Health visitors are registered nurses/midwives who have additional training in community public health nursing, and lead and deliver the Healthy Child Programme for children under five. They provide a professional public health service based on best evidence of what works for individuals, families, groups, and communities - enhancing health and reducing health inequalities through a proactive, universal service for all children 0-5 years and for vulnerable populations targeted according to need.
In most of Suffolk, apart from Lowestoft and Waveney*, our Health Visiting Service is integrated with our Children's Centre Service, because we believe this provides you with better care and support.
Each health visiting and children’s centre team work together as one, providing services across their local area to all families with children under five. They work in partnership with parents and carers from the antenatal period until school entry. This includes offering expert health assessments, advice, support, and interventions, as required.
The teams consist of health visitors, practice leads, community staff nurses, family support practitioners, business support officers and support and information officers who lead and deliver the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) and the Children's Centre (CC) framework.
The HCP and CC framework aim to provide advice and support for families beginning in pregnancy and continuing through early childhood, to improve:
- child development and school readiness;
- parenting aspirations and skills;
- child and family health and life chances.
The teams work collaboratively to support families during a child's early years; aim to have a positive impact on a family's health and wellbeing; and to ensure every child has the best possible start in life.
The teams are community based and can be contacted by telephone, letter, or at one of our child health ‘drop-in’ clinics. Care is provided from a range of different places including the family home, health clinics and children’s centres, which are fully accessible for children and families with special educational needs and/or disability. Details of your local health visiting and children’s centre team can be found in the service directory, available in the ‘Downloads’ section, on the right-hand side.
Each team also delivers child health ‘drop-in’ clinics in their local communities to ensure all families have easy access to timely information, advice, and support, as required. Details of each ‘drop-in’ clinic can be found in the timetable, available in the Downloads’ section, on the right-hand side. Clinic times can change, so if you've not attended before please contact your Health Visitor or Children's Centre to check.
* In the Lowestoft and Waveney area this service is provided by East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) CIC, and their contact details can be found here.