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 provided by Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust. Our Health Visitors work in five teams across the Lewisham borough.
There are five key stages in your child’s development when you will be contacted by your health visitor. These appointments will be in a mixture of locations, some contacts at home, clinic, or a virtual appointment using Attend Anywhere.
Each health visiting team runs a child health clinic, which you can attend with your under five’s for advice, support and weighing. You do need to make an appointment to attend the child health clinics to ensure covid safety. Please call your HV team to book in. These are held in a variety of venues including GP practices and children’s centres.
Throughout your journey with your health visiting team you will have contact with:
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.
The Institute of Health Visiting have created a infographic detailing who Health Visitors are and what they do:
Following a recent change to our telephone supplier we currently do not have an answerphone facility on our phones.
If you need to speak to the HV team please call in business hours as there will not be an option to leave a message for someone to call you back. We hope that this facility will be up and working soon.
We also have the “Ask Hani” facility on our contact us page where a HV will respond to any messages too.
Downham Team: 0203 049 1900
Lee team: 0203 049 2112
Bellingham team: 0203 049 2755
Sydenham Team: 0203 049 2777
Honor Oak Team: 0203 049 2269
The cases of Group A Strep are on the increase. Please see the attached link to read more, including what to look out for:
Self-feeding pillows/prop feeders present a risk of serious harm or death from choking or aspiration pneumonia.
The Office for Product Safety and Standards has issued an Urgent Safety Alert for baby self-feeding pillows and is urging the public to stop using them immediately and dispose of them safely.
Businesses selling these products must immediately remove them from the market as they cannot comply with the safety requirements under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.
Baby self-feeding pillow products are designed to be attached to a bottle so that the baby may be positioned on its back to self-feed without the assistance of a caregiver holding the bottle and controlling the feed.
This is inconsistent with NHS guidance in relation to safe bottle feeding.
When used as intended, even whilst under the supervision of a caregiver, it could lead to immediate, serious harm or death from choking or aspiration pneumonia.
Consumers, local authority trading standards services and businesses are asked to take specific action to cease use or remove these products from the market and stop using immediately.
“We know that the colder months can be difficult for families. You might be worried about paying your heating bills with the increase in energy prices and concerned about trying to keep your home and your baby warm. Whilst we understand it can be tempted to wrap your baby up to keep them warm while they sleep, we know that overheating increases the chances of SIDS and research shows that it’s better for babies to be cooler rather than too hot.
To reduce the risk of overheating, avoid using thick bedding and duvets and remove any outdoor clothing and hats when you are indoors. During the winter months, firmly tucked in sheets and blankets (not above shoulder height) or a well-fitted baby sleep bag are fine for babies to sleep in.
To help the Lullaby Trust have put together some useful advice on safer sleep during the colder months.
Keeping warm this winter – The Lullaby Trust”
Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/LullabyTrust
They have also published a guide for parents/carers who may find themselves in emergency situations where it may not always be possible to access a recommended sleep space for baby.
The Lullaby Trust have adapted safer sleep advice based on different sleeping situations. How-to-Follow-Safer-Sleep-Advice-in-Emergency-Situations-Resource-2022.pdf (lullabytrust.org.uk)
Children aged 1 to 9 years old in London are being offered a dose of polio vaccine. For some children this may be an extra dose on top of their routine vaccinations. In other children it may bring them up to date with their routine vaccinations.
There are signs the virus may be spreading in London and the number of children vaccinated in London is lower than it should be. Boosting immunity in children should help protect them and reduce the risk of the virus continuing to spread.
If your child is eligible for an extra dose, the NHS will contact you to ask you to book an appointment for the vaccine.
Find out more about the polio booster campaign on GOV.UK
The Health Visiting service run a virtual weaning hub on Microsoft Teams on the last Tuesday of every month at 9.30am – 10.30am.
This is open to everyone and we recommend you attend when your baby is 4 or 5 months old, ready to commence solid foods at around 6 months old.
Please call your Health Visiting team to book into a session. Contact details are under the Contact Us section.
The session will cover signs of when your baby is ready for solid foods, what foods to give and what to avoid, healthy meal ideas and much more, as well as a chance to ask us any questions.
Lewisham Health visiting teams have many different opportunities to see you and your child face to face.
We can offer face to face visits at home when you have just had a baby, weighing clinics across the borough, developmental reviews and breast feeding support.
If you would like to be seen at one of our clinics or at home please contact your HV team contact us
Mindful Mums, run by Bromley, Lewisham & Greenwich Mind, offers free supportive five-week courses for pregnant women and new mums with babies up to 12 months old; who live in the London boroughs of Bromley, Lewisham or Greenwich.
Mindful Mums offers an opportunity to connect with other pregnant women and new mums with similar experiences and learn tips and techniques for looking after your wellbeing. The Mindful Mums five week course is offered as an in-person group or online.
The next post natal groups will be running:
1. In person Tuesday 13th September to the 11th October 2022 1 – 2:30 pm – Ladywell CC
2. Online on Zoom from Friday 16th September to 14th October 11am – 12:00 midday.
The next Antenatal Group is:
Online on zoom 12th September 2022 – 10th October 7.30pm – 8.30pm.
Register here or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Being Dad groups are for expectant/new dads or men with parenting responsibility for babies and young children up to two years old. The group runs every Tuesday at 8pm on Zoom. The sessions help men to learn more about looking after themselves, managing the changes and challenges of parenthood, all while meeting other dads!
For more information you can call Nev Walters on 07707 274391, email email@example.com or visit https://blgmind.org.uk/bromley-mental-health/being-dad/
Is your baby between 6 weeks and 4 months old? Are you looking for some postnatal support and advice?
Our Health Visiting Teams are running a Virtual Postnatal Group on Zoom throughout the year. The groups run for 5 weeks with each week covering a different topic. Topics covered include:
There will also be some guest speakers on certain weeks to provide further, useful information. During each session, parents will be able to ask questions to the team and speak with other parents.
The next set of groups begin on:
April 6th 2022, 10-11am via MS Teams
April 7th 2022, 10-11am at Downderry Children’s Centre, BR1 5PD (Face to Face)
If you are interested in attending, please contact your Health Visiting Team.
All 2 & 3 year olds are entitled to a free flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is given as a nasal spray and protects your child against 4 main strains of influenza (flu) predicted to be in circulation this winter.
Why vaccinate? 30-50% of children are infected with flu and can spread the infection for up to 7 days; vaccinating your child reduces the risk of flu for family members, childcare providers and other children.
For more information, see our vaccination page.