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Charities and MP’s call for the strengthening of health visiting services

Sector leaders and MP’s have called on the Secretary of State to improve health services to ensure new parents of being properly supported.

In an open letter to Sajid Javid, the group, which includes major sector support organisations including the NSPCC, Barnardo’s and Action for Children suggested that new parents experiencing mental health problems risk being overlooked, because of the rapid deterioration of universal health visiting services.

The letter says “Health visitors play a vital role in identifying parents experiencing mental health problems and providing or arranging for support. But the health visiting workforce in England is at an all-time low and there are not enough health visitors to meet the level of need. Many families are not receiving the five health visiting reviews they are entitled to, or these vital checks are being delivered remotely, which makes it harder for professionals to identify perinatal mental health problems.”

“ We are deeply concerned that under-resourced health visiting services are causing a postcode lottery of access to support. It takes real courage for parents to open up about mental health, and when they do, a helping hand should be there. Together, we are fighting for a fair start for every family.”

Read the full letter here.