Health Visiting

Our role in County Durham is to protect and promote the health and wellbeing of children under five and their families.

All County Durham families with a child under five years have access to a Health Visiting Team consisting of Health Visitors, Early Years and Assistant Practitioners and infant feeding specialists. We provide expert health assessments, advice, support and interventions for babies, children and families.

We encourage and support parents and carers to develop life-long skills to enable them to make informed choices that affect their family’s future health and wellbeing.

Our Health Visitors are registered nurses or midwives who have an additional qualification in specialist community public health nursing. We are highly skilled in the assessment and co-ordination of support tailored to individual and family needs.

We are community-based and you can access our services at a range of different venues including the family home, children’s centres, health centres and GP surgeries.

When is it on?

Session information
Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm excluding bank holidays.

Who to contact

Contact name
Health Visiting Team
Telephone
03000 263 538
Website
https://www.hdft.nhs.uk/

Other details

Referral required?
Yes
Referral and availability notes

We accept referrals from:

  • Midwifery services
  • GPs and other professionals
  • self-referral from parents/carers
  • other statutory and voluntary agencies
Age range
0-5 years

Local Offer

What does your service do?

What does your service do?

We deliver the Healthy Child Programme to children and families within Darlington and County Durham, through which every child and family are offered a named health visitor who is responsible for working together with all key stakeholders and parents.

We will traditionally support a family and child from the antenatal period through to starting primary school (from 0-5 years old), although there is often some transition and crossover with other services dependant on the needs of the child, family and staffing capacity. (i.e. school nursing, specialist health visitor for children with special needs.

The family's named health visitor may remain involved with a child and family to continue to ensure the delivery of the universal offer to the family, working together with more specialised services provided by other professionals within the health, community and educational setting.

Transitional support and liaison.

Where is it located and what areas does it cover?

Where is it located and what areas does it cover?

Health visitors and community services staff work predominately within the local community setting and geography.  They engage with children and families in their home environment, children's centres and local GP premises as negotiated and agreed. Also within educational settings such as nurseries, schools, and private sector settings such as women’s refuges. Also, private nurseries and childminders at the parents' request.

Who does your organisation provide a service for?

Who does your organisation provide a service for?

Children aged 0-5 years (variable, can be 0-7 years) dependant on ages and stages of a child’s development and the identified issue. Usually transferred to specialist services i.e. specialist health visitor or specialist school nurse.

All children and families are offered a named health visitor, following antenatal contact and again following birth.

The health visiting service is open to all children and families to use.

How can I start using the service?

How can I start using the service?

A referral can also be made by any other professional. However, all children will have a named health visitor who is aligned to a specific GP practice, and who works in a set geographical area.

There may be some delay in some services offered due to either clinic dates locations and capacity. Health visiting services are available to all through either a pre booked appointment or following the request of services by telephone contact or through planned core contact visits.

How are decisions made about who can use your service?

How are decisions made about who can use your service?

Decisions are made by working together with professionals and parents.

Core programme offered universal offer or by appointment request to review a tailored programme of care to meet a child or family’s needs.

The health visiting offer to all children and parents is clearly communicated to parents and carers. Variation in this requirement is made in negotiation and agreement with parents and children as appropriate. Usually this will be done at a multi-agency meeting of any professionals involved in the care delivery.

How do I know what is going on and can I be involved in making plans for the future?

How do you communicate with service users and how are they involved in decision making / planning?

We use patient experience and comment cards, questionnaires and other feedback to learn from the comments, compliments and complaints we receive.

Several staff within the Health Visiting Team in Darlington have attended a sign language course and have been able to offer some support to families although this is limited to one locality.

The service enables staff to utilise Everyday Language Solutions as a translation service, and County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust are invoiced by this service.

Leaflets are produced in some languages but this is limited.

We have several employed staff in one locality that are bilingual and have offered some support to other professionals as appropriate to the need.

Professionals should be able to clearly communicate in an open and honest way to all parents and update them on the progress their child has made in relation to the normal ages and stages and in relation to the expected developmental expectations of their child with a specific identified need.

Parents are supported in learning new skills to support their child’s needs, such as the giving of medication, use of a medical device, the management of a specific medical condition, or behaviour. This is carried out by some of the Health Visiting Team and specialist nurses.

Is your service fully accessible?

Is your service fully accessible?

Any child with additional needs will be offered accessibility to buildings. Staff will ensure that privacy and dignity and confidentiality are adhered to as per County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust policy. Any additional support required can be discussed with the family in advance to plan for and anticipate needs.

Health professionals will ensure they work together with parents and carers to agree how services can be accessed and received. These will be agreed with the parents and offered as per the individual needs of the child appropriate.

What training have your staff had regarding SEND?

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

Staff are able to access training from a learning and development calendar. We also discuss specific training to meet needs in relation to their role during staff appraisals and personal development planning sessions.

The service also works with: 

Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), Midwifery, School Nursing, Children and Young People's Services, Safeguarding Team, Paediatric Specialist services, Accident and Emergency department, GP’s and the Children’s Disability Services Team.

Who can I contact for further information?

Who can I contact for further information?

Please contact your family named health visitor for more information.

Disclaimer

Durham County Council's Families Information Service does not promote nor endorse the services advertised on this website. Anyone seeking to use/access such services does so at their own risk and may make all appropriate enquiries about fitness for purpose and suitability to meet their needs.
Powered by Open Objects