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Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Who are we and what do we do?

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Health visitor
Health visitor

What is a "Health Visitor"?  

Health visitors are all nurses or midwives who have completed additional training in public health, which includes child development. 

Health visitors work in teams with Community Nursery Nurses and also work closely with a number of other services, including GPs, Midwives, Paediatricians, Children's centres and Hampshire Children's services.  We can also signpost you to the most appropriate organisations to help you.

What can the Health Visiting service offer me?

Health visitors lead the delivery of the Healthy Child programme. This national programme consists of a series of developmental reviews, screening tests, vaccinations and information to support parents. We also run Child Health Clinics where you can get advice on your child's development, support with breastfeeding and bottle feeding and ask any questions you may have.  

From 28 weeks of pregnancy - you will be offered an appointment with your health visitor.  This is approximately an hour long where you can find out about our service and discuss your health, your baby's health and preparations for your baby's arrival. 

We will contact you to make an appointment to see you and your new baby at home, usually when your baby is between 10 and 14 days old.  This appointment lasts an hour and is an opportunity to discuss your birth and labour, your baby’s care and your experiences as a parent so far and any other questions you may have.  We can help support and give advice on feeding and caring for your baby.

When your baby is 6-8 weeks you will be offered a contact with your health visitor this may be at home, in a clinic setting/Children’s Centre or by a telephone call.  At this contact we will review your baby’s health and development.  It is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions that you may have regarding the care of your baby and discuss how you are feeling physically and emotionally since the birth. 

Health reviews are a time for you to see how your child is progressing (children are all different and will develop at different rates for all sorts of reasons).  These reviews may be carried out by a Health Visitor or a Community Nursery Nurse.  Before the health review you will be sent two Ages and Stages questionnaires to help you record all of your child’s achievements and they will also give you chance to voice any concerns that you may have about your child.  Please bring the completed questionnaires and your child’s personal child health record (Red Book) with you to the appointment.

Your health visiting team can provide additional support when needed.  You can self-refer for support with: 
  • Parenting / adjusting to parenthood
  • mental health and wellbeing
  • Infant feeding / breastfeeding
  • Introducing solid food and feeding issues
  • Healthy eating / healthy weight
  • Home safety
  • Managing minor illnesses
  • Behaviour and sleep management 
  • Toilet training
  • Child not developing as expected
  • Complex health needs / disability
  • Getting "ready for school"


We will work with you to devise an individual plan of support based on your needs.  This may be needed when a child or parent has a disability or complex health needs, or because the Early Help Hub or Children's Services are providing support to help you. 

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