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Health visiting is promoted in news-style report programme

24th October 2017

New programme reinforces the importance of the profession in the face of government cuts

The vital role that health visitors play in children’s health outcomes has been reinforced by a news-style report programme.

The programme was developed by the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) in collaboration with a partnership between the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and ITN Productions.

It details the breadth of challenges health visitors respond to and the skill required to do so. These include supporting families facing issues ranging from poverty and housing to domestic violence and postnatal depression. Health visitors’ key role is to ensure every child receives the best possible start in life.

Introduced by national newsreader, Natasha Kaplinsky, the programme forms part of ‘The Public’s Health Across The Life Course’ series, coordinated by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and produced by ITN Productions. The series brings to life the journey from cradle to grave and the key public health professionals who make a difference in that period.

The iHV’s programme’s release comes at a crucial time. Health visiting numbers have fallen significantly in England in the last two years, as a result of cuts to public health budgets. This has triggered a restructuring of children’s services by local authorities.

iHV’s executive director, Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, said:

“Through making this programme, we want to raise awareness of the consequences of the on-going cuts to health visitor numbers in England – and the impact on children and families. Health visitors are a critical cog in each child’s journey to adulthood and work to improve public health outcomes for all children, helping to reduce health inequalities across the UK.

“The iHV was delighted to work with the Royal Society of Public Health and ITN Productions partnership to produce such an important programme which visually demonstrates the vital role and impact of health visitors.”

She added:

“Children’s needs seem to have become invisible among the many competing demands being made on the government and the NHS. We want ministers and commissioners to understand that we cannot afford not to invest in our children’s health. They are our future!

“I want to thank Whittington Health and Haringey Children’s Community Service for their support in making this film and all the health visitors and parents who made it possible.”