Health Visiting

Health visitors are registered nurses or midwives with a specialist qualification in public health. They work with families who have children between the ages of 0 and five. Lewisham health visiting services are run by Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, whereas Greenwich and Bexley health visiting services are run by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust

About us

Being a parent or carer is one of the most rewarding things you may ever do, but also the most challenging. Your health visiting team may be best placed to support you during these times. If you are low, anxious, sleep deprived, struggling with the ‘terrible twos’ or need advice and support for any other reason, please contact your local health visitor for support.

As health visitors we work alongside nursery nurses and support workers to provide a seamless service to our families. Some of our health visitors have undergone further training to become specialist practice teachers. This means they help to educate student health visitors. You will be informed if a student health visitor is joining the visit.

Safeguarding children is an integral part of a health visitor’s role and we work closely with our colleagues from children’s social care, GP practices and voluntary services in order to support families.

If English is not your first language, or if your hearing or vision is compromised, your health visitor has access to a pre-arranged interpreting service.

Five key stages

There are five key stages in your child’s development when you will be contacted by your health visitor:

  1. Before your baby is born (when you are around 30 weeks’ pregnant)
  2. New birth visit – between days eight and 14
  3. Six to eight week visit
  4. Seven to 11 month developmental review
  5. Two to two and a half years developmental review

Each health visiting team runs a child health clinic, which you can attend with your under five for advice, support and weighing. You do not need to make an appointment to attend the child health clinics, which are held in a variety of venues including GP practices and children’s centres.

 

Child development

Children develop more rapidly during the first five years of their lives than at any other time. The health visiting service will support you to help your child reach his or her full potential.

The key areas of development are physical, communication and language, and personal, social and emotional.

 

Developmental reviews

In Lewisham, the Trust’s health visitors will invite you and your child for a review at key stages during their development. The review will be held in one of the developmental clinics across the borough. The aim of the review is to see how your child is developing and to discuss any support you may need. (Developmental reviews are slightly different for Greenwich residents.)

If any issues are identified during the reviews, you will be referred for further assessment, intervention or monitoring.

However, you don’t have to wait until a scheduled developmental review to raise concerns about your child’s development – you can attend one of the health visitor-led child health clinics or speak to your GP.

7–11-month developmental review Before this review you will be sent an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3™), which focuses on your child’s development in communication, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, problem-solving and personal-social. Please fill this in so that you can discuss your answers during the appointment. If you are struggling to complete the questionnaire, don’t worry – the health visitor or nursery nurse conducting the review can complete this with you.

Two–year developmental review Before this review you will be sent the same Ages and Stages Questionnaire as before, and another one that focuses on your child’s social and emotional development.

 

 

Speech and language development

Children develop communication skills from birth, and the way you talk and play with your baby can make a real difference to how they develop and learn. Children begin to understand words before they can say them. They then learn how to say these words and put them together to make sentences. It’s important to remember that children develop speech, language and communication skills at different rates.

If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language skills, contact your health visitor.

Below are links to factsheets from the Talking Point website, which contain lots of useful information about children’s speech and language development at different ages.

Tips for Talking: 3-4 Years

Toilet training

Most parents start thinking about potty training when their child is between two and two and a half, but there’s no perfect time. ERIC (The Enuresis Resource and Information Centre) has devised a leaflet to help you recognise when your child is ready for toilet training and how to make a success of it.

ERIC’s guide to potty training

Lewisham health clinics

Lewisham health clinics

Times

Clinic name

Address

Monday 1.30pm–3.30pm

South Lewisham Health Centre

50 Conisborough Crescent, Catford SE6 2SP

Monday 1pm–3pm

Ladywell Hub

30 Rushey Mead, Ladywell SE4 1JJ

Tuesday 9.30am–11.15am

Sydenham Green Health Centre

26 Holmshaw Close, SE26 4TH

Tuesday 9.30am–11.30am

Lee Health Centre

2 Handen Road, Lee, SE12 8NP

Tuesdays 9.30am– 11.30am

Rushey Green Group Practice

Hawstead Road, Catford, SE6 4JH

Tuesday 1.45pm- 2.45pm

Waldron Health Centre *Please note on 29 October the clinic will be closed and moving to SE8 3PZ on 5 November 2019*

Stanley Street, Deptford, SE8 4BG

Tuesday 1pm–3.15pm

Honor Oak Health Centre

20 Turnham Road, Brockley, SE4 2LA

Tuesday 1pm–2.45pm

St John Medical Centre

56-60 Loampit Hill, Lewisham, SE13 7SX

Tuesday 1.30pm–3pm

Torridon Road Children’s Centre

103 Torridon Road, Catford, SE6 1RQ

Wednesday 9.30am–11.15am

Sydenham Green Health Centre

26 Holmshaw Close, SE26 4TH

Wednesday 1.30am–3.15 pm

Marvels Lane Health Centre

38 Marvels Lane, Grove Park SE12 9NP

Wednesday 1pm–2.45pm (please arrive no later than 2.30pm)

Waldron baby hub

Stanley Street, Deptford, SE8 4BG

Thursday 9.30am–11.30am

Bellingham baby hub

109a Randlesdown Road, SE6 3HB

Thursday 9.30am–12 noon

Downham Health and Leisure Centre

7–9 Moorside Road, Bromley BR1 5EP

Thursday 1pm–3pm

Lee baby hub

2 Handen Road, Lee, SE12 8NP

Baby hubs

Four of our child health clinics are now run as baby hubs (Bellingham, Ladywell, Waldron and Downham). A baby hub is run in partnership with our local children’s centre colleagues. At the baby hub you can expect to have your baby weighed, receive advice from your health visitor and interact in a stay and play session. The baby hubs run a 10 week rolling programme covering topics  such as bonding and attunement, minor ailments, allergies and baby massage. No need to book - just turn up.

Children's Centres

You can access a range of information and support at your local children’s centre. For timetables and locations, see the links below:

Children’s centres in Lewisham

Children’s centres in Greenwich

Contact the service

To contact Lewisham's health visitor team, call 020 3049 1873. To contact the Greenwich health visitor team, visit the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust website.