Yesterday evening, ITV regional news broadcast a health visiting feature on the shortage of health visitors and how they are struggling to provide enough support for parents and children.

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Alison Morton, Executive Director iHV, being interviewed on ITV News

ITV was given exclusive access to the latest State of Health Visiting survey data, the national survey of health visitors collated and managed by the Institute of Health Visiting, which was published this morning (see our news story – Survey confirms babies, young children and families’ needs are increasing in the postcode lottery of support).

Alison Morton, Executive Director at the Institute of Health Visiting, said:

“Thank you to ITV and all the health visitors and families who supported this important news story. The piece highlights the impact of years of cuts to the health visiting service and the impact that this is having on families.

“Our survey findings this year paint a picture of a health visiting service under pressure with a headline message that ‘we need more health visitors’. 700 leading children’s organisations agree with us and supported our call for investment for more health visitors in the recent Spending Review.

“Whilst we welcomed the £500m investment in children 0-19 years announced in the recent budget, this does not go anywhere near far enough. So far, we have had zero pounds of investment for more health visitors. We call again on the Government to deliver on their pledge to ‘rebuild health visiting’ as a matter of urgency.”

We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Charlotte, Mum to Ethan, for sharing her story about how her health visitor made a difference to her and her family. This would not have been possible without the tremendous support of Solent NHS Trust. Thank you to Claire Mcleod (HV and Clinical Modern Matron – Solent NHS Trust) for enabling Charlotte and Ethan to tell their story and for highlighting the vital role of the health visitor.

The news story and video on the link below is available on the national ITV News website and is a shortened version of the slightly longer news piece was shown in the regions yesterday evening.

 

The iHV shares the concerns of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) that children’s health services are being put at risk by a serious shortage of paediatricians.

Gaps in paediatric rotas, uncertainty over the status of non-UK nationals working in the NHS, poorly co-ordinated planning, and a demoralised workforce, are putting increasing pressure on child health services and placing quality of care in jeopardy, according to a new report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

It shows that demand for children’s healthcare is increasing, with the number of hospital admissions for children in England rising by 25% between 2013/14 and 2015/16, from 1.2million to 1.5million and attendances by children at Accident and Emergency Departments growing by 7%, from 4.5 million to 4.8 million over the same period.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, executive director, iHV, said:

“The iHV shares the concerns of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) that children’s health services are being put at risk by a serious shortage of paediatricians.  This situation, coupled with the reducing numbers of health visitors, will have a drastic impact on the health and wellbeing of babies, children and families.  A health visitor’s role is to help parents to manage minor illnesses and reduce accidents within the home and so reduce the numbers of babies and children needing to go to hospital.  But the reducing health visitor numbers will put a greater demand on reducing paediatric services, which will have economic consequences for the future, particularly on the already cash-strapped NHS.”

The RCPCH Report “The State of Child Health: The Paediatric Workforce” is based on data from the RCPCH Workforce Census 2015, with additional data from the Office of National Statistics, and RCPCH trainee recruitment processes.