To refuse to speak to health visitor..

(219 Posts)
Vickyyyy Tue 17-May-16 21:51:57

I know this is a controversial subject to begin with but I am prepared to be flamed if it happens blush

I suffer health issues. I am in a massive amount of pain a lot of the time, for hours and hours at a time. I am on strong pain meds to help but even the likes of oxycodone don't take it away completely. I had an operation a few months back to try and fix this pain and unfortunately the operation went wrong leaving me in more pain than ever before. I do struggle and am prepared to admit this. I can push myself to do things through the pain..doing so make me a LOT more ill later in the day though. My partner is pretty much my fulltime carer right now. The pain is at its worst on a nighttime, especially if I have pushed myself through the day, and it is as of yet undiagnosed, though my physio appointments start next month which should hopefully shine a bit of light on what the actual issue is...Anyway...

Last week, the health visitor appeared out of nowhere, as she always does, no phonecall to say she is coming or anything...and usually around 9/10am when sometimes I am still sorting kids breakfast, bath, dressed routine. Seemingly no reason for visit except for weighing (nearly) 2 year old. Fine. 10 mins and she goes. Everything seems fine. Asks where Dh is, I explain that his mother has taken ill and he is helping her in her home for a few hours.

The next day another unarranged visit. Kids have just went off it, sitting room looks like a bomb has hit it as every toy is on the floor. Yes, maybe I should have better control of my kids and make them sit quietly, but I will NEVER be that mum. I prefer them to have fun, they don't behave like this out of the house, and really, what harm does it do if they go wild for an hour or so? Anyway, health visitor comes in and immediately starts ranting about 'home conditions' that she noticed on her visit the day before. When pressed, it seems the issue was a knife on the kitchen bench, medication on the bench and another bench that had a tea stain on it. And some rubbish outside. I agree there should not have been a knife (was used for cutting up fruit..I don't like 2 year old having whole pears and such so I cut them) or medication (had taken it an hour or so prior to visit, was not my strong medication but I guess thats not the point) out on the bench...but the kids don't go in the kitchen alone so I don't see it as a massive issue or anything. The rubbish..I am awaiting the council collection of, its things like our old cot and cooker (replaced recently) and packaging that the new ones came in. Despite paying 20 quid for collection, apparently the first available date for pickup is 27th may...

So, this health visitor proceeds to spend half an hour telling me pretty much how useless I am. I have gone over what she said and no I am not overreacting. 'You are not the only person with 2 young kids' 'other people manage to watch toddlers and clean at the same time, why can't you' and such. This is after she already knows my health issues make a lot of things a huge problem for me at the moment. Told me Dh should not be spending so much time with his (ill) mother if I need help at home and its 'clear' I am not coping with the kids when hes not here. This horrific visit ended on the note of her saying if I don't follow her checklist exactly, she may have to call child protection! For the sake of a bit of mess..really? I will always favour letting the kids have fun over obsessive cleaning. I will always favour actually playing with the kids over doing a few dishes right now that could be left until the kdis are asleep...is this..unusual? I always thought this would be how most saw things.

So I was slightly hysterical at this point but trying to keep it together so as not to scare the kids. I told DH when he returned home and he said that he would deal with it next time she comes. But I don't want to see her at all anymore. I have seen a very cruel side of her. I am not proposing cutting off contact with the kids, as hubby is willing to deal with further 'appointments' (and he says there will be appointments, not unannounced visits as it has been for months). I just don't want to be there when she is. I am worried I may get a 'black mark' and be marked as a problem or something due to me unwillingness to be made to feel like dirt on the bottom of someones shoe. I don't know what I expect out of this thread tbh..its just good to get it all out. I don't understand whats gone wrong, she has been lovely at all other visits (though hubby was there for others, last week he spent a lot of time with him mother who is ill). I don't know if she was just having a bad day, if she really does think I am a shit mum, if she is bullying me for fun or something..if shes trying to motivate me top get better, which would be lovely if it was that easy...or what confused

(Checklist is things like clean kitchen completely. Get rid of rubbish outside and that, easy to follow and already done but thats not the point.)

Vickyyyy Tue 17-May-16 21:57:46

Also, I don't mean refuse to speak to as in pointedly blank her and cause problems. I will obviously be civil. I just don't want any more 'meetings' with her. And especially not on my own.

Rpj16 Tue 17-May-16 21:59:10

omg.... yes let your husband be there for the visits. Or be there together for them.

And whats wrong with a tea stain?!

Olddear Tue 17-May-16 22:02:19

Think it may have been more the knife and the medication than the tea stain

JinRamen Tue 17-May-16 22:02:41

Ugh. She sounds horrible. Yes, have do at the next appointment and I hope physio helps. flowers

You don't have to engage with health visitors. I never did.

However... do reflect and have a good hard think about whether she had a point about anything. Only you can really make that judgement. But don't feel bullied by it, and stop her visits if they aren't helping you.

Vickyyyy Tue 17-May-16 22:04:35

'Think it may have been more the knife and the medication than the tea stain'

It honestly wasn't. When I pushed her for what she meant, those were the only things she could come up with. And I can't think of anything else she could be on about? Besides the toys everythwere but thats quite normal, surely :S

Also this is the first time she has EVER mentioned anything like this.

HappyHeart87 Tue 17-May-16 22:05:40

Don't poke the beast. My gut tells me that if you 'decline' a visit at this point she will make a Safeguarding referral.

Her manner as you've described it is wholly inappropriate. I would be tempted to contact the clinical lead for the service, explain your concerns, and either request a different HV or ask for a joint visit to discuss how you and the current HV can have a productive & appropriate working relationship in the future.

It's unfair but as the 'non professional' the system is heavily weighted against you.

Mummyme1987 Tue 17-May-16 22:05:49

There's no reason to have health visitor visits when the child is that age. She's been snooping with all of these visits with a view to doing this all along. Start having appointments at the clinic.

FasterThanASnakeAndAMongoose Tue 17-May-16 22:05:54

She'd have a field DAY with my kitchen at that time in the morning! Weetabix tsunami.

Can you phone the clinic and ask if you can have a different health visitor? Explain how demoralised you felt.

Above all though, do be civil and keep engaging. Not always easy I know.

Hope you feel better soon flowers

sepa Tue 17-May-16 22:07:19

Erm your HV needs to get a grip. Ok with the knife and meds if kids can get to it but they are easy to clear out.
Why is HV coming round? I have had 1 appointment with HV when DD was 6 weeks old (maybe one before that but I can't remember) and now she won't be back to my house until 1yr unless I call her?
Maybe call the centre she works for and ask why the unannounced visits.
I would say make sure DH is in for next (arranged) visit

Mummyme1987 Tue 17-May-16 22:07:31

Quickly get a cleaner for a one off clean then she won't be able to say anything

FasterThanASnakeAndAMongoose Tue 17-May-16 22:07:41

I have no idea why day came out in block capitals blush

Vickyyyy Tue 17-May-16 22:08:37

I know I don't have to have her visit, BUT its useful as daughter has a speech delay and health visitor seems the quickest route to speech therapy, which she has had and therapist says she not actually too behind but I want to keep all options open, you know. I did at one point consider calling the head office and asking not to send her out anymore fullstop and I would bring kids for checkups at the clinic but she has been helpful with stuff, up until recent visit. Which is whats confusing me so much.

houseeveryweekend Tue 17-May-16 22:09:42

Just try to remain calm. Your health visitor sounds awful. You have a right to refuse to see her but that might make more problems. What i would suggest you do is ask for a different health visitor. Write them a letter and explain that you feel there is a personality clash between you and your current health visitor and it would be of more use to you if you could try having a different one.
Health Visitors are supposed to be there to give you support.
At the very least i agree you need to tell her that you want notice before she comes round (mine always gives me a few days notice at least) and it would be a good idea to make sure your partner is there with you. x

sepa Tue 17-May-16 22:10:35

I think the point olddear was making was the issue was the knife and medication and not really the tea stain and NOT that it was something more than these combined things?

Mummyme1987 Tue 17-May-16 22:11:15

I would also do a subject access request and see what she has written about you.

WreckingBallsInsideMyHead Tue 17-May-16 22:11:42

If she'd been less accusatory about it, your reaction might've been different. Yes, a sharp knife and medication should be out of reach and out of sight of little ones. But if your kids are healthy, happy, loved and developing "normally", it shouldnt be the huge issue she's making it into.

Yadnbu to refuse any more unannounced visits and for your husband to deal with future appointments. However, she could take that to be "evidence" that you have something to hide, so be prepared to explain exactly why you're making that decision. I'm not saying you are hiding anything, but they are concerned and you getting (rightly) defensive, could ring alarm bells. But your kids are presumably happy, healthy and not showing any signs of any abuse or neglect so that should be evidence enough that nothing is going on, just a mum struggling with more on her plate than most, but making choices like everyone does over what matters most right now

Vickyyyy Tue 17-May-16 22:11:52

She still comes out as daughter is 3 and behind with speech. First arranged visit last week was to do sons 2 year check, though he is not 2 until end of July.

I changed HV a few years back as me and the health visitor I had just didn't click at all. There were never any problems, it was just quite clear she didn't like me and I didn't really like her and I feel it should be a 'friendship' as much as it can, when you are allowing someone regular access to your home. Because I have changed once before, I worry I may come across as someone who just likes to complain if I ask for another change..but its certainly an option.

There have been no issues in over a year with this one I have now, until recently.

houseeveryweekend Tue 17-May-16 22:12:49

Ah just read your update saying she used to be helpful. Do you think perhaps she was having a bad day or something and was in a bad mood when she came round? Would it help to talk to her about how she spoke to you and how it made you feel?
Maybe its just a combo that you and she were both having bad days. If you usually get on with her perhaps try and not take this personally but see how she is next time she comes round. And you are well within your rights to ask that she gives you notice before she comes over. x

FasterThanASnakeAndAMongoose Tue 17-May-16 22:12:58

In all honesty, have things slipped? There's a big difference between a bit of untidiness and breakfast clutter and a house which needs a deep clean. I'm not saying that they have - obviously only you can - but worth considering if she has a point.

Vickyyyy Tue 17-May-16 22:13:11

That should have been first 'unarranged' visit last week

MrsBobDylan Tue 17-May-16 22:14:56

Why has she been visiting you for months? Have there been issues previously?

If she is visiting to support you through your health condition then I would ring her manager and ask that she doesn't come as she's no help.

Mummyme1987 Tue 17-May-16 22:15:04

Get yourself a recording app on your phone and record her visits as no professional should threaten you with ss.

Vickyyyy Tue 17-May-16 22:15:09

Nope, the place is often untidy, but it is not dirty. Hubby (and me when I can) deep cleans two or three a week along with general cleaning every night once the kids are in bed. That may seem excessive but we have FIVE kids on a weekend (hubby has 3 with a previous partner) so yeah..that should be self explanatory lol

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