Health Visitors and School Nurses support all children and young people including those with additional health needs to achieve well throughout their lives by keeping them and their families central to care when providing early help and support.
Who are Health Visitors and School Nurses?
We are qualified community nurses with specialist training in Public Health that work with children, young people and families in different settings e.g. clinics, family home, Children’s Centres, schools or other community settings.
Health Visitors offer support to families before and after birth and up to when your child starts school. School Nurses work with you and your child during their time at school.
Both services are supported by a team of nurses and support staff that are skilled in identifying health problems early and in delivering key health messages to improve your child’s health and well-being.
The Health Visiting Service
Health Visitors lead and deliver the Healthy Child Programme which is available to you and your child.
Health Visitors work closely with children’s services including GP’s, Children’s Centres, Midwives and School Nurses as well as other agencies in your community
All families will have a named Health Visitor who will be informed of your pregnancy by the Midwife.
Your Health Visitor will work together with you and your family from before the birth of your child until he/she is ready to go to school.
All families are offered an initial Family Health Needs Assessment which ensures that the care plan for your child is centred on his/her needs. This assessment will help you and your Health Visitor to plan what level of Health Visiting Service is needed.
This may be one of the following 4 levels:
- Your Community
Health Visitors have information about a wide range of health services in your local area and beyond including your children’s centres, GP’s and Dentists.
We can ensure that you know about these services and how to access them.
Health Visitors deliver ‘drop in’ Family Health Clinics/ Baby Clinics in local communities to ensure all families have easy access to timely information, advice and support as required.
These provide access for prams and wheelchairs if needed.
A universal health visiting service is offered for all children aged 0-5 years and their families.
Health visiting teams co-ordinate and deliver the Healthy Child Programme working with you to assess your child’s health and development. This is to identify any problems so that you can get help for your child as soon as possible.
The programme will give you the chance to receive any expert help or advice or help from the team on issues such as diet, parenting, preparation for nursery and school immunisations.
The universal healthy child programme contacts include;
- Ante natal contact
- New birth visit at 10 – 14 days
- Contact at 6-8 weeks
- Contact at 3-4 months
- A child health review by 1 year of age
- A child health review by 2 ½ years of age
- Universal Plus
A rapid response from your health visiting team if you need specific expert help on health issues such as feeding, parenting, sleep or post natal depression.
- Universal Partnership Plus
If your child’s needs are more complex your Health Visitor can play a key role in bringing together local services that can support you if your child and the family.
You will be given every opportunity to say what you would like from these services and a plan put together so that you know how the support will happen and the name of the person responsible.
How to access our service
Children and their families are mostly notified to the service following booking with the midwifery service / on the birth of a child or when transferring in to the area.
Health Visiting teams will always make sure that the service they offer to you and your child is accessible. The Health Visitor can visit you at a time and at a venue that meets you and your child’s needs.
How can I contact my health visitor
The teams are community based and can be contacted by telephone, email, texts, or at one of our ‘drop in’ Family Health clinic/ Baby Clinics. Care is provided from a range of different places including the family home, health centres/clinics, children’s centres or GP surgeries.
The service has its own facebook page: www.facebook.com/bridgewaterhealthvisiting.
Information is available on local services and health issues.
Health Visiting teams can access a variety of training from trainers within our own service, local authority and other voluntary agencies.
This will give staff the knowledge and understanding needed to ensure that they can continue to offer families the right support and advice to suit the needs of your child and family.
Feedback from you is important to us as we value what you say and this can help us to develop our services for you and your child. We have different ways of asking your feedback.
- Feedback forms for you to complete. You cannot be identified as they do not include your name.
- Asking you to be a “parent partner” so that we can work with you directly on what you think about our service and if we need to make any changes.
We value what you say
We routinely ask for feedback from you to see how we are doing.
This may be a request for verbal feedback, or we will ask you to complete an anonymous feedback form.
Families are also requested to complete Talk to Us Forms at various stages of involvement:
This information will be treated confidentially, and may be used by the team in order to improve our service.
In order to offer integrated, high quality services for children, all of our Childrens Services work closely with preschools, nurseries and schools.
We share information about the outcomes of assessments and the strategies recommended in order that preschools, nurseries and schools implement the same strategies on a daily basis.
We also inform preschools, nurseries and schools when a parent does not attend an appointment.
This will greatly help your child, but it you do not wish information to be shared you may withdraw your consent at any time.