"Health visitor service in Nottinghamshire"

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

(as a service user),

The health visiting service in my local area was fantastic. The support offered to new mums was brilliant and two weekly drop in baby clinics provided access to a wealth of advice and support, or sometimes a friendly face when you were having a bad day. These baby clinics didn't just help me practically but also helped my mental health following some dark post natal times.

Since Christmas, cuts to the health visiting service mean that these drop in clinics are no longer run. I went to the self weigh session and was left really disappointed. It was on the floor, pushed into the corner of a different type of session. There was no friendly face, no one to offer advice, no one to notice if we are on the brink of falling through the net. my baby has dropped a percentile but no one to advise if this is an issue. No one even seemed to know how to operate the scales. I saw one mother with brand new baby twins who was struggling just to get her pram in, she looked exhausted, miserable and lost, she was just left to get on with it.

I think dropping these popular clinics is terrible, local mums seem to be unhappy about it and we miss the opportunity to see our fantastic health visitors. I know we can make an appointment, but sometimes you don't realise how much help you actually need until a friendly face sits down with you and asks you how you are.

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Responses

Response from Jo Lewis, Head of Service Children & Young People, Rushcliffe Locality, County Health Partnerships

Thank you for sharing your concerns and I am pleased that you have found the health visiting service fantastic.

The change that we have implemented is a move away from the generic drop-in sessions, to enable us to offer a tailored service for parents to meet their individual needs offering privacy and protected time with the Health Visitor.

Anyone with a concern about their child will be able to make an appointment with their health visitor or speak to a health visitor on the phone and this number can be found in your red book. There will continue to be a number of checkpoint reviews where every child will be seen by their health visiting team where concerns can be identified, particularly in the early days.

I apologise that you were disappointed by the self-weigh clinic as we have a number of these across Rushcliffe which are supported by a member of the Children Centre team who are on hand to show parents how to use the scales and to signpost parents to seek advice and support from the health visiting team as necessary.

Please be assured that we will continue to review our services through this transition and the impact this change makes on the wellbeing of the families we serve. If you wish to discuss your concerns further please do ring me on 0115 8837828.

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