Struggling health visitors have no time to address child obesity
The government is adding to health visitors' already impossible workload
Your article 'Government plan for nurses to tackle obesity' (24th August) quotes the RCN's Fiona Smith's concerns that the marketing of fatty and sugary foods will NOT be tackled by this government. But not only is the government not interested in doing something that will really help the problem, it's adding to health visitors' already impossible workload.
Maybe the RCN could issue a media release making the connection between this issue and the recent cut in health visiting services. Due to the cuts in public health funding, extra health visiting posts are being snatched away again. The remaining staff have to take on extra caseloads, dangerously delegate to support workers and prioritise child protection. They already can't cope. Where on earth will they find the time to initiate ' difficult conversations about health and wellbeing'?
What better organisation than the RCN to draw public and government attention to the connections between the craziness of health visitor cuts, when health promotion is being (supposedly) being prioritised, and the government's timidity in tackling the big food companies who profit from child obesity?
Why not ban those adverts? Why delay the sugar tax till 2018? And why cut health visiting services? The RCN should publicly join the dots on this.