Our health visitors work with parents and carers to ensure that children have the best start in life and are able to achieve their full potential.
Every family with children under five has a named health visitor who offers support and encouragement through the early years from pregnancy and birth, to primary school and beyond to support you to stay healthy and avoid illness.
We provide a wide-ranging service to children and their families and we can also refer you to other services to support you with more specialist problems.
When you become pregnant you will have a named health visitor assigned to you and you will receive a home visit before your baby is born.
You can expect support and information about:
- Family health and wellbeing including support for mothers with postnatal depression
- Infant feeding with special knowledge of breast feeding
- A child’s growth and development – including advice for a child who is either underweight or overweight
- Common childhood infections/illnesses and immunisation
- Common skin problems
- Language development and early learning guidance
- Behavioural difficulties including sleeping, eating, potty training, temper tantrums
- Healthy eating, play, safety and exercise
- Accident prevention
- Acting as key worker for young children with disabilities
- Local child health clinics, support groups and parenting groups where you can meet other parents.
- Supporting your child to get ready for school
Health visitors work with midwives, GPs, Family Hubs and local community and voluntary services.
We also work jointly with other groups, including schools, children’s services and children’s charities, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children so they are protected from significant harm.
You can contact your health visitor through your GP surgery.
- Start for life -NHS advice and help during pregnancy, birth and parenthood.
- Healthy start vouchers scheme – find out if you’re entitled to free vouchers for milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins.
- www.familyhubsnorthumberland.co.uk – Family Hubs are spaces to meet, learn, take part in activities and access help and information.
Common illness and support
- NHS website – information and advice on health conditions, symptoms, healthy living, medicines and how to get help.
- Little orange book– information and advice for babies and young children when they are unwell.
School Nursing Service
School nurses (sometimes known as public health school nurses) promote and protect the physical health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people who are school age.
We work in partnership with other agencies to ensure children and young people grow up to be healthy, make the right choices about their health and to safeguard their welfare so they are protected from significant harm.
You can expect support and information on:
- Healthy eating
- Emotional health issues such as anxiety, stress or depression
- Behavioural problems
- Child growth and development
- Continence (bed wetting)
- Sexual health
- Parenting support
- Smoking and substance misuse
Every local authority school or academy has their own school nurse. Many of the high schools also have a drop-in school nurse service.
However you don’t have to wait until your school nurse is in your school to see them. We can visit you at home or invite you to see us at another location to suit you.
We are based around Northumberland and provide appointments between 8.30am – 6pm in schools, GP surgeries and health centres.
When you talk to your school nurse you talk ‘in confidence’ which this means the school nurse will not talk about what you have said to other people or to your school. However, if the school nurse is concerned about your safety, for example, if you say something that makes your school nurse think that you or someone else is in danger, the school nurse will have to tell somebody else. The school nurse will talk to you if they need to do this.
You can contact the school nurse service in Northumberland through your school. Additionally you can contact your nearest school nurse team directly to make an appointment or contact your Health Visitor at the following number: 0300 373 2488
You may be asked to leave a message on an answer machine.
Preparing for adulthood
If a young person between 14 to 18 years has complex and on-going physical health needs, we will work with you, your family, and services involved in your care such as doctors, specialist nurses to consider what support you might need in adulthood. This information is documented in your health transition summary care plan and a hospital passport which includes key information about your care. Young people who are 14 and over with a learning disability are entitled to a free yearly health check with your GP. We will write to you when you are due a health check.
www.familyhubsnorthumberland.co.uk – Family Hubs are spaces to meet, learn, take part in activities and access help and information.
Young Minds – information on child and adolescent mental health services for parents and professionals
Frank – confidential advice and information on drugs
Kids Health – information on staying healthy, specific information for teenagers, young children and parents
Embarrassing problems – advice on problems that you might find difficult to talk about