Suffolk Health and Children’s Centres changes (COVID-19)

Latest changes made to health visiting and children's centres, home visiting and Child Health Clinics due to COVID-19.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last updated: 2 April 2020 (reviewed daily)

The health and safety of our families and staff is our top priority and as the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt across the UK.  Please see below the key changes we have made to the way that we are delivering services.

Health Business Centre (HBC)

  • We may have difficulty responding to your phone calls in a timely way but if you leave us a message, we will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • The HBC is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. You can contact them on 03456 078866 or at childrenshealth@suffolk.gov.uk

Health visiting and children’s centres

  • All health and children's centre groups are suspended.
  • Antenatal Contact – all pregnant women will receive a letter about our offer and contact details. For those of you requiring additional support a Health Visitor will contact you.
  • New Birth Visits will be carried out over the phone using video conferencing and/or in clinic.
  • 6 week checks will be carried out over the phone using video conferencing or in clinic.
  • 12 month and 2 year Developmental Reviews will be carried out over the phone.
  • Transfer In - if you have recently moved into Suffolk we will contact you over the phone using video conferencing.
  • When required, health visitors will participate in Case Conferences via Skype and will share safeguarding reports with families over the phone rather than shared face to face.
  • If you need additional support you can phone the HBC on 0345 6078866

Home visiting 

When a home visit is necessary. The Health Visitor will knock on your door and will keep their distance and not enter your home until they are happy that your household are all symptom free.  They may use personal protective equipment (PPE) during the visit.  This is important to keep you and our staff safe.

If you or your family have either a new cough or a fever the Health Visitor may need to postpone the visit.  

Child Health Clinics

  • Child Health Clinics have moved to appointment only.
  • Please ring the HBC on 03456 078866 to make an appointment.
  • On arrival for your appointment please phone the Health Visitor and they will come and let you in. They will show you in and ask you to stand in a specific place so that they can keep 2 meters away from you and your baby. This is to protect both you and our staff.
  • If the Health Visitor needs to come close to you or your baby, they will wear personal protective equipment (PPE). This is important to keep you and our staff safe.
  • Check where clinics are being held and are open on the school closures website (children's centre list).

While this is a difficult decision, it is the right thing to do to ensure we are minimising the risk to our families, our staff and our communities.

Please continue to access our Health Visiting webpage for information, advice and guidance.

For Coronavirus information please visit NHS.UK.

Changes to registering a birth

Birth registrations have been deferred by the government for the duration of the pandemic period.

We have been advised that parents can now make a claim for child benefit or universal credit without registering the birth.

You can visit the following links for more information: 

Other useful sites

Institute of Health Visiting - Parenting through Coronavirus 

Public Health England - Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young peoples mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak

Parents Guide - when your child is ill

World Health Organisation (WHO) Guide to Parenting in the time of COVID-19