Health visitors - an endangered species

Document type
Gimson, Sally
Family and Parenting Institute
Date of publication
1 April 2007
Health Services, Children and Young People, Families
Social welfare
Material type

Download (338KB )

In 2007 the Family and Parenting Institute commissioned YouGov to ask nearly 5,000 parents what they thought of health visitors. It also asked the 151 Primary Care Trusts in England to see how many health visitors they employed. This report revealed 76 per cent of parents in England wanted parenting support and advice on their child's health and development from a trained health visitor with up-to-date knowledge. 83 per cent of parents wanted that support and advice in the home. Yet the report also found huge variations up and down the country with health visitors vulnerable to savings cuts. There was general uncertainty about health visitors’ role, they and their work did not figure in any government targets, and they were expensive to employ. They found themselves squeezed by and subject to the decisions of individual Primary Care Trust managers.

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