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Health visitors to petition Johnson

A union is urging thousands of health visitors to send Health Secretary Alan Johnson a postcard in a bid to save the profession from what it says are "continuing cuts".

Members of the Unite/Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association are being sent the cards in the August issue of Community Practitioner magazine.

The card says: "Recent NHS statistics reveal a full-time health visitor job is being lost every day and there was a 40% drop in training places in England this year.

"These factors are having an adverse impact on the government's NHS goals for families and communities."

The card goes on to ask Mr Johnson "to guarantee that there are sufficient health visitors across the UK to meet the future public health needs of the population and to ensure that there are adequate training places to supply the next generation of health visitors".

Unite head of health, Kevin Coyne, said: "The new Health Secretary has come into the job indicating that he is prepared to listen to the concerns of NHS staff.

"The postcard campaign will, hopefully, ensure that the crisis currently experienced by the health visiting profession will be at the top, or very near the top, of his in-tray."

Unite/Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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Your comments: (Terms and conditions)

"I would like to endorse this petition, having  spent the last 20 years of my career in health visiting I have never been more concerned about the cut back in health visiting in my area there  has been a dramatic increase in infants attending A&E and in neonatal deaths. There has aslo been an increase in maternal mental health problems. Early intervention by a health visitor could have a positive impact." - Name and address supplied