Brixham Health Visiting Team
Brixham TQ5 9HW
Tel: 01803 881399
Email: Brixham Health Visiting Team
Paignton Health Visiting Team
Paignton TQ4 5BD
Tel: 01803 522762
Email: Paignton Health Visiting Team
Torquay North Health Visiting Team
Barton Health Centre
Barton Hill Way
Torquay TQ2 8JG
Torquay South Health Visiting Team
4th Floor Union House
Torquay TQ1 3YA
Tel: 01803 219810
Email: Torquay South Health Visiting Team
If you are registered at a surgery in Paignton or Brixham please contact the appropriate Health Visiting teams.
If you are registered at Barton / Chilcote or Brunel surgeries, please contact the Torquay North Health Visiting Team.
If you are registered at Southover / Parkhill / Croft / Chelston Hall / Abbey Rd / Shiphay manor surgeries, please contact the Torquay South Health Visiting Team.
What are Health Visitors
Health Visitors are qualified nurses or midwifes with specialist public health training. We are trained in child development and carry out screening and developmental reviews providing a child focused service.
We are available to support you in pregnancy and will see you once your baby is born. The Health Visiting team also consists of community nursery nurses and together we are also able to provide support and advice to you with our child health clinics and at a time until your child becomes five years of age.
We work with other agencies such as Children Centre staff, GPs, Midwives, School Nurses and Early Years’ settings, Voluntary and Community groups and Children Services.
Health Visitors work to promote equal health opportunities, promote health and provide service to individuals, families and communities. Helping families find ways to avoid illness and stay fit, happy and healthy.
How can the Health Visitor team help me?
As you may already know, through friends or personal experience, some parents find the early years of a child’s life though satisfying and rewarding also challenging and frustrating. This is where the Health Visiting team can help you learn about discovering new ways to ease some of the worries of being a parent and support you in your job of raising a happy and healthy child.
In addition to help and advice from the Health Visiting team here are a few websites that we would recommend looking at for general advice regarding baby and child health and development:
- NHS Choices – Your pregnancy and baby guide
- Institute of Health Visiting – Top Tips for Parents
- A parent’s guide: Common childhood illness & well-being – children aged 0-4
What to do if you think a child or young person is at risk of harm
If you are worried that a child or young person is at risk of abuse, harm or neglect please call 01803 208100. This is a 24 hour service staffed by a team of professional people with a legal duty to safeguard children. They will listen to your concerns and take appropriate actions.
What to do if you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence and abuse
Domestic Violence and Abuse is violent and abusive behaviour between partners, ex-partners, family members or are perpetrators known to the victim. Abuse can be emotional, psychological, sexual, financial, social (enforced isolation), forced marriage and honour based violence. 1:3 women and 1: 6 men are victims of this abuse.
If you are worried that you or a friend are suffering or are at risk of domestic violence or abuse including Female Genital Mutilation, there is help available please discuss with your Health Visitor or School Nurse or go to the website www.areyouok.co.uk. Both of which can help and support you including signpost you to many support agencies. There is also a 24 hour service staffed by a team of professionals please call Torbay Domestic Abuse Service (TDAS) 01803 207262 or email firstname.lastname@example.org who will listen to your concerns and take appropriate actions.
Click on the headings below for more information about each topic.
Your baby will have regular health and development reviews during their early years which will be carried out by your Health Visitor or community nursery nurse. These are to make sure that your child stays healthy and is developing normally.
The team works closely with your GP and the staff at your local children’s Centre. Reviews may be done in your home or at the GP surgery, well baby clinic, or children’s Centre.
Appointments can be arranged so both you and your partner are there. The reviews are an opportunity for you both to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have.
Further information regarding what to expect at health and development reviews can be found on NHS Choices.
Being pregnant is a time of change, but this can also be a time of feeling worried, fearful, excited and joyful. Although all of these feelings are completely normal, for many women some of these changes can be distressing and more severe.
The ‘Baby blues’ are due to the sudden hormonal and chemical changes that take place in your body after childbirth. This can affect many women and should only last for a few days. However, for some women symptoms can be more severe and last longer, this could be Postnatal Depression.
Depression and anxiety is thought to affect 15 – 20% of women in the first year after childbirth. (NICE 192, 2014). Signs of postnatal depression may include:
- feelings of being unable to cope, hopelessness and excessive anxiety
- not being able to stop crying
- panic attacks
- concerns about bonding to your baby
Some women may also have:
- intrusive thoughts
- rituals and obsessions
- self-harm/suicidal thoughts
Getting help for postnatal depression
If you think you have postnatal depression and anxiety, please don’t struggle alone. It’s not a sign that you’re a bad mother or are unable to cope.
If you are experiencing this, please talk to someone you trust, or ask your Health Visitor to contact you. Your Health Visiting team is trained to recognize postnatal depression and anxiety and have techniques and resources that can help.
It’s also important to see your GP. If you don’t feel up to making an appointment, ask someone to do it for you.
Your child’s development is a continuous process that is unique to your child or young person. It does not progress at the same rate for each baby; child and young person try not to compare your child’s development with friends and families children.
Your Health Visitor team will support and empower you to help your child achieve their potential, as well as monitor your child so that early help can be put in place for your child if they need support to meet their expected milestones.
The Health Visiting teams will offer you routine contacts to review your baby’s development and offer you support.
If you are concerned about your baby, child or young person’s health and development please contact your general practitioner, named Health Visiting team or drop into a local Health Visitor clinic for advice and support at any time.
Knowing what to expect in terms of breastfeeding your baby should help you feel as confident as possible when you’ve just given birth and want to breastfeed your baby.
Antenatal sessions, whether held by the NHS or another organization, should cover the most important aspects of breastfeeding, such as attachment, positioning, expressing, common questions and concerns, and how to overcome them.
Your local Health Visitor or community nursery nurse can help you with any concerns regarding responsive infant feeding. The local breastfeeding support line is 07500952216 which are manned during office hours or alternatively you can contact Newton Abbott Hospital on 01626324651 for breast feeding support.
There are also lots of groups and drop-ins for you to attend for support and advice with responsive infant feeding.
Each year 40,000 under-fives are admitted to hospital following accidents, and lots of these accidents are preventable. Your Health Visitor and Children’s centres can advise you regarding accident prevention in the home and also NHS Choices is an excellent resource for advice regarding accident prevention. Your Health Visiting team may contact you following your child’s attendance at A&E to offer any ongoing support if needed.
When it comes to teething, all babies are different. But your baby will probably get their first tooth some time during their first year.
Your Health Visitor team member will give you a dental pack during your child’s routine one year development review.
If you have any concerns regarding your baby’s teething and dental health, please contact your Health Visiting team for advice or attend one of the drop in Child Health Clinics.
For more detailed advice on looking after your baby / child’s teeth, have a look at NHS Choices – Baby teething symptoms.
To find a dentist locally, please go visit the NHS Choices website or contact NHS England on 0300 311223.
The first day at school can be challenging for both children and parents, but with a little preparation it’ll be easier for you to cope.
Some of the key skills to help your child develop before they start school are: Going to the toilet, washing their hands, dressing / undressing, using a tissue, tidying up, feeding themselves and knowing how to share. Your Health Visiting team can help you with techniques to encourage these skills and behaviours.
For more information in supporting ‘school readiness’ speak to your child’s current Early Years setting or school.
Visit your local Children’s Centre or call 01803 207895.
Being a parent is one of the most important jobs there is, it has amazing rewards but it can also be very challenging. If you want some support with any of the varying aspects of parenting, please contact your Health Visiting team who work with Children Centres and other Early Years settings to offer guidance on how to manage your child’s behaviour and how to build a closer relationship.
The community eczema clinics are run by a Health Visitor with a special interest in dermatology.
Referrals are accepted from all health professionals, including Health Visitors, practice nurses and GPs.
The clinics are available to all children aged 0 to 5 years and run across the Bay on Thursday mornings. These are currently: Watcombe Children’s Centre Torquay, Midvale Clinic Paignton and Brixham Hospital.
Children receive a full assessment of their eczema and a plan of care is provided with emollient or steroidal treatments as required. Follow up and support is available to parents as needed on an individual basis.
Your Health Visitor is a nurse who can offer you advice on your child’s health, working in partnership with your General Practitioner. Your Health Visitor is a nurse prescriber offering assessment and treatment for some minor problems. Please ask your Health Visitor for more details about this service.
If you are concerned about your child’s health, contact your GP to discuss the symptoms or contact 111 for further advice.
It can be difficult to tell when a baby / toddler or child 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 and your child required urgent attention call 999.
The National Childhood Immunisation Programme is currently delivered for free on the NHS, via the practice nurse at your GP surgery.
Your Health Visitor will offer you information on the immunisation programme to enable you to make an informed choice.
Information on the childhood immunization schedule including the ages at which they should ideally be given, reasons for vaccinating and managing side effects can be found on NHS Choices – When to have vaccinations.
If you’re not sure whether you or your child has had all your routine vaccinations, ask your GP or practice nurse to find out for you.
Potty training is an important milestone and a new skill for your child to learnChildren are able to control their bladder and bowels when they’re physically ready and when they want to be dry and clean. Every child is different, so it’s best not to compare your child with others.
Your Health Visiting team can advise you on how to gauge if your child is ready for potty training and give you some tips on how best to start this. The following 2 websites are a good source of information to look at for potty training help and advice.
A well balanced diet is essential for children in their early years and starts with establishing good eating patterns necessary to ensure they grow and develop appropriately.
Your Health Visiting team delivers diet and nutritional information and advice to families as part of the universal healthy child programme. They can offer you advice around healthy eating habits and how to boost your child’s relationship with food as well as helping to deal with the challenges that may arise. They are available to provide support in order for you to give the best opportunity for your child to growth into a healthy and confident adult.
For help with weaning please contact your Health Visiting team take a look at NHS Choices – Your baby’s first solid foods.
This is a condition that affects the skull, making the back or side of your baby’s head appear flattened giving your baby an irregular shaped head. Positional plagiocephaly does not affect how your child’s brain develops or cause any brain abnormalities’.
Speak to your Health Visitor or GP if you’re concerned about the shape of your baby’s head or think they may have problems turning their head. They can examine your baby’s head and suggest things you can do to help. A slightly flattened head isn’t usually anything to worry about, but it’s a good idea to get advice early on so you can take steps to stop it getting any worse.
For further information and advice on how to prevent plagiocephaly, please see NHS Choices – Plagiocephaly and brachycephaly (flat head syndrome).