An organisation-wide approach to training community practitioners in breastfeeding

Wallace, L.M.; Law, S.M.; Joshi, P. and Hughes, E. (2011). An organisation-wide approach to training community practitioners in breastfeeding. Community practitioner: the journal of the Community Practitioners' & Health Visitors' Association, 84(6) pp. 31–34.


A new self-study training programme was delivered to community practitioners as part of an organisation-wide breastfeeding training programme. Knowledge outcomes were measured before and after the training using the Coventry University Breastfeeding Assessment. Interviews with participants found the programme was well received and seen as a key way to ensure consistent evidence-based practice. Practitioners across all professional groups increased knowledge scores after training. Independent evaluation showed that self-study is flexible and acceptable, but requires self-motivation as well as basic computer skills and access. Self-study is potentially more affordable, and could provide a means to regularly refresh the knowledge of staff and bring new recruits to the same objectively assessed standard. Recommendations include the use of learning sets to encourage team learning, and the production of a combined web and hard copy programme came from the learning achieved by piloting this new programme.

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