Why Health Visiting? What are the benefits for public health from a universal service?

Posted 15 April 2015

Professor Dame Sarah Cowley is Emeritus Professor of Community Practice Development at King’s College, London. Dame Sarah retired from King’s College London in Spring 2012, after 20 years as an academic. Her career has focused on health visiting since 1980, first in practice for 10 years, then completing her doctoral studies and becoming a lecturer in 1992. She was appointed as Professor of Community Practice Development five years later. She received a lifetime achievement award by the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association in 2012 and a DBE for services to health visiting in 2013.

Her presentation focusses on a shift in England  from debates about universal versus targeted services to a realisation that both are needed.  She  identifies approaches needed in practice and service provision to shift the social gradient of health inequalities.