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Health visitor numbers can vary depending on location

The number of health visitors available for children can vary depending on whereabouts in the country youngsters live.
The number of health visitors available for children can vary depending on whereabouts in the country youngsters live.

That is according to new research from the Family and Parenting Institute, which revealed that in London, some Primary Care Trusts (PCT) have as few as one health visitor per 800 children.

Comparatively, County Durham PCT has one health visitor for every 165 children.

Moreover, the study also indicated that the level of funding allocated to PCTs can vary depending on geographical location.

Sally Gimson, spokesperson for the Family and Parenting Institute, pointed out that for some PCTs it is a matter of prioritisation.

"PCTs have huge numbers of other commitments, huge numbers of other targets - including strokes, cancer, smoking - but the health visitor probably doesn't fit into any of those targets. It can be difficult in terms of a PCT really deciding that is going to invest in its health visitor service."

However, she went on to say that in order to tackle the various differences there could be some "some universal guidelines" for health visitor numbers.

"Early intervention is important and a health visitor is a really good way of intervening early," Ms Gimson added.

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