Rethink the cuts and changes to the Health Visiting & School Nursing Services in Somerset.
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We, the families and members of the local community, understand that the Health Visiting and School Nursing services are being taken over by Somerset County Council (The Local Authority) from April 2019. These services are already experiencing financial cuts and we are signing this petition for the below reasons;
- There are current measures to drastically reduce the number of Health Visitors in the Somerset area by 2019.
- A Further £500,000 worth of cuts are planned to the services AFTER the above cuts have been actioned. This is likely to mean the services and support they can give to the families in the area is hugely reduced.
- Fewer Public Health Nurses means additional pressures on GP’s, Hospitals,out of hours and other acute services in our area.
- Health Visiting and School Nursing teams will have reduced ability to provide crucial and skilled support for those children and parents with emotional and mental health issues.
- Health Visitors and School Nursing teams will no longer be employed by the NHS, despite being Public Health Nurses and Public Health Assistant Practitioners. It is unclear how well the Local Authority understands and values their role in our communities.
- Health Visitors and School Nurses play vital roles in safeguarding children. Fewer professionals means there are likely to be missed opportunities to protect the children in the area.
- The current cuts equate to a loss of £90 per baby per year in Somerset. This figure is likely to rise in the coming years.
We value the role of these highly trained, highly skilled Public Health Nurses and we do not want to lose their vital roles in Somerset. We urge the decisions makers to think again about how we best protect and promote health for every family in our area, and not just respond to ill-health and crises.
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