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Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association

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Press Release Press Release Press Release Press  Release   


2 December 2003





Health visitors and school nurses could be ‘marginalised’ by the government’s proposals in the Green Paper on the future of children’s welfare

This fear is spelt out in the response by the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors Association (CPHVA) to the proposals in the Every Child Matters document.

While welcoming the Green Paper as ‘innovative and far reaching’ in providing services to families and children, the CPHVA is concerned about ‘the low prominence’ given to the health dimension.

The CPHVA said: ‘We would like to see equal status between health, education and social services. This is particular evident in the lack of attention given to the early years (pre-school). The universality of the health visiting service is vital for the early identification of problems, in addition to preventative programmes.

’The CPHVA particularly welcomed the appointment of a Commissioner for Children for England and the powers they will have, as well the move to integrated information systems across agencies and the necessary legislative changes to make this happen. The CPHVA also applauded the emphasis on multi-agency working.

The CPHVA’s is concerned that children’s trusts appear to be a fait accompli in the Green Paper, while a number of pilot schemes around the country still have not been evaluated. This will have implications for health visitors and school nurses, the vast majority of whom are CPHVA members.

The CPHVA said it is ‘very disappointing’ that no real attention has been given to private fostering, especially as the Green Paper was a result of Lord Laming’s enquiry into the tragic death of Victoria Climbie.

One important factor in Victoria’s case was that she was part of a private fostering arrangement, which then, as now, is not regulated in any way.

The CPHVA also felt that a ‘clear missing link’ in the Green Paper was a lack of a commitment to remove the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’, which is needed to give children equal protection with adults from assault.

The CPHVA said: ‘We also look forward to contributing to the review of health visiting and school nursing that is to be undertaken by the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England.’

The CPHVA’s director,Mark Jones said: ‘The broad approach adopted by the Green Paper is to be welcomed, however there are a number of detailed matters that we are concerned about and we will be making a strong case during the CNO’s review.’




Shaun Noble Communications Officer ( (020) 7939 7043

mobile ( 07768 69 39 40

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA website: amicus-cphva.org

The CPHVA - the UK’s third largest nursing union - represents health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses, district nurses and nursery nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The CPHVA is a professional section of the Amicus trade union