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Sunday 16th June 2019

Twenty centres to put health visitors at the heart of the community

30th March 2011

Twenty health visiting sites across the country have been selected to lead the way in fast tracking the delivery of the Government’s vision to improve the health and well being of children, families and communities, Public Health Minister Anne Milton announced today.

Speaking at a launch event, the Minister also announced the start of a national recruitment drive to increase the numbers of health visitors - attracting more people to train to join the profession, as well as encouraging former health visitors back into practice.

The initiatives are part of the Government’s commitment to increase the health visitor workforce by 4,200 by 2015 and are backed by education institutions, NHS Careers and Strategic Health Authorities who will be on hand to advise and support on local opportunities. Boosting the numbers of health visitors is key to delivering the Government’s new vision for the profession and the service on offer for families and communities.

The twenty ‘Early Implementer Sites’ will showcase the new service model for health visiting, which has been developed with the profession, and was recently set out in the Government’s Health Visitor Implementation Plan ’A Call to Action’. Health visiting teams in these areas will work with other local health and children’s services, as well as with families themselves, so that by April 2012 they can provide this dynamic new service in ways and at times and places that suit their local community.

The twenty teams selected are already delivering parts of the new service and will be supported to quickly progress to the full family offer, as well as helping other areas develop their service by sharing learning and best practice.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“We are determined to give parents the support they need to give their  children the best start in life. Health visitors are trusted by parents and  have the training and experience to provide a helping hand when  families need it most.

“That is why we are committed to building a universal health visiting  service with an extra 4,200 health visitors. So I'd like to encourage  nurses to come forward to train as health visitors and any former  health visitors to consider coming back to the profession."

At the launch event today at the Department of Health, Anne Milton and the Chief Nursing Officer Dame Christine Beasley, met with some of the practitioners and leaders from the twenty sites, as well as with professional bodies.

Anne Milton said:

“It is essential for families that we have the numbers of health visitors we need. By recruiting more and developing the profession they will be able to deliver sound preventative health care based on the evidence about the importance of the early years of life.

“The twenty sites announced today will be at the forefront of implementing our vision for health visiting services. As well as ensuring all families get the service they should, they will also focus on vulnerable and disadvantaged families. Health visitors will be supported to use their skills to work with local communities to develop services. This will put health visiting at the heart of achieving better health outcomes in our communities.”

Chief Nursing Officer Dame Christine Beasley said:

”The Early Implementer health visiting sites will help showcase some of the best practice in the country. With our support they will be able to build on this success and share expertise but also provide inspiration across the whole profession.

“It is an exciting time to join the health visiting service. Our new vision and our commitment to expand the workforce promises to ensure this is a rewarding, dynamic and vital service.

“As well as attracting new recruits, we also want to encourage those who have left the profession to return. And we will offer existing health visitors the chance to refresh and develop their skills - helping to improve career opportunities and retention.”


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