Universal Health Visiting Pathway evaluation - phase 1: report - routine data analysis - workforce

The Universal Health Visiting Pathway was introduced in Scotland in 2015 to refocus the approach to health visting. This is the second report of 4 that provides findings of the National Evaluation of Health Visiting.


In order to support the delivery of the new Universal Health Visiting Pathway, in June 2014 the Scottish Government committed to creating an additional 500 WTE health visitor posts by the end of 2018. As the baseline date of 31 March 2014 occurred before the Nursing review, ISD provided two estimates of the WTE number of health visitors in post at that date (Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland 2016): the lower estimate was 1,047.9 and the higher estimate was 1,114.7.

Data from phase 1 of the evaluation indicates that at 31 December 2018, there were 1554.7 WTE health visitors (bands 6-9) in post, an increase of between 440 (WTE) from the upper bound or 506.8 (WTE) from the lower bound, of the number estimated at 31 March 2014. Figures should be interpreted with caution due to time taken to register new health visitors, missing data on Highland Council employed health visitors, and the grouped nature of the Agenda for Change bands. On the whole, however, a clear upward trajectory in terms of the creation of additional posts and recruitment of student health visitors can clearly be seen.

In line with this recruitment strategy, increases in vacancy rates in the years leading up to this point were highlighted. Few discernible patterns were found by Health Board, probably due to smaller numbers involved at this level. Potential detrimental impacts associated with indicators of staff wellbeing, such as higher levels of turnover, or decreases in completion rates for students, have not materialised, and, indeed, both absences and turnover have decreased in recent years.

This Workforce report, is the first part of three phase 1 routine data analysis reports. These findings in relation to the workforce should be read in the context of supporting the delivery of the UHVP.


Email: Justine.menzies@gov.scot

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