Hampshire County Council reverse public health cuts after pressure from RCM and One Voice partners
One Voice, a partnership of leading women’s health organisations that includes the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have welcomed a decision by Hampshire County Council (HCC) to reverse planned cuts to public health budgets.
The RCM say this is a ‘win’ for pregnant women, new mothers, and parents whose care and support would have been detrimentally impacted. The funding cuts would have also further widened existing health inequalities.
In August the One Voice Partnership which includes the Royal College of Midwives, (RCM), Institute of Health Visiting (IHV), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Sands, and the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), called on HCC to re-examine as a matter of urgency the impact that the proposed budget cuts would have on women.
Commenting, RCM’s Chief Executive, Gill Walton said;
“We are really pleased that our collective voices and concerns have been listened to by HCC. What was due to happen to public health budgets in Hampshire is happening elsewhere across the UK. We absolutely recognise the strain that local authority budgets are under, but slashing spending for some of the most vulnerable is a false economy.
“We were very concerned that community nurses and health visitor posts would be lost and that would have meant a significant reduction in support women and their babies, at a time when they need it most. For other County Councils looking to make cuts we would urge you to consider the risks that leaves behind, particularly when it comes to supporting perinatal mental health and taking vital points of face-to-face person away from women, particularly those who are at their most vulnerable is damaging and short-sighted in the long run.”
Commenting, Executive Director Alison Morton at the iHV said:
“There is no doubt that Hampshire’s decision to halt their proposed cuts to their health visiting service could not have been achieved without the groundswell of support from high profile national stakeholders like the RCM and the members of the ‘One Voice’ partnership of Maternity Professional bodies and charities.
“We are immensely grateful to the RCM and all our partners for their unwavering support for health visitors and the vital work that they do. By coming together as ‘One Voice’ and speaking up on behalf of the populations that we serve, we have shown that we can make a difference. We hope that this powerful precedent will pave the way for a ‘once and for all’ solution to protect the health visiting profession in England from the relentless cuts it has faced in recent years”.
To contact the RCM media office call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].
Notes to Editors
- Cuts to local public health budgets will widen health inequalities warn leading women’s health organisations (rcm.org.uk)
One Voice is a collaboration between the Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health, Sands (the stillbirth and neonatal death charity), the Institute of Health Visiting and the National Childbirth Trust.
One Voice aims to ensure the best outcomes for mother and baby and the best possible experience for mothers, partners and families, through pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. We champion high-quality care for all. We are committed to multi-disciplinary working, including the involvement of parents and their representatives. And we believe that safety and choice – far from being traded-off against one another – are both dependent upon high-quality, personalised care. We see increasing value in bringing together parents’ and professionals’ experience and expertise, as one voice, to shape professional practice and public policy to give new mothers and their families the best possible care.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance, and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences, and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website www.rcm.org