"Working with government and the NHS, councils want to protect our world class health visiting service by attracting, training and keeping new essential workers."
Responding to a State of Health Visiting Survey by the Institute of Health Visiting, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“We now face a serious shortfall in the number of health visitors, which has to be filled if we are to continue to meet the needs of families in our local communities. Working with government and the NHS, councils want to protect our world class health visiting service by attracting, training and keeping new essential workers.
“The Government announcement of a real-terms increase in public health funding this year is positive but this report reinforces our call for long-term sustainable funding for vital council services, including for children’s public health and prevention.
“Every pound invested by government in council-run services such as public health helps to relieve pressure on other services like the NHS. There cannot be a sustainable NHS without a sustainable public health system.
“Since councils took over responsibility for the public health of those aged 0-5 in 2015, they have done everything they can to provide this vital service, but years of funding reductions mean public health services are struggling to keep pace with the scale of demand.”
- The closure of the Health Visitors Implementation Plan in 2015 led to an immediate reduction in new training places by 22 per cent.
- Councils saw a £700 million real terms reduction to their public health budgets between 2015/16 and 2019/20
- LGA publication - Health visiting: giving children the best start in life
- LGA briefing - The reduction in the number of health visitors in England