Health visitor numbers rising

Tuesday, 14 August, 2012

The Department of Health is on track to meet its commitment to increase the number of health visitors by an extra 4,200 by April 2015.

This is thanks to the concerted support of
the health visiting profession - which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary - and the NHS, higher educational institutions and other
partners. Increasing health visitor numbers should allow local teams to improve public health outcomes and provide personalised care, giving health visitors more time to provide parents with critical health and development advice, and to connect families to the array of health and wider community resources that can help them give their children the best start in life.

Compared to last year, 3 times as many
health visitors began training in 2011/12,
which means more than 6,000 new health visitors should be trained before 2015. Later this year, some of these newly qualified health visitors will begin joining the frontline. The programme of Early Implementer Sites continues to drive service transformation in a
range of settings across the country, ensuring clinical delivery of the Healthy Child Programme. They are also ensuring improvements in:

• antenatal services
• breastfeeding and immunisation rates
• parental confidence
• information sharing among practitioners and parents.

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