iHV welcomes a letter from the National Network of Designated Healthcare Professionals for Children (NNDHP) sent to Hampshire County Council as part of their consultation, outlining its concerns regarding the proposed reductions in Hampshire’s Health Visiting and School Nurse services.

NNDHP supports the arguments that the joint letter from the iHV and the School and Public Nursing Health Association (SAPHNA) sent (25 June 2021) to Hampshire County Council made without qualification, and particularly the risk to the Council’s safeguarding responsibilities and the undermining of the healthy child programme.

NNDHP’s letter states:

“Babies whose parents find it difficult to provide all the love, attention and appropriate care that they need do not have a voice to describe when things are not going well for them. Health visitors provide that independent voice. This is a valuable in two ways because they not only provide help and support to the family in a direct fashion, but they also flag up the need for other services to help that otherwise would not get to know. If this function is reduced, or lost, then the likelihood is that the family will then present later in the child’s life in crisis or worse, and will cost the system a lot more to try and put matters right, after the damage has become embedded as adverse child events.”

iHV welcomes the call from the One Voice Partnership to a county council to rethink its plan to cut £2.09 million per year from its public health budget.

In a letter to Hampshire County Council (HCC), 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)) has called on HCC to re-examine as a matter of urgency the impact that the proposed budget cuts will have on women before, during and after pregnancy, and on their babies. Not only would the proposal widen inequalities yet further, but it could open the door to preventable harm to women and their babies.

The One Voice Partnership has called the HCC proposal a canary in the mine, with local government budgets across the country under significant pressure.

One Voice is also reminding all local councils of their statutory safeguarding responsibilities and the impact of any budget cuts on the wider health and social care system, including maternity services.

Furthermore, One Voice say that the introduction of non-face-to-face methods for delivering the Healthy Child Programme are currently untested and there is not enough evidence on their effectiveness as an alternative method of providing support and identifying risk and vulnerability.