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Karen Stansfield: The future of health visiting is at risk

A downward trend  in the number of health visitor training places being taken up could be made much worse by the introduction next year of a complex and expensive apprenticeship route, warns the Institute of Health Visiting's Karen Stansfield.
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A downward trend in the number of health visitor training places being taken up could be made much worse by the introduction next year of a complex and expensive apprenticeship route, warns the Institute of Health Visiting's Karen Stansfield

The take-up of health visitor education places has fallen over the past three years in many higher education institutions (HEIs). Without a viable cohort of health visiting students it will be difficult for HEIs to deliver education programmes. Once programmes are closed the likelihood of reopening them is small.

Workforce figures released by Health Education England (HEE) indicate that 15% of places for health visitor training were not taken up in 2015-16. This jumped to 44% in 2016-17 - a concern for the sustainability of the profession, compounded by the cessation of HEE funding for health visiting training from 2018. After this

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