Health Visiting Service In Tower Hamlets
The Health Visiting service leads the local delivery of the Healthy Child programme which is the national early intervention public health programme that lies at the heart of the universal service provision for children and families at a crucial early stage of life.
We work in partnership with the Local services such as GP ‘s, Midwives; Children Centre staff, Compass Well Being and voluntary sector to deliver this programme.
Your local Health Visiting service is commissioned by Local Borough of Tower Hamlets and consists of:
•Health Visitors - These are registered nurses or midwives who have undertaken an additional post graduate qualification in Specialist Community and Public Health.
•Registered adult or paediatric trained staff nurses.
•Community Nursery Nurses who hold a relevant qualification to work in Early years
•Health Visiting Support workers who have received additional training to work as part of the team.
All of our staff is available to offer you the four levels of service that you are entitled for your family, our main focus is on families with children under aged five years:
Core Universal service
An Antenatal visit from 28 weeks of pregnancy onwards to help answer any questions you might have about becoming a parent. (This is not the same function as a midwife)
A New Birth Visit to your home within 14 days of your baby being born to assess both you and your babies well being. This visit may happen later if your baby remains in hospital longer than 14 days following birth.
A joint Six to Eight week review undertaken with your GP if within Tower Hamlets. If your GP is outside of Tower Hamlets the check will be conducted as a separate review.
A Three to Four Month review to again assess you and your babies well being and ensure you are able to access any services you need.
An under one-year old review of your child’s health, well being and development. This can be undertaken from six months up one year.
At two and two and a half years of age you will be offered a further health and development screening review either in your child’s own early years provision (playschool or day nursery) or at the local Children centre. The Health visiting team have to use a screening tool called “Ages and Stages” questionnaire as part of the assessment, whilst the early years staff undertake a different assessment at the same time about your child’s progress and learning. Both of these assessments will be discussed with you so that any concerns you may have, or the professionals may have, can be addressed by referral to the right services as quickly as is possible. This will make sure your child has every thing in place to help them have the best chances possible before they start school.
If you wish to have a more in depth discussion in confidence, just contact your Health Visitor and this can be arranged for you .
2. Universal Plus
Some times families need additional help from the health visiting service over a period of time. Examples might include such as those whose children who were born prematurely, longer term support around feeding issues, support with a child’s speech development, Children with disabilities or emotional well being issues for a family member. If you have identified need of support Your health visitor will work with you to agree a bespoke tailored plan of care. He/She may offer you the MECSH programme which one of the ways we work to support families following birth of a baby .
We are required to assess risks to children in households and to support adults to make healthy life choices so please do not be offended if we ask you about domestic abuse, mental illness or substance abuse. Every person is asked exactly the same questions and Health Visiting teams are specially trained to give support where need is identified.
3. Partnership Plus
A Health Visiting service has a Legal duty to provide bespoke services tailored to meet the health needs of any infant or child who is identified as needing extra help to keep them safe. The health visiting teams work with social care to deliver Child in Need plans, Child Protection plans and to support children whom the Local borough looks after. We not only consider risk factors but also search for protective factors in families and households and advocate for the well being of the child.
4. Building Communities
Some times due to our universal work we identify themes regarding services needed in an area and we will support local families to try and create or access those services.
In Tower Hamlets we offer a large number of drop in and appointment clinics across the borough every week. You can access these to discuss any worries you may be having and to ensure your child is growing and developing as they should be. You can also ring your health visiting team at any time and they will respond to your query either within 24 hours or a maximum of five days if non urgent.
The Healthy Child Programme offers every family a programme of screening tests, immunisations, developmental reviews, and information and guidance to support parenting and healthy choices – all services that children and families need to receive if they are to achieve their optimum health and wellbeing. (Healthy Child Programme: Pregnancy and the first five years of life)