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Supporting Continuing Professional Development with the wider workforce

25th August 2017

In support of Health Visiting Week (#HVWeek), and with today’s theme being around transition, a blog by Leanne Mchugh, Practice Educator 0-19 Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, on supporting Continuing Professional Development with the wider workforce to support the families in our care to the best of our abilities.

Leanne Mchugh, Practice Educator 0-19 Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust

Leanne Mchugh, Practice Educator 0-19 Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust

Service enhancement has been a key theme in Government documents (DOH 2011, NHS 2014). Skills, learning and expertise of health visitors should be shared through mobilisation (DOH 2011). Key failings of childhood tragedies have highlighted poor interprofessional learning and working. NMC 2010, GSCC (2008) advocate that professionals should not work and learn in silos but be enthused together. In order for this concept to become a reality, Interprofessional Education (IPE) will need to occur (CAIPE 2002 ‘when two or more professions learn with from and about each other)’.

As a Practice Educator within the health visiting team, my role is pivotal to support the delivery of education/professional development to predominantly health sector employees. As educators, there is a need to continue to explore innovative pedagogies that can facilitate and extend thinking, learning and development of concepts that can be transferred into the working environment. Communities that support educational development through knowledge sharing and problem solving have been evidenced as productive and proactive.

Encouraging the workforce to complete a portfolio, where they can evidence their knowledge, understanding and application of a service we offer, ensures evidence-based practice is embedded and also takes advantage of peer-review opportunities that this document supports and actively encourages.

Developing a “Practice Development Forum” (community to support educational delivery), initially in the health visiting sector, has proved advantageous to both uni-professional learning (health visiting) as well as interprofessional learning (social care and voluntary sectors). Expansions to this model have now brought us together through educational/quality conference. Through the initiation of interprofessional learning in the context of a practice development forum, a ripple effect of knowledge was starting to be uncovered. The end result of a sustainable model of self-supporting interprofessional connections was created.

Leanne Mchugh, Practice Educator 0-19 Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust