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.