Health visitors in Croydon are facing nearly double the number of cases they should.

A report by NHS South West London has revealed the huge pressure being put on the service.

Health visitors are qualified registered nurse, midwives, sick children’s nurses or psychiatric nurses with specialist qualifications in community health, which includes child health, health promotion and education.

They help promote health in the community but have been under the strain in Croydon.

Te report said “based on actual staff in post” there is one health visitor for every 511 patients, compared to a “recommended caseload” of one per 300.

It added: “Concerns were raised in autumn 2011 on pressures in the health visiting numbers and a consequent impact on health visitor caseloads. An immediate review led by Sarah Timms, the then director of nursing for NHS South West London was undertaken to ensure effective children’s safeguarding.

“The remit of the review was to agree the immediate, medium term and longer terms actions required to ensure firstly, effective, robust children’s safeguarding and secondly, to work towards the implementation of The Health Visitor Implementation Plan 2011-15: A Call to Action.”