About our Health Visiting Service
Health Visiting Service: Our local offer for children living in Wigan
The Health Visiting Service offer is available to all children and families, including children with additional health needs.
We provide advice, information and support to families and children and help parents make decisions that improve their family’s future health and well-being.
- Who are Health Visitors?
We are qualified community nurses, with specialist training in public health, and work with children and families in different settings such as health clinics, family home, Start Well Family Centres, Early Years Settings or other community venues.
Each health visiting team covers a geographical area across Wigan and we work closely with midwives, the Start Well Family Centres, school nurses and General Practices (GP).
Health Visitors offer support to all families before and after the birth of your baby and up to when your child starts school.
Once your child starts school we transfer the ongoing care to the School Nursing service who will work with you and your child during their time at school.
- How do I get referred to the Health Visiting Service?
When your baby is born, or you move into Wigan, your family will be offered a named Health Visitor who is the key contact for you within our service.
However your care may be delivered by a member of the wider health visiting team; the team consists of health visitors, community staff nurse, community nursery nurses, support workers and administrative staff.
After this time the Family Nurse will then hand over the on-going care for the child and family to their local health visiting team.
To ensure clear communication between health services and offer timely, high quality support for families and children; the Health Visiting service automatically receives a referral for:
all mothers who are expecting a baby and living in Wigan by your midwife
all children who move into Wigan and register with a family doctor by the GP
- The Local Offer for all children
Health Visitors lead and deliver the Healthy Child Programme which is available to you and your child.
You can expect to be offered the following contacts from the Health Visiting Service as a part of the national Healthy Child Programme;
Ante natal contact before the birth of your baby
New birth visit when your baby is 10 – 14 days old
Contact when your baby is 6-8 weeks old
A health review by the time your child is 1 year old
A health review by the time your child is 2 ½ years of age
- Integrated reviews
Where possible if your child attends a nursery setting an integrated review will be offered.
This is where health and education professionals offer a health and development review together with the parents.
This helps to give a more complete picture of your child by drawing together the detailed knowledge of how the child is learning and developing day to day at their educational setting with the expertise of the child’s health visitor at the health review, along with parents’ views and concerns about their child’s progress.
The purpose of these contacts is to work in partnership with parents to:
Review your child’s health and development (including their physical, social and emotional well-being and focusing on strong bonding and attachment between you and your baby)
Offer health screening such as hearing and newborn blood screening
Promote and offer advice regarding the childhood immunisations programme
Offer parenting support and help you make decisions that improve your family’s future health and well-being
Quickly Identify any additional health needs your child may have
Provide early expert help on health issues such as breastfeeding, sleep problems or post natal depression
Refer your child to other specialist services depending on the needs identified, such as speech therapy or hearing service.
We also work hard to build relationships with families and support you to access the services, support and activities available within your local community.
- Group support before your baby is born
Health Visitors work together with Midwives, Breastfeeding Together, and Start Well Family Centres to deliver a popular programme called Getting it right for you and your baby.
This consists of six antenatal workshops:
Nurturing the Needs of Your Bump and Baby – a two hour session run by midwives and breast feeding peer supporters
Labour and Birth – a three hour session run by midwives
Breastfeeding Workshop – a two hour session run by midwives and breast feeding peer supporters
Getting it Right For You and Your Baby – a two hour session run by the health visiting service
Grandparents Workshop – a two hour session run by peer supporters
Journey to Parenthood – a 90 minute session run by peer supporters
- How do I contact the health visiting service?
Parents are able to contact their named Health Visitor or Health Visiting team by telephone from 9am until 5pm during week days (excluding bank holidays).
An answerphone is available outside of these hours for you to leave a message and the duty health visitor will return your call.
Alternatively you are invited to attend one of the Well Baby Clinics for advice, information and support.
If English is not your first language we are able to arrange for an interpreter to be available either face to face or by telephone.