Concerns over extra health visitors for Sure Start

Concerns have been raised over the government's ability to deliver on its promise to provide more than 4,000 extra health visitors for the Sure Start programme.

Ms Adams: real commitment needed
Ms Adams: real commitment needed

In its coalition document the government pledged to take Sure Start back to its original purpose of ‘early intervention' and increase its focus on the neediest families.

The document said funding for an additional 4,200 health visitors would be paid for from the DoH budget and through cuts to Sure Start's outreach services.

But Cheryll Adams, an independent consultant for health visiting and community health policy, warned that an increase in health visitors could only be achieved with the right commitment and planning.

She said: ‘You can't pluck health visitors from the air. There are issues around training, entry routes, and having specialist practice teachers.

‘It won't be achievable in a year because the number of health visitors has reduced so dramatically. There has to be a real commitment, supported by money and making the profession attractive again.'

  • Read the full story including reaction from charity Action for Children in this week's edition of Independent Nurse dated 7 June.


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