Keeping mum and baby well — partnership working between midwives and health visitors — Health Education East of England Health Visitor Programme Team. 2014. (accessed 2 March 2016)

A Cinderella story. Midwives magazine: Issue 1 2014. 2014. (accessed 2 March 2016)

Bonar SLondon: Royal College of Midwives; 2015

Brunton G, Caird J, Kneale D, Thomas J, Richardson M: EPPI-Centre, University College London; 2015

Cuts to public health spending: the falsest of false economies. 2015. (accessed 2 March 2016)

Time to act for better collaboration with health visitors. 2015. (accessed 2 March 2016)

Department of Health. 2009. (accessed 2 March 2016)

London: DH; 2011

Department of Health. The National Health Visitor Plan: progress to date and implementation 2013 onwards. 2013. (accessed 3 March 2016)

Donetto S, Malone M, Hughes J, Morrow E, Cowley S, Maben JLondon: National Nursing Research Unit, King's College; 2013

A new vision for health visiting. 2011. (accessed 3 March 2016)

Harris S, Lewis K, Taylor C Swansea Flying Start midwives and health visitors: Working together to tackle inequality. Journal of Health Visiting. 2015; 3:(11)584-88

Marmot MLondon: The Marmot Review; 2010

Munro ELondon: The Stationery Office; 2011

London: NMC; 2015

Pollard KC, Miers ME From students to professionals: results of a longitudinal study of attitudes to pre-qualifying collaborative learning and working in health and social care in the United Kingdom. J Interprof Care. 2008; 22:(4)399-416

Public Health England and Department of Health. 2015. (accessed 4 March 2016)

Public Health England, Department of Health, Royal College of Midwives, NHS England. The midwifery public health contribution. 2013. (accessed 4 March 2016)

Royal College of Midwives. 2014. (accessed 4 March 2016)

Ruebling I, Pole D, Breitbach AP, Frager A, Kettenbach G, Westhus N, Kienstra K, Carlson J A comparison of student attitudes and perceptions before and after an introductory interprofessional education experience. J Interprof Care. 2014; 28:(1)23-7

The case for collaborative learning: Introducing opportunities in the higher education setting

02 April 2016
Volume 24 · Issue 4


Public Health England and the Department of Health (2015) have documented that parents are requesting consistent professional advice throughout pregnancy and the early weeks following birth, as their care is transferred from midwives to health visitors. In addition, commissioners are increasingly seeking to integrate services to provide joined-up care and improve health outcomes for parents and families. This paper discusses the benefits, to both parents and health professionals, of collaborative working, together with the challenges faced by midwives and health visitors in the current climate. It explores the benefits of collaborative learning between the two disciplines in the higher education setting, with an example of a successful collaboration at the University of Central Lancashire.

There is evidence that parents want information and services around pregnancy and birth to be consistent and seamless, with different agencies and departments within health care working together, and with the family at the centre of service delivery (Public Health England (PHE) and Department of Health (DH), 2015). The 1001 Critical Days report (Leadsom et al, 2013) documented that effective, individually designed service delivery can positively affect health outcomes for women, babies and families.

Midwives and health visitors, with their expertise in child and family health, are best placed to meet the needs of families during pregnancy and the early years (DH, 2009; Bennett, 2014; Brunton et al, 2015). However, parents' experiences of service delivery in the perinatal period often describe health visiting and midwifery as separate, non-communicative services (Donetto et al, 2013). There is plenty of evidence to support collaborative working between health professionals, particularly where this will benefit the health outcomes for children and families (Gerrard et al, 2011). However, there is also evidence to demonstrate that, in practice, collaboration between midwives, health visitors and other health professionals does not always occur (Donetto et al, 2013; Calvert, 2015).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Midwifery and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for midwives. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to our clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month