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Health Visiting Services

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the implications for effective early intervention in cases of potential child abuse of the reduction in health visiting services in South Worcestershire. [129312]

It is for local organisations to determine the health visiting workforce required to deliver local and national health priorities including child health.The proposals which have been put forward by South Worcestershire Primary Care Trust are based upon the commitment to provide a family-centred health visiting service which will work with individuals, families and communities to improve child health and tackle health inequalities. The review process for health visiting also took into account public health deprivation indices, the number of children aged up to four years registered with a general practitioner and the number of children currently on the child protection register. All families with children under five years will continue to have access to a named health visitor attached to their general practitioner's practice for advice on health and parenting issues.The Department is currently funding a range of initiatives to support primary care trusts in promoting recruitment, retention and return to practice within the primary care nursing and health visiting workforce.