Our team of Health Visitors can be contacted by telephoning 01772 777165
A health visitor is a qualified nurse or midwife with post-registration experience who has undertaken further training and education in child health, health promotion, public health and education. Health visitors work as part of a primary health care team, assessing the health needs of individuals, families and the wider community. They aim to promote good health and prevent illness by offering practical help and advice.
The role involves working within a community setting, often visiting people in their own homes. It primarily involves supporting new parents and pre-school children as well as elderly people and those of any age who suffer from a chronic illness or live with a disability. Working as a health visitor may also include tackling the impact of social inequality on health and working closely with at-risk or deprived groups.
The health visiting service is dynamic and health-focused and able to respond flexibly to a range of service and community needs. Health visiting is underpinned by four principles that guide and direct professional practice. These are the search for health needs, creating awareness of health needs, influencing policies affecting health and the facilitation of health-enhancing activities.
Typical work activities
Activities vary according to the nature of the individual role but may include:
- using specialist healthcare interventions to meet the health-related needs of individuals, families, groups and communities as well as assessing and evaluating their effectiveness;
- working as part of a primary care trust team, which may also include community nursery nurses, health visitors’ assistants, healthcare assistants and community staff nurses;
- listening to, advising and supporting people from all backgrounds and age groups;
- advising and informing new parents on issues such as feeding, sleeping, safety, physical and emotional development, weaning, immunisation and other aspects of childcare;
- delivering child health programmes and running parenting groups;
- working in partnership with families to develop and agree tailored health plans addressing individual parenting and health needs;
- managing parent and baby clinics at surgeries and community and children's centres and running specialist sessions on areas such as baby massage, exercise and child development;
- working collaboratively with children’s centres, schools, preschools and action groups in the local community;
- providing emotional support regarding issues such as postnatal depression, bereavement, disability, family conflict and domestic violence;
- identifying the health needs of neighbourhoods and other groups in the community in order to contribute to the development of a community health profile;
- working with local communities to identify and tackle their own health needs and encouraging members of deprived or vulnerable groups, including the homeless, to participate in their own health care planning;
- running groups dealing with a specific health aspect, such as smoking cessation, and supporting self-help groups or those