Brighton and Hove health visitors criticise £1m-a-year budget cut to children’s services

Posted On 22 Nov 2016 at 6:11 pm

Brighton and Hove health visitors have criticised a budget cut of £1 million a year to children’s health services this afternoon (Tuesday 22 November).

The cut was due to be agreed by the Brighton and Hove City Council Health and Wellbeing Board as part of its Public Health Nursing Strategy.

Campaign group Sussex Defend the NHS said: “This contract includes health visiting, school nursing, breastfeeding support and young parents services.

“Sussex Defend the NHS have been campaigning to keep to keep this vital public health service within the NHS and to reverse the £1 million budget cut over the next three years that was agreed at the March 2016 Health and Wellbeing Board.

“Sussex Defend the NHS are stunned to discover that at today’s meeting the Health and Wellbeing Board are being asked to agree a budget cut of £1 million per year – £3 million over three years.”

Clare Jones, from the Unite union, which represents health visitors, said: “Health visitors are very angry that the goal posts have suddenly changed.

“A £1 million cut to the service was bad enough – 10 per cent of health visitors have already been replaced by less qualified staff – but £3 million in three years is unbelievable.

“This will directly impact on the health and wellbeing of all the children and families in the city. There will be far fewer qualified staff to support young children”

  1. Hjarrs Reply

    A Labour council run by the Progress clique and a nasty Conservative government are a toxic mix.

  2. Cheryll Adams Reply

    How can this lead to the positive health outcomes for children we should all aspire to? Disappointed in you Brighton whilst realising you have been dealt a tough financial hand. What it will lead to is more children requiring secondary services including child mental health services and safeguarding interventions so greater expenditure downstream. Many children may now be picked up late where there are safeguarding issues if health visitors are no-longer close enough to families to recognise risk and intervene early. Will that lead to more children requiring care proceedings? Time will tell but logically it will.

    We should all be campaigning for a national reinstatement of the public health budgets before its too late. Health Visitors are senior specialist practitioners with many years of public health expertise, they can’t be easily replaced once they have gone. They are the silent public health army, you don’t notice what they do until you take them away!

  3. Carol Reply

    I could not agree more.

    The King’s fund have published their new document which refers to a Social and Public Health Model (a basic HV approach of course), which they have named a ‘Social Prescription’ approach. Others will call it a Social Medicine approach.

    They refer to our good GP colleagues of times gone by in Peckham…

    The 4 Principles of the HV services, echo the course of time and history. Prevention and client engagement is the clear and only way forward, yet there is disinvestment ?

    It takes many years to master the skills required in HV.
    Your points re disinvestment of course allready proven and will once a gain come to haunt the decision makers. By then I fear there may be no NHS.

    England has seen its Local Authorities financially raped with devastating effects on communities allready.

    The LA absorption of NHS services with closer integrated budgets will ensure austerity continues to rain down.
    Indeed restore Public Health funding and ring fence HV funding within it.

    Governments:The worse form of ignorance is not even knowing what it is one does not know. Only surpassed by Einsteins familar theory…

    In Wales HV’s are soo genuinely saddened for you our fellow HV colleagues- we hear your voice. The shared additional realisation of the future impact on the most vulnerable in society -our children.

    Those children are of course our collective futures.

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