Welcome to Conservative NHS Britain Where our government says it has pride in the UK but not any will to put taxpayers cash back into services that need it.
Health visitors look after health and development from birth until the age of five. Last year, there were 6,931 full-time equivalent health visitors in England, a drop of 3,378 since the peak of 10,309 in October 2015, figures from Labour showed.
“In the last five years we have seen the number of health visitors cut by 30%, then during the pandemic, as many as 50% of staff were redeployed in some areas,” she said. “That was devastating for families and for health visitors who were put under immense pressure.”
One health visitor told Adams she was at one stage looking after 2,400 families, when 250 is considered to be a “safe” number.
Overstretched health visitors have been forced to care for up to 2,400 families with newborns at a time, 10 times the recommended number, according to the sector’s most senior figure.
Prompting fears that breastfeeding rates will drop to new lows and a generation of babies could face a troubled future, Cheryll Adams, the chief executive of the Institute of Health Visiting.