At today’s Labour Party conference, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel Reeves MP, set out the opposition’s plans to build strong public services as the foundations for a strong society. Health visitors in England will be particularly encouraged to hear that this included a commitment to train 5,000 more health visitors to address the current workforce shortages.

Alison Morton, iHV Executive Director, welcomed today’s announcement:

“We are delighted by today’s commitment by the Labour Party to rebuild the health visiting service by training 5,000 new health visitors. Years of underinvestment in health visiting and workforce cuts have been a costly mistake, putting people at risk of poorer health and storing up problems for the future. Each year, billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being wasted on soaring costs of late intervention, and families are facing the brunt of this with a postcode lottery of health visiting support. Today’s welcomed announcement is good news for babies, children and families, and the health visiting workforce that supports them.

“Currently, children growing up in England experience a poor state of child health when compared to comparable nations, and too many vulnerable children are invisible to services and not getting the support that they need. This needs to change. We have more evidence than any other generation that inequalities start early in life, the effects are cumulative and can last a lifetime if not addressed. The challenges of public health need to be taken seriously and it is time to change the narrative – spending on public health, and the health visiting service, should not be seen as a cost, but rather a smart investment in our children’s future and the future of our society. We look forward to working with the UK Labour Party on next steps.”

Listen to the announcement on the clip below – source BBC News.