Chiefs move to ease health visitors fears - The Evesham Observer

Chiefs move to ease health visitors fears

Evesham Editorial 6th Jan, 2017   0

HEALTH chiefs have unveiled major changes to how health visitors will support new parents across Evesham and Pershore.

The major shake-up was sparked after Worcestershire County Council transferred ownership of its children’s centres in an attempt to slash costs.

While the authority insisted the centres would not close, many concerned mums and dads to be were left in fear as services such as health visitors and breastfeeding support groups were removed following the transfer.

But county health chiefs have now revealed how the service will change in the months ahead.

Health visitors will join with other professionals including school health nurses and the breastfeeding support team to provide care to children and young people aged 0 to 19.

Children’s Clinical Services Manager at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, Lindsey Sandler, said: “Health visitors will now be part of a wider team which supports families from pregnancy through to 19 years.

“Alongside others, health visitors, nursery nurses and school health nurses will work together offering specialist support and advice as well as offering a new telephone service to ring with questions about your child’s health,” she added.

Service Lead for Public Health Nursing, Jane Cahill, backed the changes and said: “We will continue to see every child regularly at key points in their development up to two-and-a-half years.

“A new birth visit, between ten and 14 days after the baby’s arrival, will be introduced as well as a visit at six to eight weeks after birth.

“One will take place when baby is nine to 12 months old and a final one will take place when the child is between two and two-and-a-half.

“All first-time mums and families will receive an ante-natal visit between 28 and 32 weeks pregnancy,” she added.

Bev Downing, Health Visiting Team Leader, said: “These key visits will be offered to everybody and there will still be additional support for those who need it most.

“Drop-in clinics will still be running around the county. Some of the venues and times will be changing and we will be publicising these for the affected clinics.”

Health visitors will continue to see families in a variety of locations including children’s centres, health centres, GP surgeries and at home.

During the first visit, parents will be given a contact number to call and health chiefs have also vowed to introduce the telephone advice line in Feburary and expand online resources available to new mums and dads.

“Parents will still see a health visitor at the key times as before. They will be available to provide advice at the drop-in clinics and you will be able to speak with them if you have any worries,” Mrs Sandler added.

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