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Being a health visitor offers the chance to change lives for the better

As a health visitor for 42 years, Carolyn Taylor is well qualified to say that the job provides the opportunity to improve people’s lives. ‘For someone who wants to make a difference to how children are brought up and protected, it’s as rewarding a profession as it’s always been,’ says the Sunderland health visitor.

As a health visitor for 42 years, Carolyn Taylor is well qualified to say that the job provides the opportunity to improve people’s lives. ‘For someone who wants to make a difference to how children are brought up and protected, it’s as rewarding a profession as it’s always been,’ says the Sunderland health visitor.

Health visitors are nurses or midwives with specialist training that enables them to spot issues that may develop into risks to the family if unaddressed, such as a parent struggling to cope.

However, Ms Taylor, national chair for Unite’s Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association (CPHVA), cautions potential recruits that the profession is going through a rocky patch. Last October, health visiting services were transferred to local authorities which are struggling with huge budget cuts. ‘It’s a distressing picture,’ she says.

Some services are outsourced, so health visitors’ employers include the

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