Greater support, recognition, and research for health visiting post-pandemic.

Gill, Bethany orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8104-3955, Hampton, Thomas, Geary, Rebecca and Whittaker, Karen (2022) Greater support, recognition, and research for health visiting post-pandemic. The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 72 (721). pp. 368-369. ISSN 1478-5242

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Traditionally, appointments between families and health visitors have taken place face-to-face in families’ homes, local community venues, and primary care settings alongside GPs.1 Working across these settings has been recognised as important for the early identification of problems and the delivery of early interventions.2 Despite the importance of health visiting support to primary care, the service has faced a decline in investment, a decline in numbers of staff, variation in services,3 and a lack of evaluative research.4 A previous article in the BJGP 5 documented significant annual budget cuts for the NHS and disinvestment by over 50% of local authorities since 2017, but during the COVID-19 pandemic the service needed to adapt even further.

Health visiting currently faces a cumulation of new delivery models and lack of support and investment, which, without change, will damage efforts to address health inequalities, and will heighten the vulnerability of many families and their infants.

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