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NICE endorses universal health visiting service

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have backed calls for the health visiting service to be reinforced in the UK.

Unite and the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association (CPHVA) welcome the NICE guidance "Improving the nutrition of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and children in low income households".

The guidance stated that it is "important that universal services are available for all families with infants and young children.

"Health visitors should be proactive and visit all mothers, parents and carers of infants and pre-school children at home (where possible) to assess the needs."

Unite/CPHVA Professional Officer, Dave Munday said that the latest NICE guidance further confirms the value that health visiting brings to the public health agenda.

"The crisis facing health visiting in terms of staff cuts and frozen posts is now very high on the political agenda," he said.

"This is as clear an endorsement as you can get about the need for a universal - not a patchwork - health visiting service, which can give vital support to mothers and children in those vital early stages of development.

"The need for more trained health visitors is paramount."



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