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Covid redeployment ‘wrong’ and ‘will never be repeated’


Redeployment of community staff to other services – meaning visits for babies and parents were missed – was the “wrong decision” and would “never be repeated”, a provider has stated.

Nikki Lawrence, the head of public health nursing at Sirona Care and Health, which provides community services for Bristol and the surrounding area, appeared to blame the government for about 70% of its health visiting staff being redeployed to adult services, leaving around 30% to care for new families at the height of the pandemic.

Health visitors take over from midwives to monitor the health of children and parents for a period after the baby is born, including to guard against safeguarding threats.

Ms Lawrence said: “The national learning about redeployment – we have reflected on it, the government has reflected on it and they have agreed it was the wrong decision to make.

“We basically abandoned families at a time of need, and that decision will never, ever be taken again, from what I’ve been told. In hindsight it was the wrong decision to make, and… it did have a detrimental impact on families and we really regret that, but it was out of our hands.”

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Source: HSJ, 16 August 2022

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