Posted By: Amy Tubb
18th January 2024
1 minute read
According to their research, nearly all UK health visitors (93%) have observed a rise in poverty in the past 12 months, impacting families' ability to heat their homes, feed their children and travel to crucial health appointments. iHV has raised concerns that these struggles are invisible to other services and often go unnoticed until they escalate into a crisis.
Only 3% of health visitors surveyed said families were not affected by the cost-of-living crisis, while others said poverty has become so widespread that it is considered “the norm”. There is significant worry among health visitors about the widening health inequalities in England and the fact that the cost-of-living situation appears to be getting worse.
Despite health visitors’ best efforts, they find they are not able to meet the rising level of need and complexity, partly due to ongoing cuts to the workforce. iHV reports a current national shortage of around 5,000 health visitors in England and a postcode lottery of support.
"The findings from iHV might not shock those working with families, but their weight is undeniable. The report reveals a profession under tremendous strain but one with the expertise, desire and enormous potential to bring about brighter futures for both parents and children. Urgent steps must be taken to boost health visitor numbers, ensuring that no issues slip through the cracks, and our most vulnerable families receive the community support they desperately need."
Visit the iHV website for information about what they think needs to change.Download the full report
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