Released on: 18 January 2023

Responding to the Institute of Health Visiting survey of health visitors, Angela McConville, Chief Executive at NCT, said:  

“Postnatally, families across the UK are being deprived of crucial support, when it’s most needed.  The number of health visitors has reduced considerably, whilst other postnatal support services are being cut too.  

“Support once the baby arrives is critical, as more women than ever are struggling with their mental health. Maternal deaths are rising and postnatal suicides are a leading cause. For many women, access to support is defined by where they live or their ethnicity. They cannot afford to keep losing out on key services that should be guiding and protecting them during this vulnerable time.  

“Rising financial pressures are forcing many families to make difficult choices every day about how to feed their baby or keep them warm. Health visitors can offer a lifeline, but without this early support, many are being left to fend for themselves.  

“Health visiting services in the UK have been overlooked for too long – they are underfunded and understaffed, and families in the most deprived areas are facing the brunt of this.  

“We fully agree with the recommendations for urgent investment in staff recruitment and training, so that families facing multiple disadvantages are supported."

The full report is available here

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