others how the programme has influenced your practice. You are welcome to work on a ‘project’ either alone or with a small group of colleagues.
This package will help you to refresh your knowledge of relevant areas and most importantly help you to work through, in practice, ways in which you can increase:
- Skills, confidence
- Understanding of people, parents, families, the wider community and any of the voluntary and statutory agencies working with them
- Issues affecting health and wellbeing
- Facilitate and provide leadership for collaborative working
It should help you to deliver some specific developments / improvements with clear, measurable outputs in partnership with the local community.
Developing a reflective portfolio will help you to document evidence of your thinking and skills which could be valuable for appraisal, and help you to verify aspects of your Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF).
For those of you who want to build on existing qualifications and get recognition for taking part, you may want to follow our accredited route. Northumbria University offer accreditation for your learning from this package (30 postgraduate credits). For further information on how to gain accreditation at Northumbria University click here. Your local university may also offer accreditation via a work based learning route.
The Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) allows any university or college in the UK to recognise academic work completed with another Higher Education Institution. Completing the package could help you to build towards a Bachelors or a Masters degree, depending on the level of your existing qualifications. Even if you don’t take this option now, most providers will consider evidence of study undertaken within five years. You could then apply for accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) where you can gain credit towards a specified course at your chosen university.
Building Community Capacity can take many forms from working with individuals to working with a large number of individuals within the community. While your ‘project’ may take a particular form it is likely that all Building Community Capacity projects will be focused on drawing out and strengthening the skills and knowledge of people to influence the health and wellbeing needs of themselves and others.
Managing your work- Using an electronic portfolio (pilot only) or download your working documents to your own computer?
If you use a computer at work or at home, you probably have enough IT and technical knowledge to cope! You need to know how to connect to the internet on the machine you use, and be able to use Google or another way of searching for websites. Once you have accessed the site it is easy to navigate.
Standard or accredited?
The standard package will enable everyone who completes it to gain evidence of their thinking and skills through a reflective portfolio, as well as delivering a capacity building project with clear, evidenced outcomes. The standard package will provide a good basis if you might want to use it for accreditation at a later date (but usually within five years of completion).
Going for Accreditation?
For those of you who want to build on existing qualifications and get recognition for taking part, you may want to follow our accredited route. Northumbria University offer accreditation for your learning from this package (30 postgraduate credits- level 7). For further information on how to gain accreditation at Northumbria University click here.
The Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) enables any university or college in the UK to recognise academic work completed with another Higher Education Institution. Completing the package could help you to build towards a Bachelors or a Masters degree, depending on the level of your existing qualifications. Even if you don’t take this option now, most providers will consider evidence of study undertaken within five years. You could then apply for accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) where you can gain credit towards a specified course at your chosen university.
The design team is co-ordinated and led by Revd Professor Pauline Pearson, Professor of Nursing at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne. She is an experienced health visitor with significant experience in educational and community development as well as a track record in research, practice and education for public health and primary health care. She has extensive experience in managing interagency collaborations. Other members of the team include (in alphabetical order):
Joanne Bennett is a Principal Lecturer and Programme Manager. She has a strong background in community nursing and has worked in Higher Education for the past 22 years. She has extensive knowledge and expertise in the design, development, delivery, evaluation and management of a range of professional programmes for community nurses and has worked closely with local primary care organisations to develop bespoke courses for staff working in primary care.
Maggie Coates is Senior Lecturer and a qualified health visitor and community children's nurse who leads on programmes for public health practice, school nursing and health visiting.
Gill Franklin is a Practice Placement Facilitator working in NHS South of Tyne and Wear, Community Health Services. She is a registered Specialist Public Health Practitioner (Health Visiting) and a Specialist Practice Mentor. She has considerable community working experience and creates links between Northumbria University and practice placements to help support learning and quality placement experiences.
Rebecca Groves is Principal Administrator looking after Research and Enterprise activity within the School of Health, Community and Education Studies. Rebecca has substantial project and financial management experience and supports and advises the project team in all aspects of financial management and administrative processes.
David Nichol's background, experience and academic qualifications are across the broad spectrum of information and communication technologies, with a primary focus on its strategic implementation and development into all aspects of learning, teaching and assessment.
Carole Proud is Director of Practice Placements, supporting the development of practice learning opportunities for students of health, education and social work. Carole is a registered Health Visitor and Practice Teacher. She has led community engagement projects and has experience of evaluating developments in Early Years services.
Ann Robinson has considerable community working experience, she has worked as a Health Visitor, District Nursing Sister and was leader of an integrated nursing team prior to joining Northumbria University in 2000. She is Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for the Community Specialist Practice in District Nursing Programme.
Gillian Shiel is a Principal Lecturer and Programme Manager who remains a registered nurse. As an academic, Gillian has substantial experience in working with organisations in developing, managing and delivering work based learning programmes.
Dr John Unsworth is an experienced community nurse and former primary care organisation Nurse Director. He has experience of curriculum and short course design and a background in public health research and community development projects.
Jonathan Yaseen is an experienced member of the learning teaching development team and has been responsible for the production of learning materials for students and staff. He encourages the development of innovative approaches to the provision of flexible and longterm learning experiences for the student, contributing to evaluation and outcome dissemination.
Dr Lesley Young-Murphy is an experienced community practitioner, health visitor, and a former Director of Community Services, now Interim Director of Community Care and OD at NHS North of Tyne. Lesley has developed innovative work based learning programmes that facilitate wider workforce development with a focus on service improvement.
We hope you enjoy following the programme, and find it useful in your work!
Pauline Watts - Professional Officer – Chief Nursing Officer's Professional Leadership Team, Department of Health
Craig Hewitt - Professional Mobilisation Project Planning Lead, Health Visitor Programme, Department of Health
Neha Baj - Project Manager, e-Learning for Healthcare