Mainstreaming is the process of transferring policy, activity or good practice from a community-based initiative, such as Sure Start, into the core service. This paper will explain how one Sure Start programme developed a strategy for speech and language therapy (S<) that had an impact on the development of mainstream S< provision. The strategy explained here has shown the potential for team working and multi-agency delivery of new services. The new service was based on quality standard setting (as highlighted in government policy); positive multiagency working based on sharing and skill development; and consumer involvement in a quality evaluation cycle. This paper discusses the different factors in developing and mainstreaming a Sure Start initiative. These critical processes have been applied to one local Sure Start programme as an example of these elements in action.
Community Practitioner - the journal of the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association (Unite/CPHVA) - has a readership that includes over 20,700 healthcare professionals who work in the community, caring for over 5,000,000 clients, patients and families across the UK. These comprise health visitors, school nurses, district nurses, practice nurses, community paediatric nurses, community nursery nurses and other community-based practitioners.