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Health visitors are specialist public health nurses who work with families with children under the age of 5 years. They are trained nurses with additional professional qualifications. Although health visitors originated in 1862, the role continues to play a vital part in today’s society.
Every family in the UK has a named health visitor allocated to them upon (and sometimes prior to) the birth of their baby. Health visitors work in partnership with families in order to promote health and prevent illnesses. They lead and deliver the national Healthy Child Programme (HCP) for the under 5’s, in collaboration with other agencies. These include a whole range of activities such health reviews, parenting support, nutrition and breastfeeding support, child health clinics, to name a few.
Health visitors usually work in skill-mix teams, which may also include community staff nurses, nursery nurses and other support staff. Families can access support in a variety of settings to suit their needs. These include home visits, clinics, at their GP practice and in children's centres.
If you do not know who your health visitor is, please contact yourGP practice.
To find out more about the work of health visitors or how to become a health visitor, please visit the links below:
Sharin Baldwin QN
Professional Lead for Health Visiting,
Harrow Community Services, Ealing Hospital Trust.