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Charities claim health visiting system is not equipped to cope with the Covid pandemic

A coalition of children’s charities has issued a warning that England’s health visiting system will not be able to cope with the challenges brought by Covid 19.

The claim was made after a survey of 5000 families carried out by a consortium of charities including NSPCC, the Institute of Health Visiting, Home Start UK, Parent Infant Foundation and Best Beginnings. The survey found that:

  • Only a quarter of those who are breastfeeding thought they had received the care they needed.
  • Just 11% of parents with children under the age of 2 had had a face to face conversation with a health visitor.

NHS services have been making digital appointments but respondents claim these were inadequate and sometimes humiliating and privacy invading.

The charities have written an open letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock calling for health visiting services to be prioritised also pointing out the concern that these services were already under funded prior to the pandemic.