Interprofessional working is key to delivering positive public health outcomes and reducing health inequalities, which requires a whole system effort. Health visitors are key public health practitioners who can make a significant contribution to interprofessional teams working with individuals, families and communities to improve public health. However, interprofessional relationships in a health visiting context are not well understood. This paper presents data from a larger grounded theory study reported elsewhere (Machin et al, 2012), which included evidence of health visitors' interprofessional interactions. Theoretical sampling resulted in 20 interviews and 10 observations from 17 health visitors in different work roles, in 2 community health-care organisations. The category 'interprofessional working; emerged from constant comparative analysis as one of four key data categories. Lack of role awareness and role overlap were identified as factors affecting the health visitors' interprofessional working relationships with doctors, nurses, nursery nurses and in interagency working. Interprofessional learning in health visitors' education and a health visitor commitment to workplace interaction with others, may improve clarity and awareness of their role, their experience and outcomes of their interprofessional public health working.
|Journal of Health Visiting
|Published - 2013