the role of the health visitor

 

A Health Visitors role is a varied one and is an integral part of the NHS Community Health Service. The main focus of our work is prevention, helping people to stay healthy and avoid illness.

The Health Visitor is a Qualified Registered Nurse, Midwife, Sick Children’s Nurse or Psychiatric Nurse with Specialist qualifications in Community Health, which includes child health, health promotion and education.

 

The role involves promoting health in the whole community and we are particularly involved with families who have children under five and with the elderly population. Because most of us are attached to GP Practices we are also work with all patients registered with a GP Practice. We look at the broader picture to identify the health needs within their community and this allows us to affect local policy.

 

Every family with children under five has a named health visitor. Our role is to offer support and encouragement to families through the early years from pregnancy and birth to primary school and beyond. We work closely with GP’s and cover the geographical area of the GP practice.

Most health visitor’s work alongside midwives preparing parents for the birth
of their baby by their involvement in pre-birth classes.

 

We also offer help and advice to parents on the following:

• Their child’s growth & development
• Common infections in childhood
• Common skin problems
• Behaviour difficulties. Sleeping, eating, potty training, temper tantrums and teething.
• Breastfeeding, weaning, healthy eating, hygiene, safety and exercise
• Postnatal depression, bereavement and violence in the family
We are also involved in:
• Working in partnership with families to tailor health plans to their needs
• Coordinating child immunisation programmes
• Organising and running baby clinics
• Health promotion groups, Breast feeding support groups, Parent support groups, parenting courses
• Nurse prescribing

Health visitors work
closely with others
such as Speech
Therapists,
Social Workers,
School Nurses, &
District Nurses.
You can access
your health visitor
through your
GP Surgery
by phoning or
dropping
in at your health
centre or clinic to
request a home visit
or speak to a health visitor.

You can also use our free online service:

ask a health visitor for parenting advice