The new health visitor job description has been developed on a once for Scotland basis and has evaluated as a Band 7 post on the NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scale – with a starting salary of £33,222, progressing up to £43,471.
Currently health visitors usually start at Band 6 on the AfC payscale which begins at £28,050 and rises to £37,010.
Health visitors meet with families with pre-school aged children in their own homes, promoting health and wellbeing and helping to tackle health inequalities that can lead to children and families becoming vulnerable. To become a health visitor a registered nurse or midwife must complete a Post-Graduate Diploma in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing – Health Visiting. There are currently 1,298 Band 6 health visitor posts across Scotland, however, the vacancy rate is high with 9.5% of posts currently unfilled.
Norman Provan, Associate Director, Royal College of Nursing Scotland, said: “Health visitors play a crucial role in supporting parents and children through the early years. The importance of their contribution to the health and wellbeing of our communities needed to be reflected in the pay that these specialist nurses receive. The Royal College of Nursing pushed to have the job re-evaluated and we are pleased that the process confirmed our position – that health visitors deserve more financial recognition for the job that they do. The new job description and banding have been agreed nationally and we are now looking for health boards across Scotland to apply this for their health visitor workforce.”