Last updated: 6 November 2023
Next review: 30 December 2023
Health visitors and school nurses
The Waltham Forest Healthy Child Programme is delivered by Tower Hamlets GP Care Group.
The role of health visitors and school nurses
Health visitors and School Nurses are qualified nurses with special training and experience in child and family health and development. We work in teams of nurses, nursery nurses, administrative support staff, clinical support workers, student health visitors, and school nurses. We deliver the Healthy Child Programme to families, starting from contact in pregnancy through to when your child leaves school.
The Healthy Child Programme covers advice and support including:
- preparation for being a parent during pregnancy
- helping with infant feeding
- review of your baby and child’s health, growth, and development.
- advise and support many aspects of parenting and staying safe and healthy. This includes accident prevention, childhood immunisations, and managing minor ailments.
We also support parent’s health, including mental and emotional wellbeing. We can offer support if you are feeling worried, if you are in an unhappy or abusive relationship, or if you have concerns about drug and/or alcohol dependencies.
Health Visitors offer a service to all families who have babies and children up to five years old, to support you with parenting, and meeting your child's health and developmental needs.
All expectant parents are offered information about the service during pregnancy. A health visitor will complete a first assessment visit when the baby is born, usually before the baby is two weeks old. This is called the New Birth Visit. There is a follow-up visit at six weeks to discuss any issues that affect you and your baby.
We offer all children aged one year and two to two and a half years a health and development review. This is a chance to tell us any concerns you have about your child’s health, growth and behaviour. We use the Ages and Stages (ASQ) and Ages and Stages Social and Emotional (ASQ SE) questionnaires to help with these assessments, and will share them with you before the appointment.
If there are any concerns, we may monitor these. We may also refer you to specialist services that can provide further assessment and support.
We also run regular drop-in child health clinics where you can review your child's weight, growth and development, and speak to a member of our team about you and your child. Download the Best Start in Life timetable to see all the clinics available.
Our School Nursing teams work in different areas across Waltham Forest and are aligned to the borough's wards. Each school has an allocated school nursing team to liaise directly with the school to ensure all health needs are met.
The School Nursing teams in Waltham Forest offer:
- Weekly health drop-in sessions at secondary schools/colleges for young people
- Monthly health drop-in sessions at primary schools for children, parents, and carers
- National Child Measurement Programme (Reception and Year Six),
- School entry screening including vision and hearing.
- Year six & year ten health reviews/assessments
- Supporting healthy lifestyles for children and families
- Supporting complex, medical and additional health needs in school
- Health promotional sessions
- Drop-ins within special schools
- Safeguarding support and advice
- Signposting and referrals to other services
Contact Waltham Forest School Nursing team via telephone at 0300 033 6200 or email at thgpcg.wf0-19SPA1@nhs.net