Health Visiting Service
Health visitors are registered nurses who have professional experience in child development and family health. They work as part of a team with community nursery nurses to promote good health and to help with the prevention of illness in all age groups in line with the Department of Health ‘Healthy Child Programme’.
The health visiting team work with parents and carers who have children under five, providing advice and support on areas such as:
- Feeding, behaviour, toilet training, sleep issues
- Minor childhood ailments and accident prevention
- Parenting skills
- Domestic violence
- Teenage pregnancy
- Alcohol, drugs and smoking
- Mental health (for infants, children and adults)
- Safeguarding work with children and families in need of extra support
- Nutrition, active play and obesity
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Speech, language and communication
- All other aspects of health and childcare.
What else can your health visiting team offer?
- Post-natal depression support
- Breastfeeding support groups
- Child health drop-in clinics for babies six months and under
- Child health clinics for children over six months by appointment
- Parenting support
- Weaning groups
- Advice and support at home.
When to expect to see your health visiting team
The health visitor will arrange to see you during your pregnancy for a home visit. When your baby is 10–14 days old, the health visitor will make a home visit. Then, when your baby is six weeks old, a member of the team will review your baby’s growth and development either in clinic or at home.
After this you will be invited to attend developmental reviews at a clinic or local children’s centre when your child is between nine and 12 months old and again when they are between two and two and a half years old. Any other contacts are delivered according to individual needs.
Who do we work with?
We often work with other agencies in the best interests of families, including GPs, school nurses, speech therapists, education staff, hospital staff, other therapists (adult or child services) and children’s centres.
With your consent we may share confidential information, and will only share information without permission when we have a duty of care due to serious concerns about the welfare or safety of a child or young person.
Healthy Child Programme
All communities will have a range of services provided through Sure Start Children’s Centres and by other community groups. Health visitors work to develop these and make sure you know about them.
The health visiting team provide the Healthy Child Programme to ensure a healthy start for your children and families, support for parents and access to a range of community resources.
Gives parents a rapid response from health visiting teams when specific help is needed (for example with postnatal depression, weaning or answering any parenting concerns).
Universal partnership plus
Provides ongoing support from health visiting teams plus a range of local services working together and with parents, to deal with more complex issues over a period of time. These include Sure Start Children’s Centres services, and other community services including charities.