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Health visitors service has become less effective because it is too targeted, claims Maggie Fisher

24 Jun 2011

Children and Young People Now report that Maggie Fisher, chair of the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association’s Health Visitors Forum, has warned that the health visitors service is becoming less effective because it has become so targeted.

Fisher claimed that health visitors were missing problems because they were finding themselves unable to go out and meet families. She said,

To give children a good start in life we need to make sure that things that prevent them developing to their full potential are mitigated against and universal health visitors service is in a very good position to do that. The problem has been that the universal service has virtually disappeared and it as become so targeted that it is not being effective any more.

Fisher, who was giving evidence to the education select committee, also raised concerns about the impact which cuts to children’s centres services might have on health visitors.

She went on to say,

Health visitors are managing huge caseloads, as many as 1,000 children, so they aren’t out there doing the day-to-day visits. We are having other people doing that work and crucially problems aren’t being picked up.

To back up these claims Fisher cited research from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists which showed that now only about 15% of referrals come from health visitors down from 40% previously.

Tags: Communities and local areas, Early Years, Early years sector, Talk To Your Baby

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