Health Visitor Service

The Role of the Health Visitor

Health Visitors are qualified nurses with additional training in family and community health.  They are different to other nurses because they specialise in improving the public's health rather than focusing on illness and disease, to improve you, your families and the health of your community.

Like all community staff, they work closely with staff at your doctors surgery (family doctor, practice nurse, district nurse etc.).  They work closely with agencies such as nursery, social work and the voluntary sector and will refer clients when necessary.  Health Visitors also work in partnership with community groups to provide health promotion and address local issues.

Health visitors can work with all age groups however the majority of clients are families with pre-school children.  The main responsibilities are as follows:

  • Developmental checks of babies and toddlers
  • Child health clinics
  • Advice on immunisations
  • Advice and support on pregnancy, parenting, feeding (including breast feeding), sleeping, crying, speech
  • Health promotion, including pre-school children and child accident prevention
  • Identifying people suffering from postnatal depression and providing support
  • Child Protection
  • Family nutrition
  • Family planning and well women advice

Your health visitor can also help with

  • Continence problems
  • Disabilities
  • Support for carers
  • Depression
  • Victims of abuse
  • Stopping smoking
  • Family stresses & bereavement.

You can contact your health visitor at your local health centre, clinic or through your doctor's surgery.

Who can I contact to find out more?

The main point of contact with local Health Visiting staff is through your local primary care practice or GP surgery.  Click here to find GP practices in your area.

Last Reviewed: 11/09/2017