Health Visiting Service - Dorset Healthcare

Our health visiting service provides information, advice and support to pregnant women, expectant fathers and parents of new babies and young children.

Health visitors are specialists in nursing and/or midwifery. They work with parents and families to ensure the physical and emotional wellbeing of children up to the age of five, covering antenatal support, immunisation, parenting support, health checks and development reviews.

We provide services across Dorset, seeing people at home as well as at GP surgeries, children’s centres and local community clinics or health centres. Group sessions – such as parenting advice and under 1s groups – are also available in a range of community settings.

Our teams liaise closely with GPs and other children’s services, and can put people in touch with other agencies if more specialist support is required.

All pregnant women will receive a visit from a health visitor from 30 weeks of pregnancy. Parents with babies and children under the age of five who transfer into the area and/or change their GP will be contacted by a member of the team soon after registering with a GP.

If you need to speak to your health visitor outside of the routine checks, or want to find out more about what support is available in your area, please get in touch.

Contact your Local Health Visiting Team

Telephone Contact Numbers for Health Visiting Teams Across Dorset

  • Bournemouth & Christchurch Hub
    01305 363043

  • Dorchester
    01305 217056

  • Chesil
    01305 361071

  • Bridport
    01305 361094

  • Sherborne
    01935 816883

  • Shaftesbury
    01747 856709

  • Blandford
    01258 488929

  • Gillingham
    01747 822774

  • Sturminster Newton
    01258 474515

  • Poole Hub
    07748 414948

  • Dorset East & Purbeck Hub
    01929 557593

front_page.JPG baby_2.JPG

Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding provides your baby with the best start in life.

Research shows that many of the benefits are life long. Feeding your baby breast milk exclusively for the first six months offers the most benefit.

Should you only be able to feed your baby for a short time, any amount is good for your baby. Benefits Breastfeeding reduces the risk of:

  • gastro-intestinal infection

  • Respiratory infections

  • Necrotising enterocolitisurinary tract infections

  • Ear infections

  • Allergic disease (eczema and wheezing)

  • Insulin-dependent diabetes

  • Mellitus

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

  • Childhood leukaemia.

  • Breastfed babies may have better:

  • Neurological development

More research is needed but breastfeeding may also provide protection for the infant against:

  • Multiple sclerosisacute

  • Appendicitis

  • Tonsillectomy for the mother

  • Rheumatoid arthritis.

  • And for the mother, protection against:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Women who have breastfed are at lower risk of:

  • Breast cancer

  • Ovarian cancer

  • Hip fractures and bone density.

Click here to visit the Dorset Healthcare Breastfeeding Support information site

Newborn hearing screening

The newborn hearing screening test helps to identify babies who have permanent hearing loss as early as possible. This means parents can get the support and advice they need right from the start. Ideally, the test is done in the first four to five weeks, but it can be done at up to three months of age.

You will be offered a screen at a home visit by your health visitor. Alternatively, your baby may be screened in hospital if he or she has an extended stay in the special care nursery.

For more information please go to

You can also contact your health visitor, from the numbers listed in the section above, or call the Dorset Newborn Hearing Screening Service direct on 01202 443839.

Physical Health