The Institute of Health Visiting is very concerned about the state of health visiting across England and is particularly concerned about the circumstances that have driven the health visitors in Lincolnshire to strike. As a professional body, rather than a union, we value the direct staff-side support that Unite is providing to our health visitor colleagues in Lincolnshire. These health visitors are highly skilled professionals who have dedicated their working lives to help others. The decisions that are being made are short-sighted, not based on the evidence and are unlikely to improve outcomes for children and their families.
The evidence is clear that the way people are treated at work has an impact on their own wellbeing, as well as the quality and effectiveness of their work. Treating staff with respect, valuing their contribution and ensuring they have professional autonomy is not only the right thing to do, it is also a cost-effective solution in the long run and will improve outcomes for children and families.
The health visiting profession is highly valued by parents and wider stakeholders – we have been overwhelmed by the support that the profession has received to our recently published “Health Visiting in England: A Vision for the Future” and will continue to lobby for reinvestment and strengthening of health visiting in England.