The Department of Health (DH) has announced that the responsibility for planning and paying for public health services for 0 to 5-year-olds, including health visiting, will transfer from the NHS to local authorities in October 2015.
The DH has also said that, as part of the transfer, a number of universal health visitor reviews, which form part of the 0-5 Healthy Child Programme, will be mandated for a period of 18 months, depending on Parliamentary approval.
These reviews are: (i) antenatal health promotion review; (ii) new baby review (which is the first check after the birth); (iii) 6-8 week assessment; (iv) one year assessment; and (v) two to two-and-half year review.
A DoE spokesperson said: “It is intended that these mandation arrangements will help ensure that a universal health visiting service continues as it is a service that is essential to supporting the health and wellbeing of families and children at a crucial stage of development.”
Mandation factsheets explaining the responsibilities of local authorities after the transfer and how and why the commissioning and associated funding are being transferred are available on the DH website.
The mandation arrangements will be reviewed after one year