The Health Visiting service is a universally delivered service and works with all families with children under the age of 5 years in Bath and North East Somerset.
Health visitors are there to help and support expectant or new mothers and their families with any needs that are impacting upon their health and wellbeing.
Health visitors play an important role in making sure all children have the best start in life. Early experiences, including before birth, can have a profound impact on lifelong health and wellbeing of young children and their families. Health visitors offer evidence based health advice, information, and support to facilitate and empower parents to care for their children.
For more information on Health Visitors, visit the Institute of Health Visiting website.
How do I access the Health Visiting service?
We see all families with children up to the age of 5 years. Families do not have to be referred into the service as we are informed about all families with young children who are born or move into the area – so we will get in touch with you.
You can request to talk to a duty health visitor by calling our Single Point of Access (SPA) on 0300 247 0055 Monday – Friday 9am – 4.30pm.
Visit us at your local Baby & Toddler Hub – Click here for the times and locations.
When will I be seen?
You can expect to receive support from your Health Visitor from birth through to when your child is 5 years old or enters school which includes:
- We will contact you when you are approximately 28-32 weeks pregnant to arrange an appointment for you to meet your Health Visitor, discuss becoming a parent and the local support available for you. These appointments are currently being offered by video, but parents are welcome to request an appointment at home if they prefer.
- A new birth visit. Your Health Visitor will arrange to visit you at home before your baby is 14 days old to support you with feeding and caring for your baby and adjusting to having a new family member.
- A 6-8 week visit. At 6-8 weeks your Health Visitor will arrange to see you face to face to find out how you are feeling as new parents and support you with any questions.
- Next Steps Group – when your baby is 3-4 months old you will be invited to a virtual group. This is a live presentation covering topics such as home safety, oral health and introduction to solids.
- Weekly baby & toddler hubs. Baby & toddler hubs are drop-in sessions which have replaced baby clinics. They offer relaxed settings for families to meet and chat with Health Visitors and other parents and Carers.
- Developmental reviews. These are an opportunity to focus on the health and development of your child with a member of the Health Visiting Team, by video, at home or in one of our community venues. Routine 1 and 2 year developmental reviews take place at 9-12 months and 2 – 2.5 years of age.
If you want to look to see how your baby is developing we have some useful websites for you to look at here.
Who might my child and I see?
All health visitors are qualified nurses or midwives and have specialist training to be able to provide the best support to families with young children. Health visitors are also able to signpost families to other services as your family needs. They will work in partnership with you and your family to decide on the level of support you may require. They also work closely with midwives, practices nurses and GPs and may call on other professionals too.
Health visitors are there to help and support you and your family with any concerns that you have.
Early Years Children’s Practitioners (EYCP’s)
EYCP’s work alongside Health Visitors, offering advice and support around subjects such as: behaviour, sleep, toileting, play and development. You may also see an EYCP for your child’s 24-27 month developmental review.
What can I talk to my Health Visitor about?
With your Health Visitor, you are able to share thoughts, feelings and experiences about being a parent health Visitors have the professional experience to support you through any worries you may have. At the hubs, you can also chat with other parents in a relaxed play environment for your baby. The Health Visiting Team may be able to support you:
- Infant feeding and introducing family foods
- Understanding your baby’s behaviour and how they are developing
- Adjusting to becoming a parent
- Family life and difficulties such as postnatal depression
- Healthy choices such as lifestyle, eating or immunisations
- Home safety, discussing housing concerns, domestic abuse or child abuse
We work with other professionals and practitioners to support you getting additional expert help if you need it. We can also signpost you to take full advantage of the range of resources that are available to you locally so you can gain support within your own community. We also work closely with local Children’s Centres to promote family activities which help build a strong bond with your child. Children’s Centres offer a range of services, advice and support for Parents and Carers.
Useful links and resources
“There's lots of different toys for the children to play with very friendly and helpful staff and other mothers to talk to.”