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Exciting news for SCPHN recruitment in London – how to get involved

15th February 2023

The iHV is delighted to have been commissioned by the HEE London SCPHN Project to kick-start the development of a Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (SCPHN) recruitment pathway. This is the beginning of the Capital Nurse Programme for health visiting and school nursing services in London. The project will address the recruitment challenges of SCPHN training and inform a strengthened pathway to support nurses who are interested in becoming a SCPHN in London.


The latest national data in England show that health visitor workforce numbers in England have dropped by almost 40% since 2015. It is estimated that school nursing has also lost a similar proportion of its workforce. London has been one of the hardest hit areas and services are struggling to fill significant gaps in their SCPHN posts. Across London, services have also reported that they are struggling to recruit to student SCPHN places, which is exacerbating the problem.

How can I help?

If you are working in London and are:

  • a SCPHN HEI (university) programme lead
  • a SCPHN provider lead (including SCPHN practice educators/assessors/supervisors)
  • a student SCPHN health visitor/school nurse

Then we would love to hear from you!

You can help by completing our short survey. We are also looking for volunteers to join one of our focus groups . Places are filling up fast for our focus groups, so don’t delay – contact us today!

Dates available for focus groups:

  • Fri 17/2/23 9:30am – 10:30am (Student HV/SN)
  • Tue 21/2/23 9:30am – 10:30am (HEI leads and provider leads)
  • Mon 27/2/23 9:30am – 10:30am (HEI leads and provider leads)

*Please note we are also holding 1:1 Interviews but these are now fully booked. If you would like to be added to a waiting list should a place become available – let us know.

For information about this project or to register for a focus group, please email [email protected] and [email protected].

Your knowledge and experience really matter!

If you are unable to attend a focus group, don’t worry, you can still have your say through completing one of our surveys:

  • Survey 1: HEI and provider leads
  • Survey 2: Student SCPHN health visitors/school nurses

All answers are anonymous, and findings will be presented as aggregate data, so you can be honest about how things really are. Tell us what’s working well and what the challenges are that need to be addressed.

How do I complete a survey?

Please email [email protected] advising of your role and where you work and request a link for the survey. Please share the link for the survey with your colleagues in London who are:

  • HEI SCPHN programme leads
  • Provider leads
  • Student SCPHN health visitors/school nurses

What will be the key outputs of the project?

The key findings will be presented in a report with infographics highlighting key themes and recommendations for practice and the current pathway on how nurses find out about becoming a SCPHN in London.

We know that London is not isolated with the challenges they face, so our findings will be published and made available to other areas across the UK who will benefit from the shared learning of this project.

What are the benefits of being part of this project?

  • The study aims to add to the current knowledge on student SCPHN (HV/SN) recruitment – you may experience some benefits from the questioning and reflection, knowing that this is adding to the body of knowledge in London and may have wider system impact across the country.
  • Participating in a pan-London project which you can add to your personal CV and use for NMC revalidation.
  • The iHV will send all focus group and 1:1 interview participants an electronic certificate of participation. This will include a short statement of your contribution to this project.
  • All participants will be entered into a prize draw with the opportunity to win a free ticket to attend one of our prestigious iHV conferences.

We would like to say a huge thank you to those of you who have already responded to our call for help with this project. Please carry on spreading the word with your colleagues!

Together we can help create a clearer pathway and build a sustainable SCPHN workforce for London!


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