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Health Visitors

Volume 474: debated on Monday 31 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the likely effects on increased recruitment of midwives on the (a) training, (b) recruitment and (c) retention of health visitors; (194321)

(2) if he will take steps to recruit more health visitors to provide support through the pre-school stage of children's lives;

(3) what steps his Department is taking to change the number of training places for health visitors available (a) this year and (b) in the next three years.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has made a commitment to recruit more specialist nurses and health visitors to tackle public health issues in deprived communities.

It is the responsibility of local organisations to commission and develop services to respond to local needs, including the recruitment of health visitors and midwives. The Operating Framework for 2008-09 highlights the importance of maternity and children's services and the need for local organisations to commission and provide the necessary services and work force.