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“A £1 million cut to the service was bad enough – 10 per cent of health visitors have already been replaced by less qualified staff – but £3 million in three years is unbelievable.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