Health visitors are registered nurses/midwives who have additional training in community public health nursing.
They provide a professional public health service based on best evidence of what works for individuals, families, groups and communities; enhancing health and reducing health inequalities through a proactive, universal service for all children 0-5 years and for vulnerable populations targeted according to need.
Health visiting is a proactive, universal service that provides a platform from which to reach out to individuals and vulnerable groups, considering their different dynamics and needs, and reducing inequalities in health. Pre-school children and their families are a key focus. Blackpool’s Health Visitors aim to provide an accessible, evidence-based service for all children and their families.
Health visitors are privileged to work with parents who have new babies, offering support and informed advice from the ante-natal period until the child starts school at 5 years. We value everyone as an individual and provide personalised, responsive support through partnership working and strengths-based practice.
Your health visitor is notified about your pregnancy from maternity services and will contact you in the antenatal period, between 28 weeks and birth. This visit will be to introduce you to the service, give you advice and support leading up to the birth of your baby, and give you details of our further visits to you.
Blackpool is the first town in England to increase the number of home visits that every family receives from their Health Visitor from the statutory five to a minimum of eight due to Better Start funding.
If you are a Blackpool resident, we will then visit you after your baby is born, when they are:
- 0 – 14 days old
- 3 – 5 weeks
- 6 – 8 weeks
- 3 – 4 months
- pre- 12 months
- 2 - 2 1/2 years
- 3 - 3 1/2 years old
Visits are usually in the home, but the health visitor may invite you to join groups, clinics and networks run by the health visiting team or colleagues who work with them such as: nursery nurses, children’s centre staff, voluntary organisations or community mothers.
Families from all walks of life may need support for specific issues that affect their children’s health and development, so the actual service provided to each particular family will vary according to a personalised assessment of their own needs and evidence of what will work for them.
The Health Visiting Team also offers support around:
- Emotional and mental health and well-being support
- Healthy eating, weaning and dietary advice
- Support with sleep routines
- Child developmental assessments
- Advice regarding child behaviour
- Support and referrals for children with any additional needs
- Support in safeguarding children
- School readiness advice
- Immunisation information
- Referrals to child specialist services