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Keep health visitors linked to GP surgeries - RCGP

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The 4,000 new health visitors being recruited in England should not be placed exclusively in children’s centres, the Royal College of GPs has warned.

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The new recruits have been earmarked for work in Sure Start children’s centres, but the Royal College of GPs claims there is already a lack of communication with health visitors who work in the centres, and extra numbers would worsen the situation.

Traditionally, health visitors have worked out of GP surgeries but large numbers of them have moved to the Sure Start facilities as they have increased in number.

The charity 4children says having health visitors at the centres is useful as it means mothers have less need to go to GPs’ surgeries for non-urgent issues, but the Royal College of GPs feels information on new mothers is not always passed back to GPs by health visitors.

Professor Steve Field, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “What we have to do very quickly is to get GPs more engaged during pregnancy and to get the health visitors to link in much more with the practices.”

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • And it is even April Fools Day!

    Where exactly are the 4000 new HVS? HVs or course didn't 'traditionally' work out of GP practices. 'Large Numbers' of them haven't moved because there are not large numbers.
    GPs think that information 'isn't always passed back to them'. Communication is two way and there are some GPs I have worked with who have NEVER communicated with me even over very serious issues (such as a mother being diagnosed with a terminal illness or failing to inform on child protection concerns). Some GPs have moved HVs out of their premises at very short notice as they have decided they want the room for something else. My colleague came in one Monday to find her stuff packed in boxes.
    Having said all that I have been a HV for many years in GP practices, community clinics and children centres and where it works I much prefer to be based in the GPs.

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