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, a visit after the Midwife ends her care once your baby has arrived, and support and advice 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 integrated 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.
Information on clinics, can be found on our Suffolk Infolink web page
Early Learning Together (ELT) Service
Early Learning Together is a home or group based early education service for children who, for any reason need extra support to learn and develop. The service is for babies from six months until they start their free early education at either age two or three years.
Early Learning Together works in partnership with parents to build on their knowledge so they increase their confidence to support the needs of their child. For more details visit their Suffolk Infolink web page You can also download their flyer: Early-Learning-Together-for-Parents-flyer.pdf Or Early-Learning-Together-for-Professionals-flyer.pdf
Useful leaflets that your Health Visitor may go through with you
You and your baby (0 - 12mths) leaflets and resources:
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.
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 Infant Feeding leaflet
What happens in your baby’s first years has a big effect on how healthy he or she will be in the future. The below 'Off to a better start’ leaflet from Unicef contains important information about feeding your baby.
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.
The Lullaby Trust safer sleep advice gives simple steps for how your baby should sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) which is commonly known as cot death. It can give you the peace of mind to enjoy this special time.
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.
You and your Toddler (12 -24mths) leaflets and resources:
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.
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:
Advice on all the essentials for caring for your child, including first day of school and separation anxiety.
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.
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
|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 web chat, please contact Customer First.
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.