Health Visitor Services
Health Visitors encourage, empower and support parents, guardians and carers to ensure the healthy development of their children. They work directly with parents and local communities to provide information and guidance to make the best choices about their options for a healthy lifestyle. They also deliver a range of evidence based enhanced services when other needs are identified and assessed.
There is a universal offer for all children to have a health review at the following specific points of their development:
- At birth
- At six weeks of age
- Between two and two and a half years of age
Health Visitors provide help and guidance on a wide range of health-related issues.
Contacting your health visitor
We run child health hubs where we weigh your baby at 6-8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age.
The hubs also offer self-weighing and advice on a range of child health topics. They are not for unwell babies, please see your GP if your baby is unwell.
If you need to speak to a health visitor our team numbers can be found here:
Bonding with your baby
Diet and Nutrition
Your Health visitor will support you with your feeding choice for your baby.
Breast feeding, additional support can also be found on our breast feeding pages and through Breastmates peer support groups.
Introducing solids (weaning)
The health visiting service run weaning groups, call 01793 465050/ 01793 465030/ 01793 463177 to book a group.
Alternatively weaning guides and advice on healthy eating can be found at:
Eating well: the first year a guide to introducing solids and eating well up to baby's first birthday
Eating well: vegan infants and under-5s
Eating well: snacks 1-4 year olds
Further recipes and guides on healthy eating for children can be found at
For children with additional needs
Your Health visitor can support you with concerns regarding your child’s diet or weight.
Local support for keeping your child healthy
Register your family for a dentist. If you are pregnant or have had a baby in the last year, use your MATB1 to apply for free NHS dental care.
All children over the age of one should be accessing a dentist.
Registering with a local dentist:
For children with additional needs:
The Special Care Dental Service
The Special Care Dental Service provides a service for people with complex needs who are unable to access care at high street dentists.
This is a referral-only service and is staffed by a dedicated team of Dentists and Dental Care Professionals (DCPs) who have a special interest in treating patients with additional needs.
Referrals are accepted for children who, because of their disabilities need dentistry in a special care setting. These may include:
- Severely medically compromised
- Learning disabilities
- Autistic spectrum disorders
- Bleeding disorders
- Severe physical disabilities
- Children with repaired cleft lip/palate
- Children under five years of age with extensive decay for whom treatment has proved unsuccessful
- Looked after children and those under the Child Protection Plan
Referrals are accepted from:
- General Dental Practitioners
- General Medical Practitioners
- Any other health or social care professional
All children born in the UK are offered a hearing screen within the first 10 days of life. In the child’s red book (Personal Child Health Record) pg 27 you can find the results of this screen.
On Pages 25 & 26 of the Red book there are checklists for what your baby should hear at different ages and the sounds they should be making. If you have concerns about your baby’s hearing you can request a hearing test directly from Audiology at West Swindon Health Centre 01793 889420 or discuss your concerns with your Health Visitor.
Your health visitor will work with other professionals to support you and your child.
On Page 24 of the Red book (Personal Child Health Record) you will find a checklist about your child’s vision. If you have a concern about your child’s vision and they are over the age of 3yrs old you can take them for a vision test at the opticians. If your child is under the age of 3 years old please speak to your Health Visitor or GP.
If you have tried this advice and still need support the health visiting service offers support with promoting toilet training.
Healthy Bowels - constipation
The health visiting service can offer support and guidance about promoting good bowel habits to prevent constipation.
For children with additional needs:
There is a continence pathway to support promotion of healthy bowels and bladders for children with additional needs, support is from the age of 2.5 yrs for assessment. Currently continence products are for children aged over the age of 4 yrs who are not showing signs of readiness to toilet train.
Babies need a lot of sleep during the first few months of their lives so it’s important to ensure that they are sleeping as safely as possible. For more information on safer sleep for your baby, please see the resources below.
Information on how to establish a good bedtime routine and environment can be found below.
The health visiting service offer 1:1 sessions or small groups for parents who are struggling to get their toddler to sleep.
For Children with additional needs
The health visiting service offer some 1:1 sessions on how to establish good sleep routines.
Promoting positive behaviour
Managing children’s behaviour often starts with how we interact with them and our expectations of our children’s behaviour for their age. Information on how to promote positive behaviours can be found at:
For Children with additional needs
The Health visiting service offer some 1:1 sessions to support you to make changes in managing your child’s behaviour.
- Taking care of yourself as a parent
- Feeding your baby and young child
- Taking care of your baby and young child
- A guide to growth and development
- Learning and play
- Keeping your child safe
- Rights & benefits
If you have concerns with your child’s development talk to your Health Visitor or GP.
Speech and Language
As a parent you are your child’s first teacher. Language development is supported by playing, singing and talking to your baby.
If you have concerns about your child’s speech and language talk to your health visitor. You can also look at the Speech and Language local offer page Speech and Language Therapy page on Local Offer
Home safety and accident prevention
At the Healthy Child Programme contacts your Health Visitor will share home safety and accident prevention advice.
You can also find safety advice on the prevention of accidents at The Child Accident Prevention Trust.
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire service offer Safe and Well checks for families where there is a child under the age of 5 or where there is a family member with a disability. You can book one through their website
Finding things to do with your baby / child
If you or your partner smokes in pregnancy and would like support in quitting, please speak to your midwife. Most GP practices and pharmacies also offer services on stopping smoking, during or after your baby’s birth. If you or your partner smoke, your baby will be exposed to second-hand smoke, which harms their health in a number of ways including increasing the risk of sudden infant death. It is important to try to limit their exposure to second-hand smoke – there are a number of steps you can take to do this, including going outside to smoke, wearing a jacket, and washing your hands afterwards. It is important to note that it is illegal to smoke in a vehicle with children present.
Drugs and Alcohol
Speak to your midwife or GP, if you would like help with your drug and alcohol intake. You can also contact Impact substance misuse treatment service provided by Turning Point or visit their website with advice and guidance.
Parental Mental health
Your Health visitor can provide some early support and put you in touch with organisations to support you with your mental health. You can also find support through;
Lift Psychology offers 1:1 counselling or groups
Lift the Baby: A safe sleep advice video clip made by NHS, lullaby trust and London Irish rugby team to reduce the number of babies who have died of SIDS, because dads have fallen asleep on the sofa with babies.
If you would like to give us some feedback as a service please write or email
Business Support Team
Tel: 01793 465050