Health visiting set for a £3.5m boost

Published: Tuesday, 25 February 2020

A £3.5million cash injection will help to boost Havering’s health visiting services under new plans unveiled in the Council’s annual budget.

From April 2020, the Council will begin funding additional health visitors, community nurses and nursery nurses to improve services for children under five and their families across the borough.

Up to 15 new staff are to be recruited over the next five years by NELFT (the North East London NHS Foundation Trust), which delivers the service to the community.

Councillor Jason Frost, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care Services, said:

“This major investment means that more health visitors, support staff and community nurses can be recruited to give children under the age of five and their families the best possible start in life.

“By recruiting more staff, we should see our health visitors’ caseloads reducing, which will allow them to spend more time with families and provide more intensive support where it is needed the most.”

The additional investment will make it easier to access the services and families will be offered a wider range of services.

They include:

  • Full developmental checks for more families
  • Additional support with breastfeeding
  • Support for children to start on solids 
  • Help for mums and dad struggling with their mental health
  • Getting children ready to start school
  • Appointing staff champions to specialist roles to help mums with mental health issues and support with breastfeeding.

Over the course of the five-year contract, areas such as speech and language development and healthy weight, will also be prioritised.

The draft budget will be debated at Full Council on Wednesday 26 February for final agreement.