Health visitor campaign highlights fall in numbers

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A new campaign video aims to highlight the 10 per cent drop in health visitor numbers in England over the past two years, which the Institute of Health Visiting blames on government cuts.

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Natasha Kaplinsky features in the health visitor film

Featuring national newsreader, Natasha Kaplinsky, the programme, entitled ‘Why the role of the health visitor helps give every child the best start in life’, details the breadth of challenges health visitors respond to, include supporting families facing issues ranging from poverty and housing to domestic violence and postnatal depression.

The video has been developed by the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) with the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and ITN Productions.

The programme includes interviews with health visitors about the work they do, its benefits and the challenges they face, and talks to parents.

The iHV is a charity set up in 2012 to support the 15,000 health visitors across the UK.

The institute’s executive director Dr Cheryll Adams, said, ‘Through making this programme, we want to raise awareness of the consequences of the on-going cuts to health visitor numbers in England – and the impact on children and families. Health visitors are a critical cog in each child’s journey to adulthood and work to improve public health outcomes for all children, helping to reduce health inequalities across the UK.

 ‘The iHV was delighted to work with the Royal Society of Public Health and ITN Productions partnership to produce such an important programme which visually demonstrates the vital role and impact of health visitors.

 ‘Children’s needs seem to have become invisible among the many competing demands being made on the government and the NHS. We want ministers and commissioners to understand that we cannot afford not to invest in our children’s health. They are our future!’

The four-and-a-half-minute video forms part of the full-length feature film ‘The Public’s Health Across The Life Course’, coordinated by the RSPH and produced by ITN Productions.

The film, which is part of a series released annually by the RSPH since 2015, explores how a range of health professionals, local and national government and the voluntary and community sectors are working to achieve a healthier nation. It uses a combination of interviews with key figures and editorial reports to profile leading organisations working to improve the public’s health. 

The film follows the RSPH’s ‘Improve and Protect’ feature released in 2015, and 2016’s ‘Championing the Public’s Health’.

Watch the health visitor video here

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