Press Release Press Release Press Release

Embargoed until 00.01 Monday, 20 November


The Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association today (Monday, 20 November) welcomed the new NSPCC research Child Maltreatment in the United Kingdom, which highlights the continuing - and serious - social problem of child abuse in the UK. It provides the hard evidence of the problems that CPHVA members deal with on a daily basis.

The CPHVA's Director, Jackie Carnell said: "Health visitors and community nurses are deeply conscious of the emotional and physical scars that such abuse leaves.

The CPHVA recognises that poverty and social exclusion play major, but not exclusive, roles in the alarming levels of child abuse

The link between domestic violence and child abuse is well-known and health visitors routinely raise awareness of the issue of domestic violence with clients, taking into account that this is a very sensitive subject.

Child protection training for health visitors and school nurses should be increased, after a period when it was cut-back. There should also be more multi-agency training. School nurses raise awareness of the issue as part of their work in schools.

One of the ways that the problem could be tackled is for the rapid expansion of the Sure Start scheme, which pulls together the expertise of all agencies involved in local communities. This will mean more investment in resources.

Measures to tackle child abuse will require greater numbers of health visitors and school nurses. We would like to see the immediate recruitment of 500 health visitors in the short-term to make up for the fact that 27% of the workforce could retire in the next five years, and also for 500 more school nurses. Training places for health visitors fell by 51 % between 1991-96 and has only risen 16% from 1996-1999."



For further information, please contact

Shaun Noble, Press Officer


(020) 7939 7043

0468 69 39 40 (mobile)

Jackie Carnell, CPHVA Director


0468 73 77 73 (mobile)

Pat Jackson, Professional Officer for School Nursing and Public Health


0498 53 10 27 (mobile)

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA web site:

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.