Press Release Press Release Press Release

18 July 2000

Health Visitors keen to play part in ‘Coherent’ Strategy for Family Support Services

A new report calling for a substantial improvement in family support services in England and Wales will require additional resources being pumped into the health visiting and school nursing services, says the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association.

The CPHVA welcomed the survey by the National Family and Parenting Institute (NFPI) which highlighted the fragmented nature of the support services. The NFPI is consulting on a number of proposals, including a Family Support Co-ordinator to be appointed in each local authority area and an expanded role for health visitors.

The CPHVA’s director, Jackie Carnell said: ‘Health visitors and school nurses already make a significant contribution, but unfortunately the services they can offer are fragmented due to local resources and staff numbers.’

‘What is being proposed certainly fits with the proposed model of practice for health visitors and school nurses. We would like this document to be seen in conjunction with the crucial role that school nurses play within the school population in raising awareness of their future roles as parents.’

‘Health visitors and school nurses are working together to expand their role as public health practitioners focusing on working with individuals, families and communities. We see their role as crucial in any strategy for family support policies and would wish to support NFPI in emphasising the importance of this as a focus for local service provision.’

‘We would certainly support NFPI in calling for more health visitors and school nurses who can contribute to this vital work.’

Ms Carnell also raised the issue of maternal mental health: ‘If the mother is

properly supported, she can approach her role as a parent feeling confident and mentally secure which means she is more likely to be an effective parent. Once again, the health visitor already considers it a priority to support mothers to achieve this goal.’

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NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS

The CPHVA represents 60 per cent of the country’s 2,500 school nurses.

For further information, please contact:

Shaun Noble , Communications Officer, tel: (020) 7939 7043 or mobile 07768 69 39 40

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA web site: www.msfcphva.org

The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union. The CPHVA represents 18,000 health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


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