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Health visitors to boost services at children’s centres

New groups are being set up at children’s centres across the county to make it easier for parents and carers to receive advice and support on the health and development of their babies and toddlers.

The new groups will be run by health visitors and children’s centre staff in response to requests for the service from families.

Health professionals and children’s centres have been working together to help parents with all aspects of their children’s development for a number of years.   Health visitors are a crucial point of contact for parents with babies and very young children.  As well as checking on children’s physical and mental development, they are able to advise on all the stages a baby goes through during those first few months, including feeding, weaning, sleeping and teething. 

Parents and carers have valued being able to access this service in their local children’s centre and have asked for more.  As a result, two new groups will begin this week (30 January), both of which will be run by health visitors and children’s centre staff. 

Early Days is a postnatal group for families with children aged 0-6 months providing support and advice on topics such as weaning and sleeping.  Tot Talk is a weekly drop-in session for families with children aged 0-4 where a health visitor will be able to answer any questions on the health and wellbeing of your child.  There will also be a variety of play opportunities available during these sessions to keep toddlers happy.  These groups will run at South Meadow, Widemarsh, Broadlands, Green Croft and Springfield children’s centres*.

In addition, thanks to a partnership with Wye Valley NHS Trust, new antenatal sessions have been set up at seven of the children’s centres with midwives, children’s centre staff, nursery nurses and health visitors, on hand to help parents to be prepare for the birth of a child.  These need to be booked in advance, although parents are able to mix and match sessions and venues according to their needs.

Councillor Patricia Morgan, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:  “We are bringing together services provided by both organisations into children’s centres to make it easier for carers, parents and prospective parents to access help and support in one place close to where they live. 

“Families with very young children will be able to have all their needs met in one place, and the children will benefit too as we have lots of fun activities arranged every week to encourage children’s development and allow the grown ups to network and have a much needed cup of tea.”