What does a Health Visitor do?

 

Health Visiting is a free service which is available to every family. They work with pregnant women through to a child’s fifth birthday. Their role is to help families adjust to being new parents and provide information and reassurance to support a baby’s health, wellbeing and development.

Health visitors are based locally and visit families at home or through a clinic or children’s centre. Each family will have a named health visitor but might sometimes be seen by someone else in the team. Health visitors are responsible for delivering the Healthy Child Programme 0-5 Years. They do this by offering all families 5 visits at key stages of a child’s early life:

 

  • Antenatal (pre-birth)
  • New baby review
  • 6-8 week assessment
  • 1 year assessment
  • Integrated review at 2-2 ½ years

Health Visiting Service is preventative but may link with other professionals and provide additional support where families need greater help.

 

The Health Visitor will use something called the Personal Child Health Record or Red Book. The Red Book is given to parents at birth and offers a wealth of information about immunisation, developmental assessments and lots of general information about children’s health. Any health professional that comes into contact with a child can record in the Red Book.

 

Other things that Health Visitors support families with:

 

  • Infant feeding and breastfeeding advice
  • Immunisation
  • Parenting and local support groups
  • Behaviour
  • Sleep

 More information about Health Visiting can be found on the Somerset Partnership NHS website: www.sompar.nhs.uk