• National survey of commissioners' and service planners' views of public health nursing in the UK

      Davies, Nigel; Donovan, Helen; University of Bedfordshire; Royal College of Nursing (Elsevier B.V., 2016-10-27)
      Improving public health is a key policy area both in the United Kingdom (UK) and internationally. The governments across the four UK countries each have specific strategies to guide improvements in public health services, promote greater emphasis on how people can best be helped to live healthier lives and to help address the unprecedented challenges of both an increasing population and financial austerity. Nurses are often ideally suited and uniquely placed to respond to public health challenges as they understand the particular risks of individuals but also know the population and the communities they work in. Traditionally in the UK public health nurses have been seen as those in specialist community roles such as health visitors, school nurses and occupational health nurses and in some cases specialist practitioners. However, there is an increasing need for all nurses to embrace the contribution they can have to make every contact count. During 2015 the Royal College of Nursing in the UK (RCN) undertook a programme of work building on a previous project2 to showcase public health nursing (see www.nurses4PH.org.uk). As part of this wider RCN programme, a survey was conducted to explore the views of commissioners and others involved in designing and planning public health services about the nursing and midwifery contribution to public health. The aims were to explore the perceived value of nursing in public health, to better understand the roles of nurses and midwives in public health, how these roles were valued, and what and where the gaps were in public health nursing knowledge and education.