There will be an increase in the level of child abuse cases due to cuts in the number of health visitors, it was warned yesterday.
Research from Amicus/the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association found that vulnerable families are being hit the hardest by the cuts and the bodies warned that this would lead to an increase in child abuse.
They added that it would also lead to more mothers struggling with postnatal depression.
Cheryll Adams, lead professional officer at Amicus health sector, said: “Health visitors are the key professionals when it comes to diagnosing postnatal depression affecting 100,000 women a year, giving up-to-date advice on immunisations, and often being the first health professional to detect child abuse.”
The research, which consisted of a survey of 1,000 health visitors, found that 55 per cent of health visitors are now making fewer visits to parents and that the biggest impact was losing track of vulnerable families.
The findings come a month after Amicus/the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association used the Freedom of Information Act to reveal a 40 per cent cut in the number of health visitors being trained in England this year.