Health visitor numbers to increase after Baby P report

Health secretary Alan Johnson today announced a review of health visiting in response to Lord Laming's report on child protection.

Alan Johnson (Photograph: JH Lancy)
Alan Johnson (Photograph: JH Lancy)

The DoH has accepted all 58 recommendations made by the report, which was compiled after the death of Baby P in Haringey, London, last year.

England’s chief nursing officer Christine Beasley will conduct a ‘programme of action’ on health visiting in partnership with the Community Practitioner Health Visitor Association (CPHVA).

The CPHVA has repeatedly warned that low numbers of health visitors and a lack of training were putting children at risk.

Mr Johnson said: ‘I have today asked the chief nursing officer to lead A Programme of Action on Health Visiting.

‘It will ensure the role of health visitors is properly defined; that they are supported in their vital work; that career opportunities are enhanced and numbers of health visitors are increased substantially.’

Unite/CPHVA welcomed the increase in health visitor numbers. A summit, expected to be held in May, between the government, Unite/CPHVA and other interested organisations will thrash out the mechanics of how this will be achieved. It will look at numbers needed, retention of the existing workforce and the restoration of budgets by the strategic health authorities to train the next generation of health visitors.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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