Mark Whitehead 17 November 2017

Number of health visitors 'approaching an all-time low'

Number of health visitors 'approaching an all-time low'

Health visitors have called on the Government to reverse spending cuts which it says are having an 'alarming' impact on children and babies.

The Institute of Health Visiting has written to Chancellor Philip Hammond saying reductions in budgets are increasing inequalities in health.

It says the number of health visitors has fallen by 18% since commissioning of the services was transferred to local government in 2015 and could be approaching an all-time low.

The transfer coincided with a 6.2% reduction of the public health budget and further 3.9% cuts every year until 2020.

The institute's executive director Dr Cheryll Adams said: 'Government may soon have to face the effects of some of the lowest ratios of health visitors to children experienced by this country in living memory.

'It's time to act, to help ensure the best health outcomes for all UK children today, and in the future.

'We need urgent action from the Government to increase their investment in public health prevention and early intervention to ensure that health visitors can continue to give every child the opportunity to have the best start in life.'

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