Unite will celebrate the nation’s health visitors and 120 years of the CPHVA (Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors Association) with a special week of events from Monday 26 to Friday 30 September as part of health visitor week (#HVweek).
The week kicks off with a full day conference in Wales on Monday September 26 in partnership with the Welsh government, where speakers will include Rebecca Evans AM, minister for Social Services and Public Health, marking the launch of the Health Child Wales Programme.
Events are also taking place in Glasgow on Tuesday (September 27) and in Belfast on Thursday (September 29). Health visitors in England can tune into a live webinar on Wednesday, September 28 where topics for discussion will include oral health and sudden infant death syndrome (cot death).
Booking details of the events can be found here.
Unite/CPHVA is calling on all health visitors and supporters to sign up and get involved to help promote the merits of the health visiting profession and its role in improving the outcomes for children and their families.
Unite lead professional officer Dave Munday said, “Health visitor week is about celebrating all the amazing work that health visitors do supporting children and their families, but there is also a very serious side to the week.
“With the future of health visiting under threat in England, by the deep cuts to public health budgets and the shift to cash-strapped local authority control, now more than ever we need to speak up to protect the profession.
“Prime Minister Theresa May’s ministers need to wake-up to the fact that the progress made by the last government with the Health Visitor Implementation Plan, which boosted the workforce by more than 4,000, could be jeopardised with all the adverse impact this would have on children, families and the wider public health agenda,” Munday added.
“We are also urging local councils, which now have responsibility for health visiting budgets, to resist the temptation to make short-term gains by slashing health visitor numbers when in the medium to long term this will be much more expensive.
“Just one example that we will be highlighting during the week includes, when tooth brushes and tooth paste is sent directly to families with no support, there is a 16 per cent reduction in tooth decay, but when a health visitor provides advice alongside the pack, the reduction rate increases to 40 per cent.”
Unite/CPHVA is the UK’s leading professional organisation for health visitors, school nurses, nursery nurses and other community practitioners working in primary care.
Unite/CPHVA is a professional association within the health sector of Unite the union which is the largest union in the UK.