• health visiting;
  • consensus management;
  • praxis;
  • corporate working;
  • team working;
  • public health;
  • health visiting outcomes;
  • concept analysis

Corporate working in health visiting: a concept analysis

Aim of the paper.  The aim of this paper is to examine individualized health visiting care and compare it to corporate working within a consensual management style. Corporate working has been discussed and used in many different ways since the idea first came to light at the end of the 1980s. Resource management makes it an appealing model, however, analysing how corporate working functions in the practice setting reveals the complexity of this method of service provision.

Background.  This paper is based on a method of practice developed by health visitors in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, who implemented the process. The article examines individualized health visiting care and compares it to corporate working within a consensual management style. Important in this analysis are the elements of reflexivity, active listening, reflection and the application of ‘praxis’ within the corporate caseload approach.

Methods.  Rogers’ evolutionary concept model was used to illuminate and explain the different ways of delivering the health visiting service.

Findings.  There are benefits in working corporately: shared workload, increased professional support and improved accountability. Alongside the integrated supervision of this model is the opportunity offered to practitioners to innovate. This offsets any initial difficulty experienced in setting up this method and makes it a worthwhile change of style in health visiting practice. Improved service delivery, enhanced professional growth and increased opportunity for public health work can be demonstrated as outcomes of this model. For professionals this method may prevent ‘burn-out’, enhance practice and increase innovation in health visiting practice. Using this method as a blueprint, practitioners can develop their own style of corporate working that offers a service that is equitable, proactive, efficient and accessible to clients.