30th September 2021
The iHV has provided the Treasury with the latest evidence and cost benefits for new investment into health visiting as part of its multi-year Spending Review. The Spending Review representation makes the case for improving outcomes for babies, children and families through a strengthened health visiting service.
In this submission, we have offered solutions to the challenges that this country faces with a growing NHS backlog and billions spent annually on costly late intervention. We are calling for investment to deliver the Government’s Start for Life Vision. This includes:
- A £500 million ringfenced uplift in the Public Health Grant over the next three years.
- Investing enough to reach a total of 5,000 additional health visitors over the next 5 years, with 3,000 in this spending review.
- Strengthening the leadership capability in health visiting services.
- ‘ICS academies for child and family health’ within selected early adopter sites. Improving integration represents a fundamental shift in health and care delivery and it will be important to have systems in place to support and evaluate the implementation of ICSs and inform wider system learning.
We are delighted to have such a groundswell of support for this call for investment in health visiting from leading professional bodies, organisations and experts working to improve outcomes for children and reduce inequalities. They represent a united and powerful voice for change.
We have more evidence than any other generation that investment in the earliest years of life represents the smartest of all investments. We also have some of the worst child health outcomes amongst comparable nations, with widening inequalities.
Collectively, we have come together to present a clear blueprint for the future that should not be ignored.
The Chancellor has said that the Spending Review will make people’s lives better by levelling up across the UK, building infrastructures for growth with strong and innovative public services. The evidence is clear that investing in an infrastructure for the earliest years of life represents the smartest of all investments, building the human potential to advance ‘Global Britain’ and reducing inequalities, yet this currently receives insufficient attention.
It is time to for the Government to deliver on its pledge to ‘rebuild health visiting and the Healthy Child Programme’. This cannot be left for another 3 years.
We thank our partners for their support:
- The ‘One Voice Partnership’ (which includes the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG); Sands and the National Childbirth Trust (NCT)
- The First 1001 Days Movement
- The National Network of Designated Healthcare Professionals for Children UK
- Health Policy Influencing Group
- Maternal Mental Health Alliance
- Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
We want everyone to know what health visitors do and why their role is so important. How can we expect the Government to invest in health visiting when the role is ‘hidden’?
We want to make the work of health visitors visible. The iHV has created two infographics which explain: ‘Who health visitors are and what they do’ #InvestInHealthVisiting.
Putting everything that health visitors do into a single infographic has been difficult, as they provide a vital infrastructure of support in the earliest years. We have therefore focused predominantly on the many ways that health visitors support the work of the NHS which is being flooded with rising need, as this is a government priority.
We appreciate that there is so much more that health visitors do that isn’t covered. This is just the beginning – in the coming months we will keep showcasing the fabulous work that health visitors are doing as a modern, innovative and essential workforce – a vital infrastructure for the earliest years.
Calling all health visitors:
We invite you to find your inner warrior and share your stories on social media. How have you made a difference to babies, children and families? Support the #TurnOffTheTaps campaign and raise the profile of health visiting so every baby can get the best start in life. Together we are stronger. #InvestInHealthVisiting