The big question: why go to conference?

07 September 2018

Michelle Moseley, Gavin Fergie and Maggie Coates give their view on why you should go to conference.

Michelle Moseley

Programme manager for SCPHN (heath visiting),Cardiff University, and Wales chair, CPHVA Executive

I first attended the CPHVA conference in 2006. I had been qualified just two years, and it opened my eyes to the opportunities available to me. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to health visitors from all over the UK. As chair of CPHVA in Wales and member of the executive committee, I have had the privilege of attending conference for the past two years. Making presentations there has boosted my confidence; I would recommend practitioners consider submitting abstracts based on their work.

Attending conference allows you to network with colleagues across the UK and sometimes the world. We even formed a mass choir last year with Carrie Grant! Eminent speakers are motivating and they allow you to leave with new ideas and a rekindled passion for public health nursing. It makes me realise what an important role we have in the lives of children and their families. Despite challenging times in all areas of practice, we must strive to be a voice for ourselves, and for the families we work with.

I would also promote the AGM, which allows members to air their views and enable the executive committee to inform our future work plan and continue to raise the profile of SCPHN practice nationally. The conference programme is varied this year, covering all aspects of SCPHN practice – it’s not to be missed!


Gavin Fergie

Unite-CPHVA conference lead

It's simply unique, the largest professional conference planned by and for community practitioners. The energy, the camaraderie, the professional stimulation and the rejuvenation of spirit, especially in these pressured times, is worth its weight in proverbial gold. You can engage with key opinion leaders who will share their vision and expertise, meet with those who are setting the strategic direction for your profession and influence Unite-CPHVA, your professional organisation, in what it does now and in the future. You can also exchange your practice ideas, test your research or acquire new skills by attending a masterclass. It will be mentally challenging but you will still find the energy to dance the night away at the conference party. Come and say hello! I’ll be in the kilt.


Maggie Coates

Chair, Educational Reference Group, and senior lecturer for nursing, midwifery and health, Northumbria University.

I have attended several Unite-CPHVA conferences over the past few years, particularly as I am involved in CPHVA work as a member of the executive committee and as chair of the Educational Reference Group.

What I enjoy about attending is the opportunity to select a number of different options based on my area of interest. With plenty of diverse and available sessions to choose from, many will appeal to attendees. This is an opportunity to gain new knowledge, hear about good practice and share this within your own organisation.

There are always plenty of options to choose from and smaller workshops enable audience participation. All the presenters have expertise in their own areas of public health, and present contemporary practice and the latest research, often unpicking the evidence base for public health practice. The conference is relevant to many public health practitioners, including school nurses, health visitors and community nursery nurses. There is something for everyone, so check out the conference programme at cphvaconference.co.uk. You can also find information about what’s going on at conference, how to get there, more about the area, funding options, and of course the conference party here.

Very much hope to see you all there...