Leading in practice: a case study of how health visitors share and develop good practice

Brigham, Lindsay; Maxwell, Claire and Smith, Ann (2012). Leading in practice: a case study of how health visitors share and develop good practice. Community Practitioner, 85(5) pp. 24–28.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to find out more about health visitors’ current situated practice in the context of national policy drivers outlining a new lead role for them in delivering co-ordinated and integrated services for children and families, tailored to local needs. The study focused on health visitors within a recently merged Primary Care Trust and a qualitative approach was adopted with use of focus groups to generate data. The transcripts were subsequently analysed for key themes and dimensions. These related to how health visitors defined their own role and the skills with which they carried it out, the development of their expertise, role tensions and factors affecting leadership development. By drawing together the grounded experience of health visitors, policy drivers and theoretical interpretations a rich picture of existing practices was established, with recommendations made to promote distributed leadership and change.

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