Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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Legal Status and Principles of Health Visiting

Legal Status

Principles of Health Visiting

Legal Status

The National Health Services Act provides the framework for the provision of preventive and school health services. It is for each individual practitioner to judge whether instructions or arrangements place them in breach of the common law duty of care or the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) code of professional conduct.

Every health visitor must always be in a position to:

  • assess needs

  • keep records and administration accurately and up to date

  • study in order to keep professional competence up to date.

For information on Health Visitor Legislation, go to The Stationery Office

Principles of Health Visiting include:

  • The search for health needs

  • The stimulation of an awareness of health needs

  • The influence on policies affecting health The facilitation of health-enhancing actitivies


Cowley, Sarah & Twinn, Sheila
Principles of Health Visiting: A re-examination
Health Visitors Association, 1991 p. 12

More information in:

Clarke, Alison
Community Nursing and the Law
CPHVA, 1999

Health Visitors Association
Principles into Practice : An HVA position statement on health visiting and school nursing
Health Visitors Association, 1992

Health Visitors Association
Managing Safely : Guidance to health visitors' managers
Health Visitors Association, 1990