Health Visiting

General Information

Health visitors and Community Health Nurses see parents and children from before birth until five years. We will see you towards the end of your pregnancy and then at set stages after your child is born until they start school. For some families we will see you more regularly if you need more help.

We may see you at home, in your nearest Family Hub, GP surgery or Health Clinic.

All our health visitors are registered nurses, or midwives, with additional qualifications and training in health improvement and child development. We are here to support and guide you and your family until your child starts school.

We work with GPs, midwives, Family Hubs and Early Years staff, as well as voluntary organisations, to deliver the Healthy Child Programme.

Who do we work with?

Every family has a health visitor. Your health visitor will be allocated to you depending on your GP surgery or road you live in.

How do I get referred?

Your midwife will inform the Health Visiting Team that you are expecting a baby, our team will then contact you directly.

If you are new to the area with a young child who is not yet at school please contact us directly.

When will you be seen by the Health Visitor?

There are 3 levels of the health visiting service which depend on how much additional support you require:

The ‘universal’ service offered by health visitors is what everyone receives and there are 5 visits that you will receive:

Your health visiting team can provide further support with the follow topics if needed as part of the ‘universal plus’ service:

If other non-health services are working with your family you may be part of the ‘universal partnership plus’ service we offer.

The Universal Partnership Plus service is provided to families and children that require targeted additional support from more than one organisation. This may be needed when a child or parent has a disability / additional health needs, or because the Early Help Team / Children’s services are also providing support to help you. We will work with you and provide targeted early help and along with the additional organisations, create an individual plan of support based upon your needs and your family's needs.

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Specialist Health Visiting Services

Family Nurse Partnership (FNP)
This is a voluntary home visiting programme providing intensive support for vulnerable first-time young mothers and their families. Promoting healthy pregnancy, improving their child’s health and development and helping young parents plan their own futures and achieve their aspirations. Young parents are paired with a specially trained family nurse who visits them regularly from the early stages of pregnancy until their child is two. This would be instead of a health visitor offer and includes the Healthy Child Programme.

The referral criteria for FNP within Southampton is:

  • First time mums 16yrs years of age and younger
  • First time mums 17-19 years of age who meet two of the following vulnerability criteria: Not living with own mother; has had/currently lives with mental health issues; history of drug and alcohol use; low educational attainment/ currently not in education employment or training; current smoker; domestic violence; living in a disadvantaged area.
  • First time mums up to 24 years of age who are care leavers

Mothers are recruited before their 16th week of pregnancy. We can however take referrals up to 28 weeks of pregnancy in certain circumstances.

Each of our family nurses has received training from the Family Nurse Partnership National Unit to enable them to deliver the licensed programme to families.

For further information about the Family Nurse Partnership including client experiences of the programme visit http://fnp.nhs.uk/

Southampton Homeless Healthcare Team
Set up as a multi agency project in 1992 and is based within the Two Saints Day Centre for homeless people.

The Health Visitor Team consists of 2 Health Visitors and a Family Support Worker who cover the core hours 8.30 – 16.30 Monday to Friday.

We visit families who have been placed in emergency accommodation, woman’s refuges, Bed and Breakfast Houses, Hostel’s, mother and baby units and families seeking asylum in the UK.

The Health Visitors assess the needs of vulnerable children and families in relation to their health and development. The team offer individual advice and support to parents and families and also work closely with the woman’s refuge’s and mother and baby units in order to ensure all their health needs are met. Our team is complemented by a Family Support Worker who helps clients with GP, Dentist and Benefit registration as well as ensuring that children are registered at pre-schools, schools, colleges, and other childcare providers along with help resettling in the area and access to food and clothing when required.

The Team has strong links with many local organisations both statutory and voluntary services such as Two Saints, SCC, New Rd substance misuse service and many others.

Specialist Health Visitors for Children with Disabilities
These are Health Visitors who have limited caseloads of children with additional needs and offer the families specialist support. They work very closely with specialist services and also act as a resource for their colleagues.

Southampton and Portsmouth have Specialist Health Visitors for Children with Disabilities who work within the health visiting teams. Their acceptance criteria is for babies and children with a condition that is likely to result in long term disability and developmental delay likely to require additional support within an educational setting. These specialist health visitors will continue to support families through to the end of year R if required to enable a smooth transition into school. Referrals to this service is through professionals involved with the family; for example Paediatrician, Therapists, Portage and Early Years Advisors.

These health visitors also offer specialist advice and Training to their colleagues so that other children and families may benefit from specialist interventions.

Specialist health visitors also undertake specialist sleep management training, additional child development and bereavement training.