Training for the increasing numbers of health visitors is still a concern for Unite, the country’s largest union, as the progress report on the 'National Health Visitor Plan' is unveiled today (Wednesday 26 June).
Unite, which embraces the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association, welcomes the 1,021 (full-time equivalent) increase in the number of health visitors since 2010, but is concerned about their future supervisory and training needs.
Unite is also concerned about the organisational upheavals in the NHS which came into force on 1 April and how they might impact on the government’s aim of creating 4,200 more health visitors by 2015.
Unite lead professional officer Obi Amadi, who sits on the health visitor implementation taskforce, said: “Good progress has been made in reversing the long-term decline of the health visiting profession.
“However, we do have continuing concerns about whether the new students will all have the same quality training across the board that we have been campaigning for.
“There is also the issue whether there will be enough senior colleagues to meet the supervision needs for the new recruits when they come into post, as they are often thrust straight into dealing with some very challenging situations with clients.
“More generally, the constant state of organisational upheaval in the health service, with the private sector bidding for lucrative contracts and public health now falling under local government, creates a climate of great uncertainty.
“This is not an ideal setting for the next generation of health visitors as they bed down into their new careers and push forward the public health agenda.”
For further information please contact Obi Amadi on 07780 955 936 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693 940.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.