Babies missing out on basic checks as number of health visitors plunges

Babies are missing out on basic checks as a result of plunging numbers of health visitors, Labour has claimed.

New figures show the number of health visitors has fallen by 900 in a year, with almost 10 per cent fewer staff in post.

The total workforce is now the lowest it has been since 2013, with 8,588 staff employed across the health service, the statistics from NHS Digital show.

Labour said the reduction was resulting to huge variation in the standard of care given to children across the country.

The new analysis we are revealing today is a damning indictment of the government’s commitment to tackling child ill-healthJonathan Ashworth

New mothers are supposed to receive a check from health visitors within two weeks of their child being born. But just one in four babies in North Somerset were seen within this time, and 12 per cent missing out nationally, the analysis shows.

Babies are also supposed to receive a visit around the age of one, to check on their development. But nationally almost one quarter of babies missed this, the figures show – with almost half of babies in London missing the check.

Article from The Telegraph, 17 October 2017