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Health visitors welcome decision to drop community nurse role


The union Unite, which represents health visitors, has welcomed a decision by the Scottish Government to drop plans to create a generic community nurse role.

Ministers last week announced they would be abandoning the plans to merge health visiting, school nursing and district nursing, into one generic community nursing role. The idea was first mooted in 2006 and was being piloted in four regions.

Nursing unions had heavily criticised the proposals to on the grounds that it would cause confusion to the public and dilute specialist knowledge.

Unite’s Professional Officer in Scotland, Gavin Fergie, said: ‘This is the successful result of a three-year battle to keep the community nurse professions distinct, which we believe is the best option to deliver quality services to the families and communities of Scotland.’

‘The existing pilots will be wound down with a new board charged with leading the direction of community nursing professions in Scotland to be set up by August. Unite will have a place on this new board,’ he added.


Readers' comments (4)

  • This is the greatest news. As a team of Health Visitors within one of the pilot sites, we chose to withdraw our support from this short-sighted plan. At last we feel vindicated and at last someone has taken notice of our concerns.

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  • Absolutely delighted to hear this wonderful news!

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  • Denise Hine

    what!! no way could you have a generic role - each of these very different specilities requires special people, with very individual and special skills. who thinks up these ideas?

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  • I remember when this ill thought out plan was launched. It was planned by general nurses with no grasp of the differences between the professions. Sometimes, the less you know the easier it is to do something irrational.

    As a Scot, I'm hugely relieved by this news. It would have given rural communities with real needs a kind of 'bush medicine' generic practitioner, cheaply trained and poorly equipped to cope. If you're working in isolated highland and island communities, you need to be an expert, not a half trained amateur.

    People who live in isolated places deserve properly qualified and fully registered practitioners who can deliver real health visiting. After all, you wouldn't let your GP do your caesarian or your craniotomy, just because you lived in a village!

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