Blackpool, after doing extensive research over the past three years within its Big Lottery funded A Better Start project, has concluded that the way forward to reduce health inequalities in Blackpool is to increase the number of health visitor contacts for all families to eight contacts!

Blackpool Better Start launched its groundbreaking new HV service today at its Health Visiting Service Transformation event. Blackpool’s new model of health visiting sees 8 universal visits delivering standardised, evidence-based interventions and a key ethos of developing a therapeutic relationship with families.

The Institute was delighted to support the launch with a keynote presentation from Dr Robert Nettleton, Education Advisor iHV who said:

“The evidence base for Health visiting has never been stronger. Blackpool’s new model is making expertise more available to Blackpool families.”

Dr Robert Nettleton addressing the Blackpool Better Start launch event

Dr Robert Nettleton

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, said:

“It is so gratifying that Blackpool, an area which suffers above average health inequalities, has made the decision that the way forward is to increase health visitor contacts for all families based on all the evidence that they have been looking into over the past three years.

“As this is the same conclusion reached by Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, I really hope their action will precipitate reinvestment into health visiting where the service has been cut in England. However, this will require the government to make good the recent cuts to public health budgets first, as part of their planned increase in health funding.

“Well done Blackpool for your leadership and to the National Lottery for helping to make this possible!”