Services

Health Visiting Services

Health visitors support families with young children, we work in teams for a local community and will have extensive knowledge of your geographical area and its services.

About this service

We are trained nurses or midwives and work with public health nurses and community nursery nurses.
Watch this video to find out more>

We can help with infant feeding advice, referring on to other professionals after a full assessment, behaviour and sleep advice, continence as well as developmental assessments including speech, physiotherapy, hearing and eyesight.

We can help with the early identification of social and communication difficulties, infant and maternal/paternal mental health and provide support with infant relationships, healthy families, diet/weight and exercise.

We also provide baby hubs in your area which are drop-in sessions or appointments and provide relaxed settings for families to meet and chat with a member of the health visiting team and other parents and Carers for advice and support. They provide an opportunity for you to meet with a member of the Health Visiting team for advice and support. Click on the map at the bottom of this page for details of your nearest hub.

 

Health Visiting Services

Your Health Visiting Journey

We’re here for you to provide support throughout your journey from your 28 week+ antenatal contact through to your two year developmental review.

28 week+

Antenatal
Contact

7 – 14 day

New Birth
Visit

6 – 8 week

Postnatal
Visit

6 month

Introduction to
solid food

9 – 12 month

Developmental Review

2 year

Developmental Review

28 week+ Antenatal Contact

Your Midwife and Health Visitor will meet with you to discuss your pregnancy. As well as sharing information about breastfeeding, infant feeding, bed sharing, supporting a smoke-free pregnancy, healthy diet and immunisation advice and mental health support that is available for you and your partner should you need it.
Guidance about pregnancy and babies does change, so it’s important to get up-to-date, trusted advice to help you make the right decisions and choices. Please contact your local Health Visiting Team if you would like to talk to or access a Health Visitor during your pregnancy. We work closely with midwifery services at Gloucestershire Hospitals to support your transition to parenthood.

We contact all pregnant women by text message during the 26th week of pregnancy to encouraging you to book onto four midwifery and health visiting service antenatal group sessions.

7-14 day New Birth visit

Your Health Visitor will come to your home to talk with you and offer support with anything that may be worrying you, including responsive breastfeeding and infant feeding, bed sharing, the move to parenthood, your relationship with your child and how to keep your home smoke free. As part of the New Birth Visit we will support you to get to know your baby with a New Born Observation (NBO). Please refer to the New Born Observation Tab in the support section for a video with more information.

6 – 8 week Postnatal Visit

Your Health Visitor will visit you at your home to listen and offer support with anything that you may wish to discuss. As well as sharing information on breast or infant feeding, mental health and wellbeing, your relationship with your child and your child’s development.

When a parent or carer is responsive to a baby’s signals and ‘takes turns’ in communicating with them from birth onwards, babies develop a secure attachment to the carer.

A secure attachment ensures a child will feel secure and reassured their needs will be met. This promotes emotional self-regulation and resilience into adulthood.

Positive touch. When you visit a hub, ask your community nursery nurse or Health Visitor about the benefits of positive touch for both you and your child.

Our Health Visiting Team uses the Solihull course to advise parents when managing behaviour and parenting – ask us about the Solihull programme and information if you’d like to know more.

6 month Introduction to solid food

You will receive an invitation to a group, led by a Community Nursery Nurse, providing information on responsive feeding and a healthy diet for you and your child.

We are offering virtual and face-to-face hubs, providing parents and carers the opportunity to talk to a professional about the Introduction to solid foods.

When your baby is 4 months, you will receive a first text message from the Health Visiting team, signposting you to our website where you will find evidence-based information to help you to prepare to introduce solid foods to your baby.

When your baby turns 5 months, you will receive a second text message to book onto a virtual or a face-to-face introduction to solid food baby hub by emailing your details to weaning@ghc.nhs.uk

If you have any questions or queries before then please contact your local Health Visiting Team.

9 – 12 month Developmental Review

You will be invited to a one-to-one review with a member of the Health Visiting Team. Together you will discuss your child’s development and progress, speech and language skills, as well as information on diet and exercise, accident prevention, immunisations and mental health support for you and your family. Information will be shared about local groups or activities available near you.

Make your child’s nine to twelve month and two-year developmental review a priority.

The developmental review is an opportunity to discuss and promote your child’s health and development and to identify children who are not developing as expected and who may need early additional support. NHS.uk has guidance on your child’s developmental milestones here>

As part of the review, we will work with parents to complete an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) about their child’s development. Find out more about Ages and Stages Development Reviews here>

Find out more about the role of the Community Nursery Nurse and what to expect from an Ages and Stages Developmental review in this short video> 

2 year developmental review

You will be invited to a one-to-one review with a member of the Health Visiting Team. Together you will discuss your child’s development and progress, speech and language skills, as well as information on diet and exercise, accident prevention, immunisations and mental health support for you and your family. Information will be shared about local groups or activities available near you.

Much like the 9-12 month development review, this is an opportunity to discuss and promote your child’s health and development and to identify children who are not developing as expected and who may need early additional support. NHS.uk has guidance on your child’s developmental milestones here>

As part of the review, we will work with parents to complete an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) about their child’s development. Find out more about Ages and Stages Development Reviews here>

About appointments

Home Visits

Before your home visit you may find it helpful to make a list of any questions or concerns about yourself or your baby. Please have your child’s red book available and if possible inform your midwife when your Health Visitor is visiting.

Please put any dogs in another room before you open the door.

Video appointments

Video appointments may be offered, using a secure NHS site, alongside face-to-face New Birth and Six Week Contacts, and if requested by parents and carers as an alternative to face to face 9-12 months and 2 year developmental reviews. You can also request a video contact for advice and support relating to yourself or your child. To book a video contact with a member of the Health Visiting Team, please phone your local team on the numbers provided.

Antenatal groups are being held by Health Visiting for women who are 26 weeks pregnant. You will be sent an SMS inviting you to book into these sessions.

Video Interactive Guidance

Ask your health visitor about VIG (Video Interactive Guidance)

Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) can bring positive changes in behaviour by helping you notice the special moments you have with your child.

It is a service that is being offered by VIG-accredited health visitors and VIG trainee health visitors in Gloucestershire. If you choose to take part, they will film you and your child for a few minutes as you
undertake an activity that you enjoy doing together.

People are often unsure about seeing themselves on film but nearly everyone is surprised by how good VIG makes them feel. They will then take two or three short clips that shows positive moments between you and your child which you will watch together in your next appointment.

By looking at these clips in detail, you will be able to explore the positive relationship you have with your child and help you discover your strengths and new skills.

The aim is to provide a new understanding of the part you play in building your relationship with your child and to help you do more of what you are doing well. Your clips will only be watched by yourself and the Health Visiting team. The clips will be kept securely until the end of the intervention when they will be deleted. You can request a copy of the clips and share them with others should you like to.

Occasionally we may ask you if we can use your clip for training or presentation purposes.

If you have been involved with our video interactive guide programme which supports maternal mental health and promotes bonding between parents and their babies. Let us know your thoughts by completing the following online VIG questionnaire.

Specialist Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Health visitors are supported by a specialist team of public health nurses (PHNs) and community nursery nurses (CNNs), who are skilled in working with families and children who may present with specialist educational needs (SEND).

They are trained to identify developmental delays and the early detection of health problems which may impact on your child’s development.

The overall aim is not only to provide key health messages to improve health outcomes, but to provide early intervention and support for your child and family.

If your child’s needs are more complex, your health visitor and PHN can play a key role in bringing together local services that can support your child and family.

Our designated clinical officers (DCOs) provide a point of contact for local authorities, schools and colleges, who need advice or support about health for children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Find out more about this role, about Gloucestershire’s Graduated Pathway of Early Help and Support, about SEND and the Graduated Pathway here>

Contact your nearest HV team

The Health Visiting team is here for you Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.

Gloucester

Bartongate
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 4667
Location: Bartongate Children’s Centre, GL1 4AW

Gloucester City and Abbeydale City
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 4667
Location: Rikenel

Kaleidoscope
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 4667
Location: Kaleidoscope Children’s Centre, GL1 3DN

Quedgeley
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6978
Location: Quedgeley Clinic

Cheltenham

Gardners Lane
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6486
Location: Gardners Lane Children’s Centre

Springbank
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6486
Location: Springbank Resource Centre

Oakley
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6486
Location: Oakley Resource Centre, GL52 5QH

Forest of Dean

Newent
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 8192
Location: Holts Health Centre

Lydney
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 8746
Location: Building next to Lydney Hospital, Stonebury, Grove Road, GL15 5JE

Stroud area

Dursley
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 8433
Location: Vale Community Hospital

Stonehouse
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6710
Location: Stonehouse Health Clinic

Stroud
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 8967
Location: PHN Stroud Community Clinic, Field Road, GL5 2JB

Tewkesbury area

Tewkesbury
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6166
Location: Tewkesbury Community Clinic

Brockworth
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 7950
Location: Brockworth Children’s Centre, GL3 4JL

Churchdown
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 8269
Location: Stokes Hay Nurses Base, GL3 1HX

Cotswolds area

Moreton-in-Marsh
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6952
Location: North Cotswolds Hospital

Bourton-on-the-Water
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6952
Location: George Moore Community Clinic

Cirencester
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 8922
Location: Cirencester Hospital

Gloucester

Bartongate
General Health Visitor enquiries: 01452 895235
Location: Bartongate Children’s Centre, GL1 4AW

Gloucester City and Abbeydale City
General Health Visitor enquiries: 01452 895235
Location: Rikenel

Kaleidoscope
General Health Visitor enquiries: 01452 895235
Location: Kaleidoscope Children’s Centre, GL1 3DN

Quedgeley
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6978
Location: Quedgeley Clinic

Cheltenham

Gardners Lane
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6486
Location: Gardners Lane Children’s Centre

Springbank
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6486
Location: Springbank Resource Centre

Oakley
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6486
Location: Oakley Resource Centre, GL52 5QH

Forest of Dean

Newent
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 8192
Location: Holts Health Centre

Lydney
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 8746
Location: Building next to Lydney Hospital, Stonebury, Grove Road, GL15 5JE

Stroud area

Dursley
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 8433
Location: Vale Community Hospital

Stonehouse
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6710
Location: Stonehouse Health Clinic

Stroud
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 8967
Location: PHN Stroud Community Clinic, Field Road, GL5 2JB

Tewkesbury area

Tewkesbury
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6166
Location: Tewkesbury Community Clinic

Brockworth
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6166
Location: Brockworth Children’s Centre, GL3 4JL

Churchdown
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 8269
Location: Stokes Hay Nurses Base, GL3 1HX

Cotswolds area

Moreton-in-Marsh
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6952
Location: North Cotswolds Hospital

Bourton-on-the-Water
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 6952
Location: George Moore Community Clinic

Cirencester
General Health Visitor enquiries: 0300 421 8922
Location: Cirencester Hospital

Health Visiting Baby Hubs

We offer Baby Hub appointments for parents, carers and babies. We can weigh your baby and answer questions and topics specific to your child’s needs and development. We try to be flexible with timings but please note that last entry to hubs is usually 10 minutes before the closing time to allow our staff time to pack up and get to their next appointment.

Please be aware, whilst we try to avoid cancellations at short notice, we may need to cancel hubs at short notice due to circumstances outside of our control. Last minute cancellations will be shared on our Health Visiting Facebook Page.

Gloucester

Tuffley Thursdays 9.15am – 11am, The Oaks Children’s Centre, GL4 0RN.

Kingsway Mondays, 10am-12pm, Drop-in, The Beacon Children’s Centre, Quedgeley, GL2 2BS.

Longlevens Tuesdays, 2pm – 4pm, Drop-in, Longlevens Holy Trinity Church, GL2 0AJ.

Bartongate Wednesdays, 1.30pm – 3pm, Drop-in, Bartongate Children’s Centre, Sinope Street, GL1 4AW.

Abbeydale Thursdays, 1.30pm – 3pm, Drop-in, The Link Hub, Matson Avenue, GL4 6BE.

Kingsholm Friday 1.30pm – 3pm, Drop-in, Kaleidoscope Children’s Centre, Kingsholm, Sherborne Street, GL1 3DN.

Brockworth Tuesdays, 10.30am – 12pm, Drop-in, Coopers Edge Community Centre, GL3 4DY.

Brockworth Wednesdays, 9am – 11am, Drop-in, Brockworth Children’s and Family Centre, GL3 4JL.

Cheltenham

Up Hatherley Mondays, 2pm – 3.30pm, Drop-in, Up Hatherley Library, GL51 3BW.

Shurdington Last Monday of the Month, 2pm – 3pm, Drop-in, Shurdington Community Centre, GL51 4TB.

Gardners Lane Tuesdays, 1pm – 2.30pm, Drop-in, Gardners Lane Children Centre, GL51 9JW.

Hester’s Way Wednesdays, 1pm – 2.30pm, Drop-in. Hester’s Way Children’s Centre, GL51 0ES.

Charlton Kings Wednesdays, 10am – 11.30am, Drop-in, Charlton Kings Library, GL53 8AR.

Oakwood Fridays, 10am – 11.30am, Drop-in, Oakwood Children’s Centre, GL52 5QH.

Forest of Dean

Cinderford Mondays, 2pm – 4pm, Drop-in, Hilltop Children and Family Centre, GL14 2QA.

Lydney Tuesdays, 2pm – 4pm, Drop-in, Health Visiting office (Building next to Lydney Hospital) Stonebury, Grove Road, GL15 5JE.

St Briavels 1st Tuesday of every month, 9.30am – 11.30am, St Briavels Surgery, GL15 6TN. To book please call: 0300 421 8693

Sedbury 2nd Friday of every month, 9am – 1pm, Town Gate Surgery, Chepstow NP16 7AA. To book please call: 0300 421 8693

Coleford Wednesdays, 9am – 11.30am, Drop-in, Coleford Health Centre, GL16 8RH.

Newent Thursdays, 9.30am – 11am, Drop-in, Holts Health Centre, GL18 1BA.

 

Stroud area

Cam 2nd Friday of every month, 10am – 11am, drop-in. GL11 Community Hub, GL11 Community Hub, Fairmead, GL11 5JS.

Minchinhampton 2nd Tuesday of every month during term-time, 9.15am – 10.15am. Minchkins Toddler Group, GL6 9JJ. To book call: 0300 421 8278

Nailsworth Last Friday of every month during term-time, 10am – 11am, drop-in. Arkell Centre, GL6 0BG.

Sharpness Hub 3rd Wednesday of every month, 10am – 11am, drop-in. Sharpness Village Hall, Oldminster Road, Berkeley, GL13 9NA.

Stonehouse Every Tuesday, 1pm – 3pm drop in. Stonehouse Clinic Baby Hub, Off High Street, GL10 2NG.

Stroud Every Wednesday, 9.30am – 11am, drop-in. Stroud Community Clinic, Field Road, GL5 2JB.

Stroud 1st Thursday of every month, 10am – 11am, drop-in. Cashes Green Community Centre, GL5 4NR.

Stroud 2nd Friday of every month, 10am – 11am, drop-in. GL11 Community Hub. GL11 5JS.

Stroud Last Friday of every month, 12am – 1pm, drop-in. Chalford Sports and Social Club, Highfield Road, GL6 8LZ.

Tetbury 1st Tuesday of every month, 1.30 – 3pm, drop-in. Tetbury Library, Close Garden, GL8 8DU.

The Vale Hospital Every Thursday, 9.30am – 11.30am, drop-in. Lister Road, Dursley, GL11 4BA.

Wotton-Under-Edge 1st Wednesday of every month, 10am – 12pm, drop-in. Keepers Community Hub, Symn Lane, GL12 7BD.

Tewkesbury area

Winchcombe 2nd Tuesday of the month, 10am – 11.30am, Drop-in, Winchcombe Library, GL54 5PZ.

Churchdown Tuesdays, 9.30am – 10.45am, Drop-in, Brown Lodge,  GL3 2ER.

Churchdown Wednesdays (term-time only), 1pm – 3pm, Parton Manor Children’s Centre, GL3 2DR. To book please call: 0300 421 8269.

Brockworth Tuesdays, 10.30am – 12pm, drop-in, Coopers Edge Community Centre, GL3 4DY.

Brockworth Wednesdays, 9am – 11am, Drop-in, Brockworth Children’s Centre, GL3 4JL.

Tewkesbury Wednesdays, 10am – 11.30am, Drop-in, Noah’s Ark Children’s Centre, next to Queen Margaret’s School, GL20 5HU.

Bishop’s Cleeve Thursdays, 12.30pm – 2pm, Drop-in, Bishop’s Cleeve Library, GL52 8NN.

 

Cotswolds area

Cirencester Mondays, 1.30pm – 3.30pm, Children’s Therapy Building at Cirencester Hospital, GL7 1UY. To book please call: 0300 421 8922.

Cheltenham / Bourton-on-the-Water 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, 9.30am – 11.30am, George Moore Community Clinic, GL54 2AZ. To book please call: 0300 421 8922.

Fairford Every Tuesday, 1pm – 3pm, drop-in, Fairford Hospital, GL7 4BB.

Cirencester Every Tuesday, 1pm – 3pm (term-time only), Drop-in, Opportunity Group, Beeches Road, GL7 1BW.

Cirencester Every Tuesday, 9.10am – 12pm, Children’s Therapy Building at Cirencester Hospital, GL7 1UY. To book please call: 0300 421 8922.

Moreton-in-Marsh 3rd Tuesday of every month, 1pm – 3pm, and 4th Friday of the month, 1 – 4pm North Cotswolds Hospital, To book please call:: 0300 421 8922.

Bourton-on-the-Water Every Wednesday, 1pm – 3pm, George Moore Community Clinic, GL54 2AZ. To book please call: 0300 421 6952.

Bourton-on-the-Water Every Thursday, 1.30pm – 3pm, Drop-in, Bourton Library, GL54 2AZ.

Cirencester 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month, 1pm – 3pm, Drop-in, Cirencester Library, GL7 2PZ.

South Cerney First Thursday of every month, 9.30am – 11.30am, Drop-in, Fenton’s Community Centre, GL7 5WL.

Upper Rissington Third Thursday of every month, 9.30am – 11.30am, drop-in, Little Hurricanes, GL54 2QW.

 

Friends and Family Test

Your feedback is important to us!

The Friends and Family Test is an important way for the Health Visiting Service to receive feedback from our service users and their families about their experience.

Listening your views helps us identify what is working well and what can be improved.

You may also be contacted by text message or email to seek your views about our services.

Find out more about the NHS Friends and Family Test at www.england.nhs.uk/fft

Support

Support with pregnancy

The Public Health Agency’s Pregnancy Book brings together everything you need to know to have a healthy and happy pregnancy and to make sure you get the care that is right for you.

Gloucestershire Hospital’s midwives have developed a postnatal information film designed to let you know what to expect in the first weeks of your baby’s life including feeding, sleeping, mental health and other important safety messages. Watch the film here>

They are working hard to reduce the increased risks that affect people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds during pregnancy. Watch this film to find out more>

Support with breastfeeding

Our health visiting service has been awarded UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative Accreditation Stage 3 and your Health Visitor can help by… add here>

The Breastfeeding Network (BFN) and Gloucestershire Breastfeeding Supporters Network (GBSN) offer local breastfeeding peer support and counsellors at group settings and by telephone / text.

Gloucestershire Breastfeeding Supporters Network also runs specific sessions for expectant parents to find out more about breastfeeding.

 

Breast Feeding Support Groups

 

Forest of Dean and Gloucester areas:

  • Gloucester CRIBS – Wednesdays 10am – 12 noon, GL3 Community Hub, Cheltenham Road East, Churchdown, Gloucester, GL3 1HX

Cheltenham:

  • Hester’s Way BAPS – Tuesdays, 10am-12noon, Hester’s Way Children’s Centre, Dill Avenue, Hester’s Way, Cheltenham, GL51 0ES
  • Gardiner’s Lane GLOBES – Fridays, 10am-12noon, Gardner’s Lane Children’s Centre, Gardner’s Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 9JW

Stroud area:

  • Dursley MOBS – Monday 10am – 12 noon, St James Parish Hall, St James The Great Church, Broadwell, Dursley, Gloucestershire, GL11 4JE
  • Stroud MOBS – Thursday 10am – 12 noon, Rodborough Community Hall, Butterow West, Stroud, GL5 3TZ

Tewkesbury area:

  • Tewkesbury BABES – Wednesdays 10am – 12 noon, Wheatpieces Community Centre, Columbine Road, Walton Cardiff, GL20 7SP

Cotswolds area:

  • CirencesterBEST – Thursday 10am – 11.30am,Coffee@Oddsocks, 2 Elliot Road, Love Lane Industrial Estate, Cirencester, GL7 1YS

 

Useful information

  • The National Breastfeeding Helpline is open 9.30am to 9.30pm. Call: 0300 100 0212.
  • Lots of information on breastfeeding can be found on the NHS website.
  • Here are some short films from four mums who decided to breastfeed their babies. These films will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about breastfeeding and how to do it successfully.
  • UNICEF– Breastfeeding resources and information
  • NHS Start4Life– Brestfeeding resources and information
  • This Mum Can Glos– A series of webinars featuring local professionals, Health Visitors, and Breastfeeding Groups, presenting topics related to Infant Feeding which can be viewed on YouTube here.
  • Gloucestershire Maternity Voices Partnership is made up of volunteers who represent the voice of women and families from all communities and cultures to inform improvements in local maternity care. Watch a live Q&A focusing on infants over four weeks old here
  • La Leche League Cotswolds is comprised of leaders Geraldine and Georgia (Accredited Breastfeeding Counsellors) who provide online support, video calls and house visits. Their group runs every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at Nailsworth Library from 10.15am to 12 noon, and in-between they run a Facebook group (LLL Cotswolds) where mothers can access support either through posting on the wall or sending a private message. Mothers are encouraged to check meeting updates or ask for one-to-one support on the LLL Cotswolds Facebook page, or to email: lllgbgeraldine@gmail.com or to call 07481 944280.
  • The Barnardo’s Virtual Family Hub Digital Infant Feeding Support Service – also known as GIFT (Gloucestershire Infant Feeding Support Service) is bookable via this link
  • UK Drugs in Breastmilk Advisory Servicefree helpline: 0116 258 6491 Email: enquiries@nhs.net
  • CRIBS – Churchdown Breastfeeding Support Group Wednesdays, 10am-2pm, GL3 Community Hub
Support with nutrition and introduction to solid food

Introducing your baby to solid food should start from 6 months of age. It’s a really important step in your baby’s development.

Other useful links include:

  • Public Health England (PHE)’s NHS Start4Life campaign about weaning babies which aims to help parents adopt healthy behaviours during pregnancy, birth and their children’s early years.
  • Find out more about healthy eating, vegetarian and vegan diets and vitamins for children on uk
  • uk also provides information on formula feeding
  • CharityBliss has information on weaning a premature baby
  • The Change4Life Sugar Smart app is designed to show quickly and easily how much total sugar is in the things you’re buying, eating and drinking to help you make healthier choices
  • Born to Move is a free NHS app to help guide parents or carers on physical activity with their new-born babies, right up to pre-school
  • First Steps Nutrition Trustis an independent public health nutrition charity that provides information and resources to support eating well from pre-conception to five years.

Vitamins
There is a new process in Gloucestershire for eligible families to access free Healthy Start Vitamins.

Read NHS guidance on vitamins for children.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. A lack of Vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Read NHS guidance on Vitamin D

Our Health Visiting team is advising people at high risk of not getting enough vitamin D, all children aged 1 to 4, and all babies (unless they’re having more than 500ml of infant formula a day) to take a daily supplement throughout the year as Jaz Choula explains in this short clip.

Support for domestic abuse

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, help is available. Please talk to your health visitor who will be able to support you and get you the help you need.

Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) offers support to anyone over the age of 16 who has or is experiencing domestic abuse. This includes those going through, or have experienced ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and dowry crime. This is a free and confidential service and can be contacted on 0845 602 9035

Gov.uk provides guidance on accessing help here>

Our Hope House service provides confidential sexual health services that support healthy relationships and sexual wellbeing across Gloucestershire. Find out more here>

Support with safety

Home safety is an important part of child health. Our Home Safety team works closely with our health visitors as well as children’s centres and other child health professionals to make sure that Gloucestershire’s under-fives are well protected from avoidable accidents.

Support with illness (including epilepsy & asthma)

It can be difficult to tell when a baby or toddler is seriously ill, but the main thing is to trust your instincts. You know better than anyone else what your child is usually like, so you’ll know when something is seriously wrong.

Parents of children with medical conditions are often concerned that their child’s health will deteriorate when they attend an educational setting. This is because pupils with long-term and complex medical conditions may require ongoing support, medicines or care while in a setting to help them manage their condition and keep them well. It is therefore important that parents feel confident that settings will provide effective support for their child’s medical condition and that pupils feel safe.

The Health Visiting Team will offer support and advice upon request to Early Years settings on medical conditions such as Asthma, Epilepsy and Anaphylaxes. Please follow this link which will take you to Gloucestershire Health & Care NHS Trust School Nursing page where you will find our policies and guidelines on medical conditions. Along with presentations on Asthma, Allergy, Anaphylaxis & Epilepsy in educational settings. Teaching staff scan also book onto medical awareness remote sessions that are run throughout the year by the School Nursing Service.

NHS.UK provides useful guidance on some of the signs and symptoms of illness in babies and young children and what to do about it here>

Taking children to A&E If your child (age 16 or under) is unwell and needs urgent care, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s specialist children’s services are based at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. Find out more here>

All ambulances will take your child to A&E at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. Please be aware that there are no specialist children’s services at Cheltenham General Hospital, except between 8am – 8pm when children with minor illness and injury only can be seen.

Alternatives to A&E There are 7 minor injury and illness units (MIIUs) across the county. Find out more here>

Other useful sites and services:

Getting ready for school

Starting school is an exciting time for parents/carers and children, and there are things you can do to help make sure your child gets the most out of the experience. Your health visiting team is here to help you feel confident in supporting your preschool child to be ready for school.

In this recording, Community Nursery Nurse Rose Davies presents the Handy Guide to Children’s Communication>

In this recording, Health Visitor Jenny Astridge presents the Handy Guide to Understanding Your Child’s Behaviour>

Is your child school ready? Helping your child get ready for school is very important and how you support them really matters.

National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP)

When your child starts school they will be measured as part of the National Child Measurement Programme. This short video explains more about why this is done and why it is important for your child to be a healthy weight. If you have any questions please contact your school nurse team.

Best Start in Life
Is your child starting school soon? Our community nursery nurses and Health and Wellbeing team runs sessions looking at communicating with your child ahead of the move, how your child is feeling, healthy eating and continence top tips as part of the Best Start in Life Project with Gloucestershire County Council.

Contact your nearest Health Visiting team on the details in the map below for more information, or visit: Gloucestershire County Council’s website for bitesize videos and leaflets.

Immunisations

Immunisation helps protect against serious diseases including influenza, measles, mumps, meningitis, polio and whooping cough. Once we have been immunised, our bodies are better able to fight these diseases if we come into contact with them.

Ask us about childhood immunisations or visit Immunisation – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) to find information on UK and international immunisation schedules. Alternatively download their visual guide to vaccinations>  

For information about vaccinations for older children, visit our School-aged vaccination page>

ICON - Babies Cry, You Can Cope

Find information and support on how to cope with a crying baby on the ICON website>

Dental Check by One

All parents and guardians are advised to ensure that young children in their care are taken to see a dentist as soon as their first teeth come through, and before their first birthday. Find out more about Dental Check by One here>

Our dental service provides NHS dental care for people in Gloucestershire who are unable to access treatment from a general dental practitioner. You can contact our dental service on 0300 421 6440.

The BSPD has a leaflet with basic advice and information you might need about oral health: A Practical Guide to Children’s Teeth.

Support with mental health

Pregnant or recently had a baby and in need of emotional support? 

Having a baby is a big life event, and it’s natural to experience a range of emotions and reactions during and after your pregnancy. But if they start to have a big impact on how you live your life, you might be experiencing a mental health problem.

Your Health Visitors are skilled listeners – talk to us. We can support and signpost you to other relevant resources. Find out more about the mental health support and services for pregnant women and new mothers in Gloucestershire here>

Whilst we encourage users to undertake treatment with the support of a health professional there are external websites that may be of interest. The National Institute for Health Care & Excellence (NICE) is a one-stop resource, with access to most of the international freely/openly available, evidence-based or informed perinatally adapted interventions. Click here>

Positive touch When you visit a hub, ask your community nursery nurse or Health Visitor about the benefits of positive touch on emotional health, for both you and your child.

Support with toilet training

We can help provide advice and support with toilet training and bed wetting.

In this recording, Health Visitor Liz Wells presents the first Handy Guide to Toilet Training>

In this recording, Community Nursery Nurse Sam Witek presents the second Handy Guide to Toilet Training>

Replacement guidelines and charts The following charts are required by the School Nurse team to be completed prior to being offered an initial continence assessment:

Toilet Training / Continence ERIC is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and young people with continence problems. It also has information on toilet training. Find ERIC’s website here.

Support with sleep

Sleeping is a very big part of your baby and young child’s life, especially during their first year and it is important that they sleep as safely as possible.

We can help provide advice and support to help with sleep, from routines to night terrors.

For further information regarding safer sleeping visit The Lullaby Trust website or Lift the Baby resource. 

DadPad

Dads in Gloucestershire can prepare for parenthood with a new free app called DadPad

DadPad is an information pack in digital form developed by dads, for dads to help fathers of all ages in Gloucestershire prepare for family life.

This is particularly relevant in a time when access to parental education classes and midwife appointments have been changed or curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The app covers a range of issues, such as how dads can support mums who are breastfeeding, the anxiety and frustrations that come with parenthood, as well as hands-on advice on issues like nappy changing. Its aim is to provide new fathers across Gloucestershire with guidance on how to develop the mind-set, confidence and practical skills needed to meet their baby’s physical and emotional needs.

In addition to general advice, the app is designed to help partners cope with theirs and their partner’s mental health problems during pregnancy and in the period following the birth of a baby. These perinatal mental health issues affect 1 in 5 women and can include anxiety, depression or more severe illness like post-partum psychosis, which can have a devastating effect on families if left untreated. It is also common for new parents to feel a sense of anxiety, which can lead to fathers becoming depressed, particularly if their partner suffers from perinatal mental health problems or where they feel unable to cope.

The app has been funded by two charities, Gateway and the Peter Lang Trust, along with Better Births Gloucestershire and will be rolled out immediately. DadPad can be downloaded for free by going to the App Store or Google Play Store, and entering a Gloucestershire postcode when prompted. A limited number of hard copy versions will be shared with people who are unable to access online resources.

Newborn Behavioural Observations

In this short film our Health Visiting Service talks about the Newborn Behavioural Observational (NBO) tool, which can be used on babies up to 12 weeks of age.

Newborn Behavioural Observations – YouTube

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have got concerns regarding a child’s safety please go to the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board

If you are new to Gloucestershire we will see you to explain our service and find out how we can help you and your family.

If your child goes to an Emergency Department or is admitted to hospital we are notified. We may give you a call to follow this up with further advice and information.

Accessibility