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Health Visiting Service

The Health Visiting Service supports families with a new baby or child under five-years-old by offering advice and guidance.

Health Visiting ServiceThe Health Visiting Service supports families with a new baby or child under five-years-old by offering advice and guidance.

A member of the Health Visiting Team will see you at least three times; once during pregnancy (antenatal), again when your baby is around 10 days old and a further appointment at six to eight weeks following birth. We also offer two further developmental reviews, one between nine and 12 months and the next at two to two-and-a-half years.

You can email healthvisitingappointments@nhs.net to change or amend an appointment or contact your local team for support.

Who’s in the team?

Our team includes health visitors, community public health nurses, senior public health assistants and public health assistants.

Health visitors and community public health nurses are registered nurses or midwives that have undergone additional training in the care and development of pre-school children.

We work with midwives, GPs, paediatricians, local children's centres and voluntary organisations to provide the best possible care to you and your family.

Appointments with your Health Visiting Team

Antenatal

We see parents after 28 weeks of pregnancy either virtually or at your home. This appointment is an opportunity to discuss any questions you have and go through some useful information for you and your baby’s health and wellbeing including; feeding your baby, encouraging baby’s development and general parenting as well as introducing you to your local Health Visiting Team.

 

New birth  

We visit you when you baby is around 10 to 14 days old at home. This is your chance to ask any questions you have, explore how you are feeling physically and emotionally, and discuss your baby’s health and wellbeing. Your midwife will discharge you from their service and hand over to the Health Visiting Service around this time.

Six to eight-weeks

This will take place in a clinic or at your home.

This visit is an opportunity for you and your partner to discuss you and your baby’s physical health needs, explore your emotional health and wellbeing, your baby’s routines and development, feeding, immunisations and answer any questions you may have.

We will measure your baby’s weight, length and head circumference if not already completed by your GP.  Your GP will also offer a six to eight week appointment around this time. It is important that you and your baby attend this appointment.

 

Nine to 12 months   

Remember that all babies are unique and will develop at different rates without anything for their parents to worry about. This review gives you as parents the opportunity to see how your child is developing, and if they need any additional support to reach their full potential. This developmental review will take place in a clinic or your home and will take around 45 minutes.

A member of the health visiting team will work with you to complete an ‘ages and stages questionnaire (ASQ)’. This looks at areas of your child’s development including:

  • gross motor skills such as sitting unsupported
  • fine motor skills such as transferring a toy from one hand to the other
  • personal and social skills
  • communication skills such as babbling
  • problem solving skills.

Two to two-and-a-half years

This review gives you as parents the opportunity to see how your child is developing, and if they need any additional support to reach their full potential and be ready for nursery and school. This developmental review will take place in a clinic or your home and will take around 45 minutes. A member of the health visiting team will again work with you to complete an ‘ages and stages questionnaire (ASQ)’. This looks at areas of your child’s development including:

  • gross motor skills such as walking
  • fine motor skills such as using crayons
  • personal and social skills
  • communication skills
  • problem solving skills.

If your child attends an early year’s setting they will be offered a developmental integrated review at this age.  This is combination of your Health Visiting developmental review and the Early Year’s progress review.

We are trialling the Early Language Identification Measure (ELIM) tool focusing on children’s speech, language and communication development as part of the review in certain areas of Kent. This will help identify any children that would benefit from some extra support at an earlier stage.

Kent health visitors and midwives have put together a video on how your baby's growth is monitored during their early years, why this is important and what support is available for you and your baby. Thank you to all the parents, children and colleagues at Kent Community Health Foundation Trust and East Kent University Foundation Trust for their help in creating this video.

Other support on offer from the Health Visiting Service

  • Child health clinics - Come along to a child health clinic for advice, information and support for you and your child's health and development from your local Health Visiting Team.
  • Beside You – help and support with breastfeeding including details of local breastfeeding drop-in sessions and virtual groups.
  • Born to move app - is about encouraging play and interaction to help the learning and development of your baby’s brain at this early stage, building the foundations for a healthy, confident child.
  • Kent Baby – has a range of information and support for local parents and carers of under-fives.
  • Understanding your child – FREE online courses for anyone who is pregnant or caring for a child in Kent. There are courses for all stages from before baby arrives, up to 18 years of age. Use the access code Invicta to register for an account. You can complete courses in smaller chunks at your own pace.
  • Virtual workshops on a variety of topics including starting solids and toilet training.
  • Specialist Infant Feeding Service
  • Family Partnership Programme - available to families living in Kent who have experienced difficulties such as poverty, mental health issues, family problems or domestic abuse.
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Looking for breastfeeding support?

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Your comments

December 2022
Thanet

Karen gave good advice about our concerns that can help here and now. Plus advice for the future with potty training. Thanks for everything you do.

December 2022
Sevenoaks

Fab, super friendly service. Really helpful.

December 2022
Dover

Very informative, answered all queries we had. Very friendly appointment.

December 2022
Dartford

Sally was very personable and helpful. She followed up with an email with lots of links to good resources.

December 2022
Tonbridge & Malling

Very welcoming and knowledgeable. Made to feel at ease and could ask any questions.

December 2022
Tunbridge Wells

Rebecca was kind, friendly and patient.

June 2022
Shepway

Helen is very friendly and very nice lady. We really liked her, she made my daughter very comfortable, she is really good.

June 2022
Tunbridge Wells

Friendly, professional and reassuring health visitor. Took time to explain and signpost different services available.

June 2022
Ashford

Connie was lovely and very reassuring.

June 2022
Tonbridge & Malling

Lorraine was very friendly, inquisitive, listened thoroughly and provided good advice. She talked me through different support networks available and showed genuine interest in me and my baby.

June 2022
Tunbridge Wells

We had a fabulous experience with Sandra, who is a good health visitor. She explained everything clearly and it was understandable.

May 2022
Shepway

Donna has been my health visitor for almost 2 years and has offered so much help and support for me and my family. Donna is always so polite friendly and easy to talk to.

May 2022
Swale

Brilliant advice given, very calm environment. Listened to my concerns and offered reassurance.

May 2022
Deal

Informative and happy to ask questions I feel very comfortable and welcome.

May 2022
Gravesham

Tammy has been amazing. She answered all my questions and gave very good advice in how to handle some situations.

May 2022
Thanet

Karen was very polite and gave us lots of good information to help us understand our child.

April 2022
Tunbridge Wells

They gave me lots of advice about how to help my son.

April 2022
Sevenoaks

I felt supported and listened to and encouraged by the nurse. I felt reassured about my parenting and development of my baby.

April 2022
Ashford

Fantastic meeting. Katie was professional and superb and one couldn't fault her.

April 2022
Tonbridge & Malling

Lorraine was very friendly, open and reassuring. And provided me with lots of resources for the local area.

March 2022
Dover

Really kind, helpful health visitor. Good advice. Non-judgemental.

March 2022
Sevenoaks

Very friendly, took the time to listen to my concerns, provide constructive advice and support with breastfeeding.

March 2022
Tonbridge & Malling

It was wonderful to see someone and to discuss my child's development. Claire was very knowledgeable and helpful.

March 2022
Thanet

Steph was very friendly and welcoming and was able to answer the questions I had.

March 2022
Gravesham

Very calm, friendly and professional visit.

February 2022
Sevenoaks

Lovely health visitor, so kind and caring down to earth, very good advice and listened.

February 2022
Canterbury & Coastal

Wendy was friendly, approachable, thorough and put me at ease with any concerns I had. Very knowledgeable.

February 2022
Tunbridge Wells

Carol rang beforehand to ensure it was a convenient time. Friendly and approachable and non-judgemental. Lots of information and time given.

February 2022
Shepway

Aimee has always been so supportive and understanding. She offers lots of advice.

January 2022
Swale

Informative and friendly, helped answer any questions or concerns I have, made me feel supported.

January 2022
Tonbridge & Malling

Lorraine was very personable. Advised where needed without being patronising. Very friendly and professional.

January 2022
Dover

Health visitor Katrina was really informative and helpful.

January 2022
Tunbridge Wells

The health visitor was really kind. It was a pleasure to speak to her, she gave a time for questions. Was happy to discuss anything about my children.

January 2022
Deal

Friendly and welcoming health visitor, listened to all my concerns and questions and gave lots of advice.

December 2021
Sevenoaks

Health visitor Andie was very supportive and came numerous times to ensure I felt comfortable.

December 2021
Dover

Caroline was very knowledgeable, friendly and reassuring.

December 2021
Tunbridge Wells

I was given lots of information as well as the opportunity to talk, ask questions and got tailored answers.

December 2021
Maidstone

I felt well informed and looked after throughout, very friendly.

December 2021
Swale

Marie was friendly and gave me good advice regarding my child development.

November 2021
Sevenoaks

Brook was really personable and gave us great advice and made us feel very calm and reassured us that we are doing well as new parents.

November 2021
Tunbridge Wells

Very helpful and caring. Ruth helped reassure and offered great advice.

November 2021
Shepway

I found Ruth and Sarah to be thorough and very caring, compassionate and friendly individuals who I could trust and feel comfortable with.

October 2021
Thanet

Becks was really helpful, answered all my questions. Full of knowledge and a lovely personality.

October 2021
Maidstone

Very supportive and knowledgeable health visitor.

October 2021
Gravesham

Very professiona.l Did her job very well. Gave a lot of information that’ll help me and baby.

November 2022
Dover

Amy is absolutely lovely. She helps with any concerns I have. Gives great advice and reassures me on any issue.

November 2022
Canterbury & Coastal

Sara has been a good support. Helped my anxiety.

November 2022
Gravesham

I got answers to all my questions regarding my sons wellbeing. Very supportive service.

November 2022
Sevenoaks

Rebecca was so kind and helpful. Answered all my questions and worries. Felt at ease.

October 2022
Dover

My health visitor has been really helpful and supportive to myself and my baby.

November 2022
Shepway

Kelly has been amazing! Really listened, responded and suggested the right support that I needed. Her calm, friendly nature also put me at ease.

October 2022
Tunbridge Wells

Relaxed - easy to talk to . Gave lots of information.

October 2022
Ashford

Really lovely member of staff. Reassuring and friendly.

October 2022
Dover

Felt very at ease, made to feel welcome and reassured.

October 2022
Tonbridge & Malling

Friendly, supportive and thorough appointment. Lots of conversation and topics discussed with ample opportunity to ask questions.

September 2022
Shepway

Helen was very helpful with answering all of my questions and putting my mind at ease.

September 2022
Sevenoaks

Explained clearly, felt supported, given advice.

September 2022
Ashford

All very welcoming, health visitor was absolutely lovely and very, very helpful.

September 2022
Tunbridge Wells

Very informative and helpful. The health visitor answered all my questions and put me at ease.

September 2022
Tonbridge & Malling

Lorraine was very friendly and informative with any questions we had.

September 2022
Gravesham

Debbie was very nice and explained everything clearly during the antenatal visit.

September 2022
Canterbury & Coastal

Wendy is amazing, very experienced and answered all my questions putting my mind at rest.

August 2022
Swale

Very informative, welcoming and supportive.

August 2022
Sevenoaks

I felt cared for, safe and relieved to know that post natal services and help are always available when I need it.

August 2022
Thanet

Health visitor was very welcoming, polite and professional.

August 2022
Dartford

Was good to see my child was where he should be and have some reassurance, also getting him measured and weighed was really nice.

August 2022
Tunbridge Wells

Rachel as always is very good with all advise and support with breastfeeding. She's so helpful when I have to bring my older son too.

August 2022
Shepway

The nurse was very friendly and happy and made us all feel very comfortable.

July 2022
Canterbury & Coastal

Wendy was friendly, thorough and approachable.

July 2022
Thanet

Very understanding, kind, helpful and thorough.

July 2022
Tunbridge Wells

Rachel has seen all my kids from birth and has been great support to us as a family.

July 2022
Dover

Health visiter I have is fantastic, couldn't as for more help and support.

July 2022
Tonbridge & Malling

Lorraine was very helpful and friendly during the visit.