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New HVs tell Blair of job fears

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VOL: 102, ISSUE: 26, PAGE NO: 7

Emma Vere-Jones

Jobs watch 27 June 2006

Jobs watch 27 June 2006

DOZENS of senior nurses who gave up jobs to retrain as health visitors and district nurses have written to prime minister Tony Blair because they fear they will not be able to find jobs on qualifying

The 20 health visitor and 22 district nursing students will complete training at Anglia Ruskin University in Essex in July but say there are unlikely to be jobs available for them in the county.

Most of the nurses were sponsored, rather than seconded, to undertake the year-long training programme, leading to a degree or master’s in community specialist practice. They therefore have no previous job to return to, union representatives said last week.

Their letter to Mr Blair said: ‘Can you tell us what your commitment to Health Visiting and District nursing is? In many of your documents you have stated how important we are to the modernisation agenda but we are still without jobs and feel undervalued. We will also be adding to your growing unemployment statistics.’

One health visitor told NT: ‘We’ve spoken to last year’s students who said they had jobs by May - even if it was on the condition of you completing
your course. I will have to go on the dole until something comes along.’

Local Amicus/CPHVA representative Cheryl Lyon said: ‘Because of the financial situation there’s hardly any jobs they can apply for. Of course not everybody gets a job initially in the local area but we’re also worried that this year there are no jobs in neighbouring areas, such as outer London or Suffolk.’

But Michelle Gallifent, director of education and training at the Essex Workforce and Development Confederation, denied that there was a problem. The WDC had an agreement with trusts that all students trained in the area are guaranteed a job, she said.

‘If there was going to be a problem I would suspect my directors of nursing would have told me. We’ve not had any information from the service to say they’re unable to support those individuals.’

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