Support from your Health Visitor
Health Visitors are currently operating a reduced service to manage staffing capacity and to limit the spread of infection.
Health Visitors offer services to families within our children’s centres and local health centres to provide services to families in locations close to their home. After attending antenatal classes and being seen at home by midwives, parents will receive information and support for their new babies, and also be invited to baby clinics to regularly weigh babies and ensure that they are healthy and well.
Health and Development Reviews
An invitation is sent to parents of both one year old and two year old children to attend a routine Health and Development Review.
If you have a toddler aged 8 – 15 months and/or 2 – 2.5 years, you should be hearing from your local Health Visiting Team to invite you to attend a Health & Developmental Review. We strongly encourage you to attend these to ensure the best start to your young child’s life.
This involves health visitors reviewing your child’s progress and ensuring that they are meeting their expected developmental milestones. Children may then be referred onto Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists or other relevant services where necessary.
A Health and Development Review is an opportunity to:
- assess the health and development of the child within the context of his or her home environment and family circumstances
- ensure that families are linked in with the right services and support
- identify and address issues the parent or carer may have regarding the child’s health
Telephone support is still on offer and contact details for your local team can be found here. The Health Visiting service is offering a 7 day a week duty line for parents to call for support and advice. You can contact the duty line using the below number or email address:
Phone: 020 8200 2500, press option 2
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 9am – 5pm (including bank holidays)
Support with feeding
There are a number of sessions offering breastfeeding advice and support. These sessions also offer facilities to weigh baby and health advice for mother and baby. Health visitors and midwives are available at these sessions. One to one breastfeeding support is also available on request, at home or at the postnatal group.
Support with breastfeeding is still available by video call with an infant feeding health visitor. Email Cathy.Cannon@nhs.net and she will get back to as soon as possible.
If you are a mother who has enjoyed breastfeeding, please look into the ‘La Leche breastfeeding peer counseling training programme’. This training programme offers mothers who have experience breastfeeding three months training to use their valuable experience to help support new mothers.
For information on vitamins during pregnancy, please follow this link:
You may also be able to collect vitamins from your local family hub. Please contact your nearest family hub for more information.
In line with NHS England guidance, you should still attend routine childhood immunisation appointments during this period. If your child is due their vaccine, please book the required appointments but do not attend if your family is in self-isolation at the time of the appointment or has symptoms. You can call your local GP practice or health clinic to confirm that your child’s immunisation appointment is still going ahead or for reassurance. Advice for parents about routine vaccinations during coronavirus leaflet
Mental health and well being
It is not uncommon for mothers to suffer emotional difficulties or low mood after childbirth. Health Visitors can follow-up with you discreetly at home and can refer onto other relevant services if need be. If you as a parent are feeling anxious or low in mood, support is available by telephone or video call. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and the Health Visiting service will get back to you as soon as possible.
Your Doctor/GP can also refer onto services.
Health visitors can also provide extra support at home for children and families identified as having greater health and social needs.
Classes are held regularly on various topics such as baby massage and weaning, and parents are encouraged to call and book onto a class in advance, as they are very popular.