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Are you interested in becoming a health visitor?


Health minister Anne Milton and deputy CNO Viv Bennett hosted a live webchat on health visitor recruitment today. Are you interested in becoming a health visitor? You can still read the transcript of the discussion online

  • What: Free webchat on the government’s plans for health visitor recruitment
  • When: On demand
  • Where: Your PC - go to to read the transcript
  • Who: Health minister Anne Milton and deputy CNO Viv Bennett

Readers' comments (23)

  • I would love to train as a HV, but it seems that you have to be working in the community and be seconded for the course. I am currently a band 6 hospital based nurse but previously worked as a District Nurse for 5 years. I live in South East Wales, can anyone help me please?

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  • Rachel Purkett

    Thanks, Anonymous, we'll submit your question to Anne Milton and Viv Bennett this Friday.

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  • I am interested in becoming a HV. I am an adult nursing student in my final year. what would I need to do to enable me work as a HV. Also, could you please talk about the funding ,requirement....i in live in Milton Keynes.

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  • Rachel Purkett

    Thanks - we'll put your question to Anne Milton and Viv Bennett on Friday.

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  • Can you give an indication as to when the various areas will release adverts for applications for sponsorship for new trainees? I know these adverts willl appear through NHS jobs but the release of these appear, to me, to be intermittent and with time taken to apply September is not that far away! Are there planned release dates across the country? I look forward to the response tomorrow :)

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  • I am in my final semester of my Health Visitor Training and I have just been informed that my training PCT
    will not be able to employ me (or my 4 colleaugues) when we qualify due to enforced spending cuts. A quick look on NHS jobs website
    has only one PCT in my region of the UK advertising posts - jobs that are all too far away from where i live.
    Many people have worked hard to teach and support me to deliver a high quality service - and now I fear I won't even get the chance to put those skills into practice.
    Whilst i understand the need to save money, I have seen HVs retire and those positions have not been filled. We have vacant caseloads across the trust which HVs (already with large caseloads) are supposed to manage.
    The government's pledge to radically increase HV numbers is admirable (and desperately needed) but sadly seems mere rhetoric at grass roots level.
    HVs are overworked, burnt out and under paid - and now seemingly out of work! I have been a nurse for 21 years and this is the first time i have faced unemployment.
    Perhaps rather than urging nurses and midwives to leave perfectly good careers we should be looking at ensuring that the current HV service is adequately funded and staffed?

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  • I am currently in my 3rd and final semester at University completing PG Dip in Health Visiting. I have been told that it is unlikely that there will be any positions available at the end of the course within by sponsoring PCT, and have been advised to begin looking elsewhere. However, there are very few positions available. This situation in no way correlates with the Governments pledge to increase the numbers of Health Visitors across the country. Vacant caseloads are being covered by already over-worked and stressed Health Visitors, and more importantly the families and children we are meant to be working more closely with are being neglected, opening the doors to the potential for child neglect and abuse. The service is in need of more Health Visitors, but due to cost cutting, the funds are not available to recruit. How does the Health Minister envisage that this situation - and others like it around the country - can be managed and resolved?

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  • I too am a Health Visitor Student in my Trimester period of the course and concur with the comments of the previous students on this forum.

    It is extremely disheartening to think that the Trust have paid a large amount of money to train us to the highest standards (hand picked as we are continually told) to work to ensure that all of the children and families in the UK recieve the best care available.

    After finding out this Trust will be taking on another 5 students in the coming September was to be blunt 'rubbing salt in the wound.' I understand this is due to different 'pots' of funding, however this should not be so, those already trained and adequate for the job should be employed and used whilst there are clear gaps within HV numbers (as announced in the Implementation Plan).

    I wonder if you could clarify this...I spoke to another Trust re: future opportunities for jobs and vacancies. They reported that they have just taken on 5 new HV and WILL be taking on again in June. However, the team leader i spoke to reported that they still had not had the funding for the new recruite but culd foresee that it would be coming, hence the reason they are reapplying in June. So...

    1) Why cant my Trust do this?
    2) Why isnt the funding from Government already available to Trusts?

    Considering the extra 4,200+ HV should be in post by 2015 - time will be running out and i fear that many more newly qualified HV will be lost due to these commissioning constraints!

    HV has always been my 'dream job' and considering the cost to the Trust and the vigorous interview process to gain sponsorship for the course (5 selected from 72 applicants, 22 interviews conducted) feel very disappointed in the whole process at the moment.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

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  • Presently, i work in the children and young people services; i deal with children with learning disabilities and additional health needs. I am currently studying Bsc (Hons) Health Promotion and Public Health due to finish in September 2011, but my main aim is to work as a health visitor. What course/programme do i need to do or what steps do i need to follow to make my dreams come true?

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  • I wouldn't bother. Health Visitors are in the same position as newly qualified staff Nurses. There just aren't any bloody jobs! As Francesca, Laura and Meegan say, they are highly qualified and have worked hard to be so, why aren't there the jobs for them? I notice a distinct lack of response from Rachel Purkett and Viv Bennett on that one!

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