The Health Visiting Service is currently available Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00.
If you are unable to get in touch with your health visitor by phone then you can generally leave a message. If you have any urgent medical concerns then please phone your GP or NHS Direct on 111. To contact your health visitor directly please phone 01246 733255.
Health visitors can offer advice on the following topics:
- Growth and Development
- Child Safety and Well Being
- Behaviour and Sleep Problems
- Toilet Training
- Family Health
- Family Planning
- Post Natal Depression
- Women's Problems
- Smoking Cessation
- Promoting Independent Living for Older People
We can also refer you to other sources of help as necessary.
Health visitors are experienced trained nurses who have undertaken further extensive training in order to enable them to be Specialist Community Practitioners.
The health visitor is a member of the Primary Health Care Team, which also includes other professionals such as your GP, practice nurse, district nurse, midwife, physiotherapist and in some surgeries nursery nurses.
They give advice and support in matters relating to physical/social and emotional well-being to all age groups and their main aim is to ensure that each individuals full health potential is reached. Their job therefore, covers a wide range of health and social needs within the community.
One of the prime functions of health visitors is to pass on information to individuals or groups to raise awareness of issues affecting their health. Their role therefore mainly involves working with the 'well population'. They are concerned particularly with preventative care and early identification of needs.
Access to your Health Visitor
Health visitors are based at GP surgeries, clinics or health centres. Anyone can contact a Health Visitor to arrange an appointment to discuss any health worries or concerns. They may see you in your own home, at the surgery by appointment or at the drop in well baby clinic.
The Health Visiting Service
The health visitor visits 0-5 year olds regularly and all new babies, not only to check on general development but also to advise on safety, immunisation, behaviour problems, feeding advice and other health and development issues.
They also run well baby clinics where they are available to offer advice on feeding, parenting as well as checking weight gain. The health visitors do not work in isolation, but can refer specific problems to members of the team or to other professionals for example; speech therapists, psychologists, social workers etc.
Health visitors aim to provide families with the necessary information to enable them to make informed choice about their health and well-being and to work in partnership with them to achieve this.
Health visitors have statutory responsibilities to help protect children and occasionally child protection procedures may need to be implemented. However, health visitors aim to work in an open and honest way with families to help resolve difficulties.
Naturally, anything you discuss with a health visitor will be treated in confidence. However, so that you receive all the services you need, it may be necessary to share certain information (with your permission) with other health professionals and Social Services.