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The ageing profile of health visitors demands a 'decent pay rise' if younger people are to be encouraged to enter the profession, the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association says in its evidence to the pay review body.

It says 27 per cent of health visitors are eligible to retire within four years, while just 14 per cent are under 40, and 'the need to attract well-trained people to the profession to replace those standing down should be a top priority.' Labour relations head Roger Kline said: 'The pay review body should stand up to Treasury pressure if it wants to stop the flight' from the NHS.