Health Visiting

Who are health visitors and what do they do?

Click here to find out more about the breadth of the role, providing a vital infrastructure of support for babies, children and families.

The health visiting service works with children and their families to promote health and wellbeing from the antenatal period up until five years of age.

Health visitors can provide advice and support on a range of health matters including:

  • transition to parenthood and early weeks maternal mental health (perinatal depression)
  • breastfeeding
  • healthy weight, healthy nutrition and physical activity
  • managing minor illness and reducing accidents
  • health, wellbeing and development of the child, including support to be ready for school.

Service offer

Your health visitor is notified about your pregnancy from maternity services and will contact you in the antenatal period, between 28 weeks and birth. This contact will be to introduce you to the service, give you advice and support leading up to the birth of your baby, and give you details of our further visits to you.

  • All expectant parents will be offered a contact ante-natally from 28 weeks of pregnancy.
  • All families with new babies will be offered a contact in the home between 11 and 14 days after birth.
  • 6-8 week reviews will be offered face-to-face either in the home or a mutually agreed clinic/other suitable setting.
  • 10-12 month development review will be offered either face-to-face or virtual contact in the home or clinic setting
  • All children will be offered a 27 month development review in the home.
  • Additional face-to-face and virtual contact for children and families as indicated by need or on parental request.

If you would like to speak with a member of the health visiting team to discuss any concerns or support required, please do not hesitate to call your local health visiting hub.

Front page.jpgOur health visiting teams work with families, early years and other health colleagues and agencies to support the health and well-being of pre-school children across Dorset.

Health visiting sits within the children and young people’s public health service 0 to 19, alongside school nursing.

The teams comprise health visitors, public health staff nurses and community nursery nurses. As a training trust, we are committed to supporting the training of student nurses and other allied practitioners and so students may accompany us and be present during appointments.

The service provides information, advice and support to pregnant women, expectant fathers and parents/carers of new babies and young children. This advice includes antenatal support, physical and emotional wellbeing of children, the immunisation schedule, parenting support, health and developmental reviews.

We provide services across Dorset, visiting children and families in their home or in community settings. We also provide a digital offer which enables video calling options using the Attend Anywhere platform.

All expectant parents/carers will be offered a visit from a health visitor at around 28- 30 weeks of pregnancy. Parents/carers with babies and children under the age of five who transfer into the area will be invited to access our service.


If you are pleased with the care we offer and think we are doing something well, or would like to suggest improvements to our service, let us know by filling out this form.

If you feel that we have not given you the care you expected or needed, our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can help. They can also help if you wish to make a complaint. You normally have about a year to do this*. Making a complaint will not have any adverse effect on your current or future care and treatment.

Please follow this link for further information and the ways in which a complaint can be made

*Under the NHS Complaints Procedure, complaints are usually investigated only if they are made within 12 months of the event


Health Visiting and School Nursing