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Unite protest against proposed Yorkshire health visitor cuts

Humber NHS Foundation Trust is consulting on changes to its public health nursing service which includes a reduction in the number of band 6 health visitors
Health visitor cuts

The union Unite and concerned families have urged a rethink on plans to cut band 6 health visitor numbers by a quarter in Yorkshire.

Humber NHS Foundation Trust is consulting changes to its public health nursing service following a reduction in funding from East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Budget drop

Unite held a protest outside the trusts headquarters in Hull on 1 February. The annual service budget has dropped from 4 million to 3.5 million.

A consultation document, seen by Nursing Standard, shows the number of full time equivalent (FTE) band 6 health visitors could be cut from 51.3 to 38.64.

Currently, they work with families from pregnancy up to school entry, but this will now include primary school children. The

The union Unite and concerned families have urged a rethink on plans to cut band 6 health visitor numbers by a quarter in Yorkshire.

Health visitor cuts
Unite have held a protest against plans to reduce the number of health visitors in Yorkshire
Picture: Alamy

Humber NHS Foundation Trust is consulting changes to its public health nursing service following a reduction in funding from East Riding of Yorkshire Council. 

Budget drop

Unite held a protest outside the trust’s headquarters in Hull on 1 February. The annual service budget has dropped from £4 million to £3.5 million. 

A consultation document, seen by Nursing Standard, shows the number of full time equivalent (FTE) band 6 health visitors could be cut from 51.3 to 38.64.

Currently, they work with families from pregnancy up to school entry, but this will now include primary school children. The remaining health visitors will be renamed specialist public health nurses. 

The trust plans to increase the number of band 5 public health nurses, to work across the patient pathway from pregnancy to school-leaving age, from 7.56 to 13.7 (FTE). The number of school nurses will remain relatively static, changing from 6.41 to 6.2.

Move will 'harm health'

Unite regional officer Malcolm Hancock said: ‘It’s a totally self-defeating move which will harm children’s health and end up costing the trust more in the long run, because of a reduction in preventative health measures.’

A trust spokesperson said the service model will provide safe and effective care within the available budget. He added the trust is not expecting redundancies and will work to prevent them. 

The spokesperson said: ‘The trust’s senior executives had a very productive meeting with Unite’s regional officer and are disappointed the union is choosing to take the action proposed in the middle of the consultation.

‘In our view, this is neither in the best interests of its members, nor those of the service.’

The final staffing plans are expected by 13 February. 


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