The Government have been Urged to Dismantle the Visiting Health Service

Almost half of health visitors feel as though they are so stretched that they fear that a tragedy is going to happen where they work. The Institute of Health Visiting service have reacted to the findings by calling for extra regulatory protection for the profession in general and also by having new-ring fenced funding as well. The government pledge is to try and give every child the start that they deserve. Some believe that this has been left in tatters.

The survey was carried out at the end of last year and it has been published since. It lays bare the extent of the challenges that are being faced in the profession. The study ultimately showed that 48% of the respondents reported that they felt somewhat strained at work. They felt strained to the point where they believed that a tragedy could happen as the result of the understaffing crisis. This is especially the case for those who work in homecare or even in private nursing.

Studies have also shown that only 21% of health visitors rated the care that they could offer as being good, or even excellent. A third of the people who responded in the survey stated that they were responsible for anywhere between 500 and 1000 children. The recommended maximum is around 250, so this shows how dire the crisis is right now.

Of course, it should be noted that one health visitor who completed the survey stated that larger caseloads and much fewer staff resulted in families not getting the tailor-made service that they deserve. Vulnerable children are now slipping through the net more than ever before and this is presenting a whole new crisis as a result. Only time will tell what is going to happen next but right now, it’s not looking good.

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