Health visiting teams offer the Healthy Child Programme to all families which includes developmental reviews, information and guidance to support parenting and health choices to help children reach optimum health and wellbeing.
Southampton Health Visiting Service
Who to contact
- Contact Name
- Helen Heaton
- 0300 123 6661
Where to go
- Royal South Hants Hospital
Adelaide Health Centre
William Macleod Way
- SO16 4XE
- Children's Centre Areas
Time / Date Details
- When is it on
- 09.00 - 17:00 Mon - Fri
- Local Offer Age Bands
- Early Years (0-4 years)
- SEN Provision Type
Service Provider Extended Local Offer Response
In Southampton City the health visiting service is delivered by Solent NHS Trust Children’s and Families service line. The key purpose of health visiting teams is to offer the Healthy Child Programme – pregnancy and the first five years of life, a national evidence-based early intervention and preventative public health programme. This is a universal programme, offered to all children and their families, with additional support for those who need it. Pregnant women are offered an antenatal contact and a visit usually within the first 2 weeks of their child’s birth, followed by another contact between 6-8 weeks. All children are then offered health reviews at aged 1 year and 2 years to check the child’s health and development. Any identified or suspected developmental delay will then be referred onto specialist services, mostly within the wider Solent NHS Trust Children’s and Families service.
Read more about The Healthy Child Programme.
Health visitors who are qualified nurses or midwives with an additional community public health nursing qualification lead skill mix teams of community health nurses, nursery nurses and support workers. These practitioners can offer support and practical advice on many aspects of childcare and development. Practitioners have in depth knowledge of child development, health and wellbeing and recognise the normal range of development and are therefore able to identify any developmental delay early.
There are also 3 Specialist Health Visitors for Children with Disabilities who have small caseloads of children with additional needs and offer these families specialist support. They work very closely with specialist services and also act as a resource for their colleagues.
Health visiting teams offer the same service across all of Southampton City. This can be in a range of settings, including family homes, all children’s centres across the city, GP surgeries and other community settings. These include Thornhill Centre for Healthy Living, Sure Start Swathling, Cutbush and Pickles Coppice Children’s Centre and the Ashby Centre.
There are 8 health visiting teams across the city and these are aligned to Sure Start Children’s Centres to ensure an integrated approach with additional support for children and families.
Health visitors offer a universal service offered to all families from the birth of their baby until their children transition to the public health nurse (school nurse) service at school entry between the ages of 4-5 years.
The Specialist Health Visitors for Children with Disabilities 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 and 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. These health visitors also offer specialist advice and Training to their colleagues so that other children and families may benefit from specialist interventions.
The health visiting service will be notified of pregnancies and new births plus any families transferring into the area and will make contact direct. Families are given the teams contact details and also that of local child health clinics and children’s centres where health professionals are available for advice. These are numerous across the city and are readily available as required by families; there is no waiting list or cost.
Health visiting is a universal offer for all families. In order to identify health needs early health visitors will complete a Family Health Needs Assessment with each family and refer or signpost to additional services as required. These referrals and additional requirements are always made in partnership with families with goals aligned to those of the parents and child if possible.
Referrals are also received from other agencies such as midwifes, sure start, early year’s settings, public health nursing and GPs.
Views of service users are gathered by friends and family feedback forms
Health visitors complete a Family Health Needs Assessment with each family which includes opportunities for the family to share their individual needs and agree the level of service offered.
Communication with parents/ carers whose first language is not English is facilitated by utilising Access to Communication (interpreting service, face to face and telephone) and Language Line.
Health visitors deliver their service in the home environment and settings in the community that are wheelchair accessible. These include local authority buildings, Solent buildings and GP surgeries.
Staff in health visiting teams undertake a comprehensive range of training, including: growth and development, parenting, sleep, minor ailments, continence, speech and language, prescribing, breastfeeding, safeguarding, neglect, infant mental health, solution focused therapy.
Specialist health visitors also undertake specialist sleep management training, additional child development training and for bereavement.
Within Solent NHS Trust there are robust governance and management arrangements to ensure optimum safety and quality of services offered. There is a comprehensive suite of procedures and guidelines informed by clinical guidelines, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. The service is led by a clinical director and senior management team with governance and quality leads. The service is always looking for potential risks and actions are put in place to mitigate against these. There is a strong culture of learning and an open culture of reporting concerns.
All staff are recruited by assessment centre interviews to identify those with not only key competencies but also their attitudes and behaviours towards the new roles. All staff have health pre-employment checks and Disclosure and Barring checks to ensure safe recruitment.
All staff undertake annual statutory and mandatory training plus any additional training relevant to their role, including safeguarding training. The Trust is performance managed on their training to ensure all staff are compliant with this. All staff receive individual management and safeguarding supervision 6 -8 weekly.
The Trust is inspected by the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England.
Solent NHS Trust encourages all families to participate in their Friends and Families Test feedback. These forms are readily available in clinics with comments boxes and given at home visits with a self-addressed envelope for confidential reply.
Solent NHS Trust website offers a range of pages for feedback, friends and family tests and raising concerns at: www.solent.nhs.uk
Should any family member be unhappy with the service we encourage talking to members of staff as soon as possible. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service can also be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 0800 013 2319.
Solent also appreciate families letting them know when they have had a good experience with their service and encourage feedback to staff and managers.
Every child and family will have a named health visitor until their child starts school or up to end of year R. Families are encouraged to make contact with their health visiting team in the first instance. If families are not happy with the service offered or decisions made they are invited to discuss with a more senior member of staff or manager.