CPD has been highlighted as a key priority for health visitors in 2015, by the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV).
At the second anniversary celebration, on 1 December, speakers revealed initiatives and launches over the next year, which would help to support new and experienced health visitors.
Vicky Gilroy from the iHV's education hub highlighted that education and CPD was important as in the next three years, 60–70 per cent of the workforce will be newly qualified due to the government's health visitor implementation plan. There is currently a draft of a national framework for CPD, she said, which will focus on the six high impact areas that have been identified. An online learning hub will be launched in the next year that will be an easy to use, searchable database which will make it easier for health visitors to access CPD and with a built in user evaluation.
Professor Dame Sarah Cowley, an academic health visitor, said: 'Education needs a revolution and expectations of CPD need to change. When I first registered, health visitors were expected to be refreshed every five years and this needs to happen again.'
Initial responses from the iHV State of Health Visiting survey, which so far has had 805 responses, indicate that health visitors would like more online forums and champion networks to be able to share best practice. The survey will continue to run for a few more weeks.
The iHV will be running four regional learning events early next year in the Midlands, (27 January), the South (27 February), the North (10 March) and London (17 March).
The survey also indicated that health visitors value more informal networks such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with other health visitors.
Andrea Johns, a fellow of the iHV, encouraged more health visitors to become active on social media and online. She said that the iHV regularly hosted Twitter chats using the #iHVforum to discuss relevant issues to health visitors.
The next chat will be on 8 December and will be about commissioning, in relation to the commissioning being moved over to local authorities from next year.
The speakers also highlighted that health visitors need to market the profession themselves and speak up about the good work that they do and the impact that they have on families.
Other speakers at the event were Andrea Johns and Justine Rooke, Fellows of the iHV, Dr Cheryll Adams, the founding director of the iHV and Viv Bennett, the director of nursing at the DH and PHE.