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Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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Press Release Press Release Press Release Press  Release   


2 April 2004






Only massive public support will stop large cuts to the health visiting service in the Aylesbury area being imposed by ‘stealth’.

This is the message from the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA) which is fighting plans by the Vale of Aylesbury Primary Care Trust (PCT) to cut the service by 20 per cent, saving £200,000 a year.

A petition is being organised to stop the loss of up to eight jobs; with health visitors canvassing weekend shoppers in Aylesbury and surrounding villages for support.

The CPHVA, part of the Amicus trade union, said that there had been no change in the PCT’s position, despite a demonstration by health visitors, and mothers and toddlers when the PCT board met last month.

Health visitors are in the frontline in providing crucial advice on such matters as weaning, behavioural issues and screening for postnatal depression – and these services are enormously popular with the public, according to the trust’s own market research.

The CPHVA said that in September 2003 the trust asked the public how satisfied they were with the health visiting service.

Ninety six per cent of respondents reported that they were satisfied with the service they had received. Of the very small number of those who expressed dissatisfaction, four out of ten were requesting more health visitors.

Dr Lesley Sapsford, Chair of the CPHVA in Buckinghamshire said: ‘I would like to thank the public for the generous support they are giving to our campaign. The trust want to implement these cuts by stealth, behind closed doors. The only way to stop this is for the public to express their anger at the proposals.’

We intend to collect signatures throughout the area in a bid to continue the campaign to save the service for the people in the Vale of Aylesbury.’

In another blow to the service, the CPHVA said that the four student health visitors currently with the trust have been told that there will be no jobs for them when they qualify. Also, there will be only two students trained next year, half the usual number.

The Amicus Regional Officer for Aylesbury and Buckinghamshire, Craig Smith said: ‘Despite growing evidence of support from the public that they wish to keep the service, and the trust’s own evidence of the high regard in which the service is held, the PCT has not so far changed its unbending position.’

At best, this failure to respond to the public appears to be a dereliction of duty on the part of the trust and at worst it could be interpreted as arrogance or incompetence as other local primary care trusts facing similar financial constraints are not cutting front line staff to make savings.’




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