"Age 3-4 health visitor check"

About: City Health Care Partnership CIC / Health visiting

(as a parent/guardian),

I live in Hull and have recently been sent a questionnaire through the post for my child's 3-4 year check. I feel that the questionnaire serves no purpose. There are no guidelines as to what your child should be doing, just a series of yes/no questions that could easily be falsified. I think that a parent will not openly admit that their child struggles unless they are considerably behind. My child can do far more than count to 20 and draw a person with no body as the questionnaire asks. They can count to 100 with a bit of help with the multiples of 10 and count to 20 in Spanish. They can draw a person with a body, arms, legs, ears, nose and hair in the right place and has been able to since before they turned three. I feel that the questionnaire has no interest in how well your child is actually doing, and the majority of parents I know would have no hesitation in marking yes if they thought their child 'wasn't far off'.

I've read a response to a post similar and quite frankly I find the response rubbish. I think it is nothing more than a cost saving exercise (which I appreciate needs to be done), and is especially disappointing given how intensely watched parents are when their children are small. It feels as though their care beyond a point is inconsequential, but the HV needs to tick a box so a questionnaire in the post is the cheapest option. My health visitor asked me 3 times if I was a victim of domestic violence, I found it insulting, as did my partner who was obviously busy in the kitchen making them a cup of tea when the questions were posed. I felt they were rude and belittled me for choosing to stop breastfeeding after 8 weeks because my body simply wouldn't provide milk for my child.

I think that some health visitors can be so intense in their scrutiny that they make some parents feel uncomfortable, to the point where another friend of mine has a child who is so skinny and their mum is concerned, however she's too worried that she'll be made to feel like a bad mum to seek advice from her HV. Absolutely counterproductive. Her saving grace is that she now won't need to worry about being made to feel like a bad mum, because all she has to do is fill in a piece of paper and pay for postage at the next stage.

I think this is appalling "care".

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Response from City Health Care Partnership CIC

Dear misspickle

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your story on Patient Opinion. I am sorry that you have had such a poor experience. We have changed our service considerably recently and the questionnaires had been stopped. So I am interested in discussing the concerns that you raise, which I feel would best be discussed in person or on the phone depending on what suits you best. Please feel free to ring me on 07816 6464132 or email carolyn.rabaud@nhs.net. I am assuming that you live within the Hull boundary, as we do not provide Health Visiting services to East Riding of Yorkshire

I do take feedback from patients and people who use our services very seriously as it is the only way in which we can tackle any problems and inform changes and improvements where we can. Thank you for your feedback,

Carolyn Ph-Rabaud, Senior Operations, Manager Children & Young People

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