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Health visitors to receive specialist communication training.

1,000 health visitors are to receive training to help early diagnosis of speech, language and communication problems amongst disadvantaged children.

The training will support additional checks to be undertaken during routine visits of 2 year-olds. It is hoped, that early identification of any issues will then lead to a reduction in the gap between the communication skills of disadvantaged children and their peers.

The move is a joint initiative between the Department for Education and Public Health England with the training being rolled out initially to 400 health visitors working in the most deprived council areas with the remaining 600 following in 2020.

Public Health England chief nurse Viv Bennett said ‘This important new training will help more children develop the language and literacy skills they need to reach their full potential, ensuring that specialist support gets to those that need it most."