Memorandum submitted by the Community
Practitioners and Health Visitors Association
NHS (WALES) BILL 2002
This is the Community Practitioners and Health
Visitors Association's submission to the Welsh Affairs Committee's
pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft NHS (Wales) Bill. This is
a draft of the submission that will be sent to the Secretary of
State for Wales following wider consultation with our membership
The CPHVA represents 18,000 health visitors,
school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in
the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the amicus
trade union. MSF joined with the AEEU to form amicus, the UK's
second largest union, on 1 January 2002.
We note that the Committee will be considering
all three areas of the draft Bill and we would also like to offer
our comments on all three areas covered.
We welcome the Assembly's commitment in the
NHS Plan to give patients and the public more say in the planning,
developing and running of the NHS services in Wales.
We welcome the establishment of an Association
of Welsh Community Health Councils that will have responsibility
for the performance of Community Health councils. Our members
provide a universal service to all young families and are especially
concerned with public health initiatives and advocating for disadvantaged
groups within our society.
We hope that this strategic body will ensure
that all CHCs in Wales are much more representative of the communities
they serve and put mechanisms in place to ensure that sections
of communities in Wales that are presently excluded from consultation
processes are given a voice in the running of the NHS in Wales.
The CPHVA welcomed very much the publishing
'Better Health Better Wales' and the subsequent Strategic Framework.
We welcomed very much the emphasis on improving the public's health
from a much broader perspective than the narrow 'public health
medicine ' perspective.
The association has long taken the view that
all the work in any health visiting service is about public health;
this applies to school nursing services, too. The public health
work done on the ground by these nurses involves identifying the
health needs of individuals and of whole populations covered by
their services, although unlike public health doctors, health
visitors and school nurses maintain contact with a client caseload.
In this way practitioners identify factors that
affect health. They use this information to work collaboratively
with other agencies to encourage the development of policies that
prevent disease and promote health.
The Standing Nursing and Midwifery Advisory
Committee in 1995 reviewed and defined the concepts that underpin
public health echoing the CPHVA position that health visitors
(and school nurses in the same way), considering their role in
its entirety, are public health workers.
The CPHVA considers that all nurses and midwives
have an important contribution to make to public health, even
when this is not the whole purpose of their role.
The proposed Wales Centre for Health is intended
to provide a national focus for strategic co-ordination of public
health skills. In order to maximise the potential impact of the
WHC on the health of the people of Wales and the reduction of
health inequalities in Wales, the CPHVA feel that the contribution
of public health nursing should be integral to all its activities.
The Association believes that it is essential
that public health nursing be represented on the Board of the
WCH and that its staff should reflect the whole of the range of
professionals practising in the field of public health.
The CPHVA was represented on the Change Management
Group that drafted the proposals for the establishment of Health
Professions Wales. We would hope that the Assembly, through the
HPW, will ensure that there is proper regard and emphasis given
to the linguistic requirements of training and regulation in Wales
and will fund the delivering of this function effectively.
Professional Officer, Wales