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Health visitor

Health visitors are specialist community public health nurses and are an integral part of the NHS Community Health Service. They can be either locality based or attached to GP surgeries.


The main focus of their work is the prevention of ill health, helping people to stay healthy and avoid illness, and promoting health in the whole community. They are particularly involved with families with children under five, and with the elderly.


Health visitors are qualified registered nurses or midwives (often both) with specialist qualifications in community health. This includes child health, health promotion and education.


They offer support and encouragement to families through the early years from pregnancy and birth to primary school and beyond.


Most health visitors are attached to a GP practice. This means they work closely with the GP and the patients registered with their practice. They look at the broader picture to identify the health needs within the community, which allows them to affect local policy.


The National Reporting and Learning Service has produced a range of patient safety resources for health visitors including:


  • Specific information about patient safety culture for primary care settings

  • Alerts and guidance about patient treatment and procedures, in particular those relating to children


Resources for health visitors are listed below.