Who we are and what we do

What is a "Health Visitor"?

Health visitors are qualified nurses or midwives who have completed additional training in public health, which includes child development. Health visitors work in teams with other professionals including family health advisors and health care assistants.

Who do we work with?

Bright Start Health visitors work alongside early years services which would include family support workers, family engagement workers and other children’s centre staff within the Bright Start early childhood services.
 
They also work alongside specialists from midwifery, primary care, speech & language and parent & baby services.
 
As community workers, Bright Start health visiting also works with the voluntary sector.

What we do

The Bright Start health visitors work together with families and early years services, to provide information and support, facilitating the Bright Start vision, which is to reduce stressors and build resilience in families, so that children will be happy, safe and active, learning and developing physically, emotionally and socially to their full potential. Underpinning the work the Bright Start health visitors deliver are four principles.
 
These are:
 
  • the search for health needs
  • the stimulation of an awareness of health needs
  • the influence on policies affecting health
  • the facilitation of health-enhancing activities.

We do this by taking a lead on the delivery of the Healthy Child Programme, which takes the form of five mandated visits.

Ante-Natal Contact

The initial contact made from our health visiting teams to families.
 
When pregnancy reaches the 28-week stage, all families will have contact from their Bright Start health visiting team introducing them to the Bright Start services and supporting individuals to think about the transition to parenthood. This contact may take the form of a letter or a home visit.
 
Pregnant women and their partners who would like additional support and information about pregnancy, labour and caring for their baby, may want to enrol on the Journey to Parenthood programme which is delivered across Islington Children’s Centres.
 
 
Additionally, a wide range of resources for families expecting a baby can be found here

10-14 Day New Birth Visit

The first home visit to the family by their designated health visitor will take place when the newly born baby is aged between 10-14 days old.
 
The focus of this visit is the health and wellbeing of the mother and baby, and the wider family. Key health promotion topics will be discussed, with a particular focus on feeding, emotional wellbeing & attachment, sleep and the crying baby. Information will also be provided on all the local childhood services on offer, and support to engage with this as appropriate.
 
In addition to the New Birth Visit, all Islington parents will be invited to join the New Parents’ Group, which they can self-refer to by contacting their local Bright Start office. The New Parents’ Groups are a chance to meet other new parents and take part in topic-based discussions. (Link here to leaflet which gives info on how to book onto course).
 
Families who would like extra support with breastfeeding can call the Islington Support Team on 020 3316 8439 (office hours) or their health visiting team. Outside of office hours, families can call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212. There are also a number of drop-in-clinics across Islington, information for which can all be found here.
 
Insert info on peri infant maternal mental health here

6-8 Week Health Visitor Review

The 6-8 week health visitor review has its focus on the emotional wellbeing of parent and baby. It may take place in the home or a clinic setting, or at a children’s centre, and will be an opportunity to discuss how things are going, what activities are available to join in with, and if extra support is needed, how that can be facilitated.

12 Month Review

As a child approaches their first birthday, contact will be made from the local Bright Start health visiting team to arrange the 12 month review, which can take place in the home, clinic setting or a children’s centre.
 
At this review, the focus will be on the child’s development in the five key areas of:
 
  1. Fine Motor Skills
  2. Gross Motor Skills
  3. Problem Solving
  4. Communication
  5. Personal/Social Interaction

2-2˝ Year Developmental Review

The second developmental review for a child will occur between the ages of 2 and 2˝ and will be conducted by a member of the Bright Start health visiting team. This developmental review can take the form of a straight forward health review, or an integrated review if your child is in a nursery setting.
 
At this review, the focus will be on the child’s development in the five key areas of:
 
  1. Fine Motor Skills
  2. Gross Motor Skills
  3. Problem Solving
  4. Communication
  5. Personal/Social Interaction

How can I contact my Health Visitor?

There are many ways in which you can get in contact with your BS Health Visiting team. You can contact your team directly here. If you’re unsure as to which team you come under, you can find this out by contacting either:
 
  1. The Family Information Service on 020 7527 5959
  2. The 0-19 Single point of access team on 0203 074 2650
  3. Alternatively, you can drop in at any one of our weekly Child Health Clinics
Listening visits

Infant feeding workshops
 
Support with applications for early years funding
 
Additional support
 
Healthy Start Vouchers
Working on it!