The Role of the Health Visitor
Health visitors are experienced nurses or midwives who have undergone additional training to become public health nurse specialists who work with and support children and families.
All nurses, midwives and health visitors are registered and regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (http://www.nmc-uk.org/)
Health visitors work with the family to assess health needs and provide support. Their services include:
- Antenatal visits
- Parenting support and advice
- Advice on family health and minor illness
- Home visits shortly after birth, which include advice on diet, feeding and immunisations
- Offer information and support for families on issues such as sleep problems, weaning, dental health, managing toddler behaviour, home safety and accident prevention, hearing and speech and language concerns
- Health visitors are leaders of the "Healthy Child Programme" which includes monitoring and reviewing your child's development and providing appropriate support.
Key stages at which the health visitor will see you after the new birth visit are:
- 10 - 14 day new birth visit
- Visits to your local child health clinic
- 6 - 8 week contact to assess feeding and your progress, including screening and support for post natal depression
- 8 - 12 month health and development review
- 2 - 2½ years health and development review
- Provide addtional support in conjunction with GPs, other agencies, such as children's centres and speech and language therapists.
All families with children up to five years old are allocated a health visitor who works as part of a team and is supported by staff nurses and nursery nurses. Health visitors work collaboratively with your GP, children's centres and other agencies to support you and your family.
They also assess maternal mood and offer support if needed.
They have offices within our surgery and can be contacted on:
Telephone: 0208 834 7391
Fax: 0208 834 7388