MPs to question Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, on plans to rebuild the workforce

The Health and Social Care Committee has announced that, on Tuesday 25 January at 4pm, MPs will scrutinise Sajid Javid on his plans to deal with the multiple crises facing the sector in a one-off session. The session is expected to cover the Government’s workforce strategy, including provisions set out in the Health and Care Bill. Staff pay, employee burnout and integrating social care and NHS workforce planning are on the agenda.

Do you have a question you would like to ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid?

If so, you can ask you question on Twitter using the hashtag #QuestionJavid

Please submit via Twitter (with the hashtag) by 5pm today (Friday 21 January)

Our State of Health Visiting in England Report showed that Health visitors in England are reporting soaring rates of domestic abuse, mental health problems and child safeguarding, with evidence of significant reduced workforce capacity to meet these demands.

Do our survey findings reflect your own experiences?

A recent publication of health visiting workforce numbers employed by the NHS in England between September 2012 to September 2021 show that health visiting numbers in England are below the last workforce crisis in 2011 which led to a health visiting Call to Action!

This is an opportunity to have your voice heard.

Start typing your questions into Twitter now! And tag with #QuestionJavid.

You can watch the session live on  on Tuesday 25 January at 4pm.

In the House of Lords Questions on 20 January, Baroness Watkins of Tavistock and Baroness Walmsley highlighted the importance of a properly resourced health visiting service for parents and young children, particularly the most vulnerable families, post Covid.  They called for assurance from the Government that there will be additional resources for the health visitor workforce, in particular to help them to catch up with missed visits to vulnerable young families during the pandemic.

Baroness Watkins also challenged the Minister (Baroness Berridge, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women)) to rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of video contacts with parents before their widespread adoption. Her question asked:

‘My Lords, health visiting has continued during lockdown, using video contacts with parents instead of face-to-face visits. Can the Minister assure the House that this approach will be rigorously evaluated before widespread adoption? This is particularly important given the recent stark findings from the child safeguarding practice review, which showed that the number of children dying or being seriously harmed after suspected abuse or neglect rose by a quarter, to 285 notifications, during April to September in England. Of these, 102 involved babies under the age of one. Does the Minister agree that it is vital that a properly resourced health visiting service is available to parents and young children, particularly the most vulnerable families, post Covid?

Acting Executive Director Alison Morton said:

“It is enormously helpful that Baroness Watkins of Tavistock and Baroness Walmsley have highlighted the impact of a reduced health visiting workforce, alongside the lack of evidence and potential unintended consequences of video contacts on child safety.  We hope that the Minister will be able to provide reassurance that the questions raised in Wednesday’s debate will be taken seriously.”