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Children: Health Services

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what role health visitors will play in delivering the Child Health Promotion Programme; and what estimate he has made of the number of health visitors required to deliver the target outcomes of the programme. (200518)

Health visitors are central to delivering the Child Health Promotion Programme (CHPP). With expertise in children, families and public health, together with their background as nurses they are ideally placed to lead the delivery of CHPP in the community. The recent review into the future role of the health visitor, ‘Facing the Future’, recommended two roles for health visitors. One of the roles is to lead and deliver the CHPP for a defined population working across general practice and children's centres. The recently updated CHPP promotes the important role of the health visitor to commissioners and services providers.

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