By Dave Munday, professional officer in the Health sector
Last week CPHVA was in Birmingham (at least my bit was!). It was to pilot a session that I've been wanting to run for a while targeted at our student health visitor (and hopefully future) members.
The format was simple as I borrowed that from the BBC. Our David Dimbelbey was Lord Phil Hunt (Labour Shadow Health leader in the Lords) and the panel; me and colleagues from the Department of Health, NHS England, Health Education West Midlands and Stafford University. I'd tried something similar for our Mental Health Nursing Association student members (MHNA) last year.
Over the last two years I've done regular events updating our health visitor members on the progress of the 'HV Implementation Plan'. Hopefully, many of them will have known that the current investment in health visiting and the targets set by government to increase numbers by 4,200 was won by persistent campaigning by Unite/CPHVA and its members. However a concern I have is that those entering the profession won't have that historical knowledge. Come 2015, if the cuts in the service happen again (or in the move to local authority commissioning the services are forgotten about) we want members that remember the struggles so they're ready to struggle for their profession again.
We see the wider impact of 'forgetting' past struggles, with politicians forgetting the struggles to create the NHS by our fore-parents, organisations signing away NHS staffs terms and conditions, on the belief that if agreed now the butchers won't come back with their knives and whole sale benefit destruction by legislatures ignorant to the destruction it causes not just to the families it touches but to us all in pushing towards a regressive society.
It's always important to question, even if you already know the answer. Maybe it was wrong.
We're running the next #StHVQT on 1st August at UCLan. We're thinking about rolling them across England so keep an eye on our events page.