England’s chief nurses have written a letter to the Directors of Nursing providing advice on how services to families should be managed as part of their winter Covid planning.
The letter notes that the pandemic has already had a significant impact on pregnant women, children, young people and families with increases in safeguarding concerns, domestic abuse, child and maternal mental health problems as well as lost learning time for all children, impacting on outcomes for safety and wellbeing.
It calls for the sustenance of support for families needs to be considered a priority to ensure ‘short and long term harms are to be prevented, identified and mitigated’.
The letter provides clear advise that ‘professionals supporting children and families, such as health visitors, school nurses, designated safeguarding officers and nurses supporting children with special educational needs should not be redeployed to other services and should be supported to provide services through in pregnancy, early years (0-19) and to the most vulnerable families’.
The call was backed by the government with Children’s Minister, Vicky Ford saying ‘I welcome this clear message from chief public health nurse Viv Bennett that health visitors, school nurses, nurses supporting SEND and designated safeguarding officers should not be redeployed over winter’.
Read the full letter here.