‘Devil in detail’ as 500 new health visitors pledged f...

‘Devil in detail’ as 500 new health visitors pledged for Scotland

18 June 2014

The ‘devil will be in the detail’, following today’s (Wednesday 18 June) announcement that 500 more health visitors will be created in Scotland in the next four years.

Unite, Scotland’s biggest union, which embraces the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA), welcomed the announcement by the Scottish government that there will be 500 more health visitors by 2017-18.

Unite professional officer for Scotland Gavin Fergie said: “There is much work to be done in making this a reality and the devil will be in the detail as to how this will be implemented.

“Unite feels that at least 500 full-time health visitors are required to address the needs of children, young people and their families in Scotland.

“We view this four-year plan, which runs until 2018, not as an end in itself, but a first constructive step in a continuing programme to develop the profession into the 2020s.  

“Unite/CPHVA has been integral in the work leading to today’s announcement by cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing Alex Neil.

“We are supporting this exciting and interesting time for the health visiting profession in Scotland.”

In March this year, Scotland’s health visiting workforce stood at a total headcount of 1,624 (whole time equivalent of 1,339). Unite said that, based on those figures, the extra 500 posts in the pipeline were the minimum required to meet the public health needs of the Scottish population.

Gavin Fergie also raised concerns about other branches of community nursing and the need for more investment in these areas.

He said: “Questions also remain about the future for school nursing and nurses, and we hope a similar announcement will be made for this group in the near future. Unite/CPHVA is involved in formulating policy for school nurses.

“District nursing and nurses also require investment. Analysis on how to develop and support this service is long overdue.

“The challenges facing health visitors are varied and complex whether their clients live in cities and towns or in rural areas.”


For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 and/or the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065. 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.