"I feel the health visitors have not lived up to their promises"

About: Children & younger people's services / Health visiting Nottingham West

(as a parent/guardian),

I'd like to start by saying that all of the health visitors I have spoken to have been caring, friendly and professional in their approach. However I have found a lack of follow up and continuity of care. On the first visit from my health visitor she said health visitors are not just there to weigh babies, they are there to support me with all aspects of my baby's development, including sleeping, feeding and caring for my baby.

I really struggled with lack of sleep when my baby was between 6-12 weeks old and turned up to the clinics at Sunnyside and Dovecote House in tears, at the end of my tether. I had to retell my story the each time I went, I saw a different person and have never seen my named health visitor at clinic. Each time I was offered support and reassurance, but no real advice or strategies or what I really needed was follow up. I felt that once I'd left the clinic there was no support and I was not their problem any more. Each time I was promised that my health visitor would call me to check I was OK. This never happened.

I went to the GP for advice. The GP felt that my baby could have a lactose intolerance or cows milk allergy. As I breast feed my baby, the GP advised to start a dairy free diet and to inform my health visitor, which I did via phone message. Since then contact has been minimal.

I appreciate there are other families in worse situations but I feel the health visitors haver not lived up to their promises and I've had to cope alone.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Jenny Newman, Digital Health Project Manager, Health Partnerships, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

picture of Jenny Newman

Hi Beth,

Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know of your experience. I know it may have taken a lot – emotionally and practically – to post your comments. It is not easy bringing up a young baby who is not sleeping, and it seems that support from health visitors didn't give you what you needed at that time.

It is only through such honest feedback that we are able to make improvements that may help you and others in a similar situation. The service manager is looking into your comments, and will get back to you with a more complete response to address your specific concerns.

Thanks again,


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Response from Amanda Edmonds, Service Manager for Countywide Services, Children and Young Peoples Services, Health Partnerships

Hi Beth

Thank you for your posting. Your feedback is really important to me and my team. We strive to deliver the best care possible to all our children and families. On this occasion we did not meet our usual standard or your expectations, for which I apologise.

I am disappointed to hear of your recent experience after the birth of your baby, the lack of support and follow up. I acknowleldge the lack of continuity of a Health Visitor at clinic and follow up from your named Health Visitor and aim to address this. I am really sorry you had to re-tell your story to different people when you were clearly upset and wanted someone to offer you support, some helpful strategies and a follow up visit.

In order for me to investigate fully, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your experience further. Can I ask that you contact me through Patient Opinion or on my office number 0115 8835005 to arrange further discussion either by telephone or to meet up.

I look foward to hearing from you soon.


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Response from Amanda Edmonds, Service Manager for Countywide Services, Children and Young Peoples Services, Health Partnerships


I am really appreciate you taking the time to meet with me this afternoon. It was lovely to meet you and your daughter. I welcomed the open and honest discussion we had. It gave us both the opportunity to discuss in detail your concerns about the lack of continuity and support you had from the health visiting team. I found our meeting really helpful in identifying what the real issues are from your perspective as a new mum. With your permission, I have said I will raise the issues we talked about at my next team meeting with all my health visitor teams to increase their awareness of what we discussed and look at making some changes to practice to ensure we prevent this happening again in the future.

I am pleased that you have recently had contact with your named health visitor and she is due to visit again in the near future.

With very best wishes


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story