This site is intended for health professionals only

Minister urged to save health visiting profession

Alan Johnson is being called upon to put a stop to plans that could prompt the abolition of the health visiting profession.

The government has proposed complex regulatory changes that Unite and the Community Practitioner and Health Visitor Association (CPHVA) believe will cause the specialist nursing section of the register to close.

With this closure, Unite and CPHVA say unique characteristics of the public health practice will be lost and less-qualified staff will take on health visiting roles.

Unite and Community Practitioner and Health Visitor Association (CPHVA) professionals want to meet with the Health Secretary to strengthen the legal status of health visiting.

Unite/CPHVA Acting Lead Professional Officer Cheryll Adams said: "Since it was taken out of statute we have already seen a dramatic fall in health visitor numbers.

"This could mean that even more mothers with postnatal depression won't receive the support they deserve, families won't be helped through periods of crises and more children could become victims of family dysfunction.

"This is not an arcane and 'dry' legal dispute, but one that will have a real impact on the public health of the UK population."


Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"My fear is that the Government have already decided on alternatives to Health Visitors. In my area the local CSF are to employ Parenting Support workers......." - Name and address supplied

"How much I agree with this!!! Health visiting has been erroded over the last 10-15 years with skill mix, although very good, marking the decline. Cheap labour was seen as a good idea. The health visiting tasks where seen as the whole of the role and it has been perseved that that was all that was needed to give a health visiting service." - Name and address supplied

"I agree that the specialist skills will be lost. The fact is that they are trying to erode the profession by employing cheap labour. Maybe not initially but I bet that in the long term there will be devastating consequences that will result from this erosion of professional skills." - Name and address supplied