Government to continue mandating five universal health visitor visits
- During pregnancy – 28 weeks: Support with a physical and mental health assessment, preparation for parenthood, guidance on bonding and early child development.
- 10-14 days after birth: Help with feeding, bonding and interacting, as well as immunisation and safety (e.g. car seats).
- 6-8 weeks old: Continuing support on feeding and bonding, and a particular focus on mothers’ mental health. Families will receive contact details of other sources of support, including local health clinics and children’s centres.
- 9-12 months old: Review of the child’s development, offering additional local support if needed, advising on nutrition and dental health, and promoting the two year free nursery offer to support school readiness.
- 2-2.5 years old: Helping parents to support their child’s development at a key time when specific problems may begin to be evident e.g. behaviour problems, speech and language delays.
The continuation of these visits is an important step in protecting the health and wellbeing of babies, their mothers and families, helping to ensure that all children have the best possible chance to thrive.
These universal health visiting contacts are a vital to ensure that all parents are supported to give children the best start in life ... They form a very visible offer to parents of highly skilled support with the transition to parenthood and at important points in child health and development.
Viv Bennett, Chief Nurse