What are Health Visitors?
Health Visitors are qualified nurses or midwives with specialist community public health training. Health visitors provide families with children aged 0–5 years, with:
- support for the health and wellbeing of your whole family, providing ante-natal visits until your child goes to school.
- advice on healthy choices, e.g. breastfeeding, weaning and healthy eating.
- development reviews to ensure your child is reaching their full potential.
- childhood immunisation programme which ensures your child is protected against disease and infection.
- information to families with specific difficulties such as postnatal depression.
- support your whole family into education, training or work.
- advice and information on wider issues such as housing problems, domestic abuse or child abuse.
- help with specialist services to support families with additional needs, e.g. speech and language therapists.
- support parents to feel confident in their parenting skills and to provide the best opportunities for their baby.
Within Suffolk, our Health Visiting Teams are aligned with our Children’s Centres, providing a range of services to help you and your family stay safe, happy and healthy.
We also work alongside other agencies such as GPs, Midwives, School Nurses, Early Years’ settings, Voluntary and Community groups and Children Services.
How can the Health and Children’s Centre Team help me?
Some parents find the early years of a child’s life both satisfying and rewarding but also challenging and frustrating. This is where the Health and Children’s Centre Team can help you. By working together, we can help ease some of the worries of being a parent and support you and your family raise a happy and healthy child.
Your baby will have regular health and development reviews during their early years which will be carried out by your Health and Children’s Centre Team. These are to make sure that your child stays healthy and is developing normally. Reviews may be done in your home, GP surgery, clinic, or Children’s Centre. They provide you with time to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have.
For more information about your local Health and Children Centres go to the Suffolk Health and Children's Centres page.
Further information regarding what to expect at health and development reviews can be found on NHS Choices.
Useful leaflets that your Health Visitor may go through with you
You and your baby (0 - 12mths) leaflets and resources:
Best Beginnings Resources that give parents the knowledge and confidence they need to look after their own mental and physical health and to maximise their child's development. Baby Buddy is a free app that guides you through pregnancy, birth, parenting and beyond.
Understanding Baby The institute of Health visiting has some helpful factsheets to find expert advice on key areas of looking after your new baby from when they are born to when they go to school.
|Unicef Building a happy baby leaflet Advice and information for parents on getting to know their baby and setting up the foundations for a close and loving relationship.||https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/baby-friendly-resources/leaflets-and-posters/building-a-happy-baby/|
NHS Choices Advice on all the essentials of baby care, including breastfeeding, bottle feeding, changing nappies, and washing your baby.
|Children & Young people Information and advice services available in Suffolk.||https://www.healthysuffolk.org.uk/advice-services/children|
You and your Toddler (12 -24mths) leaflets and resources:
ERIC leaflet Helps parents/carers to recognise when their child is ready to start toilet training, how to prepare, and what to do to make it a success.
Understanding Childhood leaflet Young children react very differently to the triumphs and setbacks of their second and third years, so they need different kinds of support from their parents. This leaflet talks through what to expect and how, as a parent you can help.
NHS Choices Advice on all the essentials of toddler care, including toilet training, play, speech, and managing temper tantrums.
You and your child (24mths plus) leaflets and resources:
|NHS Choices Advice on all the essentials for caring for your child, including first day of school and separation anxiety.||https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/starting-school/|
School Nursing Information of the school nursing service in Suffolk.
|Emotional Wellbeing Hub Information and advice if you are concerned about the emotional wellbeing and mental health of your child or young person aged 0-25 years.||www.emotionalwellbeinggateway.org.uk|
|If you think a child or young person is at risk of abuse, harm or neglect please call 0808 800 4005. This is a 24-hour service staffed by a team of professional people who will listen to your concerns and take appropriate actions. For more information, including live webchat, please contact Customer First.|
Below you can find further useful information and advice on a range of topics (Click the + sign for details)
Divorce and Separation Support
Drug & Alcohol Support
Learning & Development
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
Speech and Language
Teething and Dental Health
For job vacancies in health visiting go to Suffolk Jobs Direct to search for job vacancies in health.
The West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has produced some informative health service guides, which detail the contacts of health visitors and school nursing.