We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Parents deserve better - Government must give support to Health Visiting Services.

July 13, 2021 1:14 PM

Dean CroftsLiberal Democrats in Bedford Borough are demanding that the government injects money into Public Health services so that parents and newborn babies are supported in relation to Health visiting services in Bedford Borough.

At the Health Overview and Scrutiny Informal meeting yesterday, Monday 12th July, local Liberal Democrats heard from Ian Brown, Public Health Officer for Bedford Borough, who confirmed that NO extra funding has been provided by Central Government to cope with the increased demands on the Health Visiting teams.

The number of families that need intensive face to face support because of the COVID Pandemic has increased since March 2020 by 68% for families with children under 5 years old.

Persistent cuts in the Public Health budget since 2015 has also led the local Public Health teams to start using their reserves to help existing health visiting teams to allocate extra staff but this funding cannot continue without further government support.

Many local parents have contacted the Liberal Democrats and other local councillors to express dismay with the service due to a reduction in face-to-face appointments and a move to online digital services during the pandemic.

An assurance was given at the meeting that face-to-face services would be re-established soon, but an exact date could not be confirmed.

Dean Crofts, Health Spokesperson for the Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats, said "We urge the Government to do the right thing and increase Public Health budgets locally to help services with demand. This service is a vital service available for all new parents who are experiencing the joy of having children. Many families require the support in their journey into new parenthood to make sure that their child's development is on track and any problems can be discussed. The government MUST recognise that this service requires additional funding due to an increase in demand for the service, with many more families requiring specialist services because of the pandemic."