Health visitors: number of home visits should increase to eight, charity recommends

Institute of Health Visiting also advises focusing on 15 ‘high impact areas’ of care

Institute of Health Visiting also advises focusing on 15 ‘high impact areas’ of care

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The number of mandatory home visits by health visitors in England should be increased from five to eight, a charity has recommended. 

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) has published a blueprint to update services, which is part of its response to a government consultation on tackling preventable ill health in England.

The consultation, which closes on 14 October, includes proposals to refresh the health visiting model for England and the current Healthy Child Programme.

iHV executive director Cheryll Adams said: ‘Based on the evidence, we recommend that the universal offer in England includes three additional service “review points”, increasing the offer to eight contacts, with additional tailored support where needed.’

Benefits of increasing the number of home visits

The iHV said this increase would:

• Develop trusting relationships between families and health visitors.

• Offer health visitors a holistic perspective of the home environment and facilitate early identification of need.

• Provide a universal pathway standardising practice throughout England.

Charity outlines ways to improve health outcomes 

The blueprint recommends focusing on 15 areas of care where health visiting can have a large impact on health outcomes, such as breastfeeding and sleep.

The iHV has also called for renewed investment and workforce modelling for the sector.

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