Coronavirus daily update: Friday 31 July

Some health visitors have seen their workloads rise by more than 50 per cent as a result of staff being redeployed to other parts of the health service due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many health visiting teams have had staff redeployed to other parts of the health service during the pandemic
Many health visiting teams have had staff redeployed to other parts of the health service during the pandemic
  • Each day, CYP Now will summarise the key issues affecting the children and families sector as it tackles the effects of the pandemic. The daily update signposts children’s services practitioners and leaders to the latest developments, expert views, advice and resources.

Health visitors see workload rise

Health visitors are concerned that the needs of children have been missed due to staff redeployment to support the Covid-19 workforce and increased caseloads, according to a UCL survey.

A survey of 663 health visitors in England, conducted between 19 June and 21 July, found that 41 per cent of respondents had between six and 50 team members redeployed between 19 March to 3 June 2020.

In approximately 10 per cent of teams which experienced a loss, this was a redeployment of at least half of their staff.

This meant that 38 per cent of respondents had their caseload increase, some with an increase of half or more, and 73 per cent of those who experienced a change reported that their caseload had not returned to its usual size.

John Lyons extends funding support

John Lyon’s Charity has ringfenced £500,000 for organisations working with disadvantaged children and young people in parts of London.

The funding will be distributed through the London Community Response Fund.

It follows the award of £560,000 in April to 54 organisations supporting children and young people affected by the pandemic.

Grants have supported organisations with practical support like the provision of food, mobile phones and other digital devices as well as helping organisations adapt their services so that they can continue to deliver their work safely and efficiently to as many young people as possible.  

Call for free meals vouchers for pre-school children

London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) is urging ministers to extend its free school meal voucher scheme to nursery children this summer.

This follows the government’s U-turn last month after England footballer, Marcus Rashford lobbied the Prime Minister to provide free school meal vouchers for 1.3m children in the UK during the summer holidays.

The scheme, which was set up to effectively guarantee meals to those children who would have ordinarily been reliant on free school meals during the coronavirus lockdown, is currently only available to children of school age.

However, with around 600,000 more young children living in relative poverty compared to eight years ago, LEYF say it would be “morally wrong and negligent” of the government to exclude the early years sector.

Guidance on North West restrictions

New restrictions covering childcare provided by family and friends have been introduced in areas of the North West affected by a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Government guidance has been published stating that parents cannot allow their children to visit the homes or gardens of family or friends for childcare purposes in the parts of the North West affected by the new restrictions.

It states that two households, or up to six people from multiple households, can still meet in outdoor public places (like parks) for childcare.

Where people from single adult households (people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) have formed a support bubble, they can continue to visit each other for childcare purposes.

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