England: HVs fear vulnerable families left at risk due to redeployment

18 September 2020

Health visitors have expressed concerns that the needs of children are being missed due to redeployment and increased caseloads during Covid-19.

The University College London (UCL) survey of 663 HVs in England found that 41% of those in teams that had lost staff had between six and 50 team members redeployed between 19 March and 3 June. For around 10% this was at least half their staff. In practice, 253 respondents saw their caseload increase – some by 50% or more.

HVs were concerned about children in homes at risk of domestic violence and missed needs in relation to children’s growth and development.

Of HVs who delivered face-to-face visits, 35% said they didn’t always have appropriate PPE.

The UCL researchers made a number of policy recommendations, including a clear workforce plan.