to ask the health visitor why she's here

(336 Posts)

Recently I got a letter from the health visiting team. It was informing me that an appointment had been made for a home visit for my DS because he has just turned 2.

DS is not a PFB. There's been no concerns with his development or health. No missed vaccinations or GP appointments. Nothing. So why the need for the visit?

I phoned and cancelled the appointment saying I had no concerns with my DS. They phoned back a few days later to say another appointment had been arranged. WTF? I thought this service was optional not mandatory?!

itsnotthateasy Thu 23-Jan-14 18:16:36

Sorry , I can't help as it was a long time mine were 2 ..

I do recall 6 month and 12 month checks . .. Is your DS perhaps due a milestone visit ? Hope somebody else can answer you but try not to fret.

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 18:16:38

It's a routine appointment, every child is invited to have one. Yes, it's optional. Having said that refusal will raise red flags, I'm afraid, particularly if your child hasn't been seen by a doctor recently, and doesn't attend nursery, as they may think you have something to hide.

DustyBaubles Thu 23-Jan-14 18:18:05

It is optional, but they will keep trying for a while as they want they boxes ticked, and their backs covered.

I'm not a great user of the HV service, but I let them do their developmental checks, and as we have older children it was a bonus if they offered to visit me, rather than have me drag the family to them grin

They will drop it eventually though, unless they have any cause for concern.

WelshMaenad Thu 23-Jan-14 18:19:38

Ds had a 2 year check, we took him to clinic. We has very limited involvement with the HV as she just let us get on with things but I saw no harm in the check, just an opportunity to show off what a bright wee thing he is!

BadChat25 Thu 23-Jan-14 18:19:43

It's routine. Why are you so against it?

OodlesofOodles Thu 23-Jan-14 18:20:18

Think there's a 2 year check, might be one with free books too? Can't remember exactly and dd3 is only 3

Having said that refusal will raise red flags, I'm afraid, particularly if your child hasn't been seen by a doctor recently, and doesn't attend nursery, as they may think you have something to hide.

So how can it really be optional when there is duress involved?

Also, AIBU to ask her the purpose of the visit (when she's here) in light of the fact I said there were no concerns. I feel pretty pissed off tbh and feel undermined and under suspicion.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 23-Jan-14 18:22:57

The purpose of the visit is to check your child is ok. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't. yabu.

BadChat25 Thu 23-Jan-14 18:23:18

Your reaction to a routine check up seems a tad extreme and over sensitive.

They do it with everyone, not just you.

kungfupannda Thu 23-Jan-14 18:23:26

You're entitled to refuse, but it probably will trigger some sort of basic checks.

The problem the HVs face is that when one of the high profile cases of child neglect and death occurs, it often turns out that the child had not been seen by any professionals for a long time leading up to their death. There is then an outcry about "What were the HVs doing? Where were the professionals?"

If we want to live in a society where there is an effective safety net for abused children and struggling families, then those of us who don't need that support or scrutiny really do need to accept that certain routine checks and procedures will take place, and that these might be inconvenient or irrelevant to us. If no-one co-operates, then it is harder for the professionals to sort the sinister non-cooperation from the non-sinister. DS2 just had his 2 year check, and it was just a tick box exercise and a quick chat. Completely unnecessary, but it's one less child that the HVs have to worry about, so they can focus their time on those who need their support.

BadChat25 many reasons I guess. Here's some of them:

1. I feel under surveillance - in my own home. It violates my sense of personal liberty.
2. They keep trying to arrange the appointment in the morning, which is my busiest time, trying to get both kids fed, changed and the elder DC off to nursery.
3. I see it as a complete waste of NHS resources, especially as there have been no red flags in the past.
4. Waste of my time. I'm a busy person.

DS1 is 2.4, I was told the developmental check was at 3yo now. I'm in Scotland though.

BadChat25 Thu 23-Jan-14 18:26:04

Maybe you should call and suggest a suitable time instead of them telling you.

It is for the benefit of your child. I don't understand your reasoning tbh

kungfupannda Thu 23-Jan-14 18:26:12

Well why not contact them and arrange the appt for a more convenient time?

DS2 just had his 2 year check, and it was just a tick box exercise and a quick chat. Completely unnecessary

Yup, I had it with my DD (who is now 3). I remember vividly it was a waste of time, hence why I'm pissed. It makes no sense to target resources on the majority to sieve out the minority. Does this happen in the USA?

BadChat25 Thu 23-Jan-14 18:26:47

I'm in Edinburgh and we get one at 2 and 3

DinoSnores Thu 23-Jan-14 18:26:48

I refused DS's 2 year one as his 9 month one had been entirely pointless. They haven't been in touch at all, despite the fact that DS has had 2 A&E visits in the last 12 months which is supposed to be a yellow flag.

I wouldn't mind having one (my 2 year old is due one...) but in this authority we have to have "group contact" - not even 1-1. So sitting round with a group of strangers and their babies finding out how they're all doing too.

Apparently it's done like that to encourage friendships. Because half an hour will really do that. And I just LOVE being forced into "making friends".

Yep, fucks me right off.

Musicaltheatremum Thu 23-Jan-14 18:30:40

There is a new check now at 2. Our HVs feel it is turning up a few unexpected developmental problems. I feel sorry for HVs they cannot win. Agree some aren't as good as others. But hearing that one of ours had been in tears by a father being incredibly rude and aggressive to her I really felt for her.
Sometimes just accept the system and empathise with them. It's only one appointment. And yes I know it's our right to refuse but there are managers higher up who don't like it when people refuse.

CwtchesAndCuddles Thu 23-Jan-14 18:31:36

I had no concerns over ds2 - he was not talking but just seemed slower than his sister and had been walking since 10 months. At his 2 year check the HV noticed he wasn't responding to his name and suggested referral for hearing tests and a developmental assessment. I agreed to the referral in a kind of "better safe than sorry way" and as we waited for the tests my concerns over his development grew and I was glad he had already been referred.............
Ds has ASD and severe learning difficulties. Early diagnosis meant he had interventions as soon as possible and ensured he had a place in special school at the age of 3.

Cancel if you want to but these visits do serve an important purpose and a good HV like mine will often see things a parent has missed.

saffstel Thu 23-Jan-14 18:31:38

You are supposed to have 1 and 2 year checks. Where I live, due to funding, instead you get a lame leaflet in the post listing milestones and if your child doesn't meet them you can make an appointment.

I would have quite liked them for dd1

arethereanyleftatall Thu 23-Jan-14 18:32:46

I find your attitude awful op. Absolutely horrible and awful. In very sorry you don't want to waste 20mins of your precious time, but perhaps this way another baby p, for example, may be saved. Try to think about others sone time.

In very sorry you don't want to waste 20mins of your precious time, but perhaps this way another baby p, for example, may be saved. Try to think about others sone time.

There must be a better, cost effective-way of sieving out the baby ps.

oadcb Thu 23-Jan-14 18:35:41

damned if they do. damned if they don't

just like social workers.

Id like to see H.V with more statutory powers. However this Wouldnt work under Current scheme. The interventions are too opinion led and not based on a firm evidence base.

SaucyJack Thu 23-Jan-14 18:36:19

I feel under surveillance - in my own home.

Let's be honest- you ARE.

I totally totally get why you don't like having your family spied upon, but they'll generally go away quicker if you co-operate.

softlysoftly Thu 23-Jan-14 18:37:08

Yes it's pointless in your cause.

Yes maybe they and you have better things to do (I know I do).

But do you know what? I think checks at the surgery every 6 months up until attendance at full time school should be compulsory and non attendance trigger SS check up.

Invasive and in the most cases unnecessary but if it saves 1 child from the fate of the cases of little bodies abandoned in woodlands / cots / drowned in baths while the mother tops herself then I'll put myself out for that!

MyLeftElbow Thu 23-Jan-14 18:38:03

I had no concerns about DS2. He hit all his milestones except for speech. I just presumed he was slow to talk. However his 2 year check revealed some other developmental milestones that it hadn't even occurred to me that he'd not hit. He was such a quiet, content little chap (and I was going through a terrible time with DS1 who was 6 and being assessed for ADHD and Asperger's)

Anyway, if it hadn't been for the 2 year check it wouldn't have been spotted as early that DS2 was struggling, we wouldn't have had portage, a consultant and an eventual diagnosis of severe autism. He's 7 now and in a special school with 1-1 support at all times.

Obviously our case was extreme and you have no worries about your child - but the check is there for a really good reason and not just to be a nosy irritation.

more cost effective than having contact with you once a year?

MyLeftElbow Thu 23-Jan-14 18:39:00

C&C - it took me so long to write that I cross-posted with you!

yonisareforever Thu 23-Jan-14 18:39:07

kungfu i thought health professionals and lots of different agencies had been involved with lots of children who had been abused and it was the fact they had seen the dc that had been the very problem.

yonisareforever Thu 23-Jan-14 18:39:37

thinking daniel, baby p, the more recent one where the lady killed her three children....i think she was seen 200 times?

Salmotrutta Thu 23-Jan-14 18:39:54

Well, given the high profile cases of neglect and abuse that have emerged lately I'm sure they are using the checks to help screen for potential problems?

What would you have them do OP?

Say "That's fine" when less-than-attentive parents don't take up appointments or refuse them outright?
Maybe they regard the well-being of children to be more important than your busy life?

oldboiler Thu 23-Jan-14 18:41:02

Yabu. This is for your child's benefit and I can't see why you wouldn't agree to it despite the 'inconvenience'. It will take about 20 minutes FFS. If I were a HV your point blank refusal would indeed raise a reg flag with me.

SuburbanRhonda Thu 23-Jan-14 18:41:05

What better way would you suggest, OP?

No point complaining if you don't have an alternative to suggest.

Let's be honest- you ARE.

Yup, and that's fucked up. It doesn't sit right with me. Guilty until proven innocent. It's not logical.

Of course, I'll accept the appointment, in order to get off the radar. But I'll be asking the HV some Qs about why she's here and I'd like some honest answers. Do you reckon I'll get them?

Surely I'm entitled to the truth?

Salmotrutta Thu 23-Jan-14 18:43:01

You're certainly entitled...

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Thu 23-Jan-14 18:43:09

We just got a letter inviting us to contact them to book a check with the HV if we wanted one.

DD2's milestone-hitting is regularly monitored on several different scales by two or three different sets of professionals as it is so it didn't seem a good use of anyone's time.

RhondaJean Thu 23-Jan-14 18:43:13

Can you perhaps suggest a better way of "sieving out the baby ps"?

I know hvs can be overbearing in some cases but I cannot understand the resentment I see towards them on here. I was always delighted to show my lovely children off to any one mind you.

It's not only a check to detect abuse anyway, it's to check your child is developing normally and see if you have anything you want to ask or any worried or concerns as well. There are a lot of parents out there with mild concerns about their child or whether they are doing something wrong or right who don't want to go bother a GP with something small and they get a chance to ask for advice from the hvs.

BadChat25 Thu 23-Jan-14 18:43:48

I find your attitude really bizarre to say the least OP.

whereisthewitch Thu 23-Jan-14 18:44:03

Check your red book. ....there is a 24month check as standard.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Thu 23-Jan-14 18:44:16

I think it's pointless, I go military on my house and get it spotless for when I have HCP coming around.

With an appointment you can easily fake your home life.

SuburbanRhonda Thu 23-Jan-14 18:44:20

salmon grin

Salmotrutta Thu 23-Jan-14 18:44:22

Yes, "sieving out baby Ps" was a rather horrible phrase.

Lucked Thu 23-Jan-14 18:46:55

They have actually started the 2 year check to look for undiagnosed developmental delay, you op are obviously an experienced mum buy there was a realisation that more children were attending nursery/school with problems that the parents were unaware of and the opportunity for early intervention had been missed. The parents had no concerns and had never sought help.

The check on the child's well being is secondary but I think we are all realising very important.

sheriffofnottingham Thu 23-Jan-14 18:47:19

In very sorry you don't want to waste 20mins of your precious time, but perhaps this way another baby p, for example, may be saved. Try to think about others sone time

I'm not trying to be provocative but I really can't see the logic in this statement. I can't see how whether or not OP choses to accept an optional visit would in any way either help or hinder vulnerable children.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 23-Jan-14 18:49:24

The last hv I saw was lovely. I have no problem with them wanting to do a 2 year check. It's 20 minutes out of our day, it's hardly a hassle.

I'd love to know how you think they can do better at sieving out the babyPs, as you put it. I find your attitude really strange.

Jemma1111 Thu 23-Jan-14 18:51:26

Op why are you so pissed off that the hv wants to pay you a visit in order to check that YOUR child is ok ?.

Your attitude is disgusting

Wombles... if it helps, I cancelled and refused to arrange another. In fact my son has only seen 1 health visitor for a check at around 6 months.

There hasn't, to my knowledge been any other further checks done, he's now 3. They have left me alone and no further interest has been raised.

If you don't want to, then don't do it.

5HundredUsernamesLater Thu 23-Jan-14 18:53:24

It's going back a few years to when my daughter had visits so no expert but is it possible the poor health visitor is just doing her job and has to make a minimum number of visits to each child. I think you are probably overreacting. Could understand it if it was the social workers from the child protection team that were insistent on dropping in.

allthingsfluffy Thu 23-Jan-14 18:54:37

You aren't the only busy parent in the world OP. Your attitude stinks.

HV check ups are A Good Thing. They can spot any developmental delays that a parent might miss or put down as normal. They can see if a family is struggling or could do with some extra support. And if SS were to ever become involved with a family, the HV can often give some more information about the family.

So what if you feel under surveillance. Hide under a rock then. You are under surveillance everywhere, in every aspect of life. Your emails are read, when you go on holiday you are being watched. CCTV is everywhere. At the supermarket, on the streets. ANPR cameras track your vehicles movements, buses have cameras.

I really can't see why you are reacting like this if you have nothing to hide. Its a ten minute check on your child.

Fresh01 Thu 23-Jan-14 18:58:34

The 2 year old check was introduced between my DC2 and DC3. I have a fantastic health visitor. She said it is done in your home not to check out our homes but because most 2 year olds would clam up completely in a doctors surgery and therefore be a complete waste of time.

It was introduced as too much missed between 12 month check and preschool check. Particularly speech but also solids (by 2 should be on normal texture family foods) and toilet training.

To check eye sight she put a few sprinkles in his hand and asked him to pick one up and put in his mouth. Then had 10 flash cards to get him to say the words of to check his speech.

Dc3 was behind in speech so we both monitored it, discussed it after 6 months and now he is getting speech therapy as words are there but he isn't saying them correctly.

So yes for us it was beneficial.

wherethewildthingis Thu 23-Jan-14 19:00:04

The appointment is for your child, not you. Your child is not an extension of you, or your property. He is a person in his own right and has the right to have his health checked, regardless of whether you are busy or it makes you uncomfortable. Really, YABU

Solo Thu 23-Jan-14 19:00:09

I booked my Dd's 2 year appointment at the surgery as I did not want the home scrutiny. They had no problem with that.

CoffeeTea103 Thu 23-Jan-14 19:02:33

Yabu, just because you tell them there is no need for concern should they just believe you?

colleysmill Thu 23-Jan-14 19:05:17

It's really difficult.

On the one hand resources need to be channelled to the families who need and would benefit from hv support the most but unless you have a system in place that can help identify those children and families how do you know who is most in need? Not all families recognise there is a potential problem with their child (or do but are reluctant for a number of reasons to seek help) but other families will and seek help accordingly.

By offering a development check at a certain point it's an opportunity for contact with a hcp for everyone. I'm not sure if there is a better way of doing this, if there was I'm sure it would be implemented.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 23-Jan-14 19:05:22

Why are you spending all this time and energy getting worked up about a 2 yr check?
You don't have to accept it.
If you do accept hen you know why she's there.... To do the check.
Or do you just enjoy making people feel uncomfortable?

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 23-Jan-14 19:09:40

I've refused all appointments for ds. I probably should have just let them happen tbh because its causing more stress this way, especially as refusing has meant they'll come to my home at a time that suits me!?

BUT I never had a good relationship with them when my ds was going through diagnosis for ASD (accused of being neurotic) and subsequently concluded that they wouldn't know a developmental disorder if it was staring them in the face (it was).

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Thu 23-Jan-14 19:09:44

Someone asked earlier if the 2 year check happens in the US. Yes they do along with checks at 12, 15 and 18 months. And they've been with a paediatrician at their office rather than at home. It is a lot of visits to the doctor but for us they've coincided with vaccinations.

candycoatedwaterdrops Thu 23-Jan-14 19:10:56

Gosh, the drama from some people. Would it really kill you to have a professional cast their eye over your child?

FutTheShuckUp Thu 23-Jan-14 19:12:22

It is as others have said to detect potential development problems which if intervention was delivered early may have a better outcome. But its not just about the child its about you, your health and wellbeing as parents can develop depression or mental health problems at any time, particularly up to a year after birth but sometimes can go undetected until the child is three years of age which can in turn affect the development of your child negatively.
But it can be a visit to discuss any concerns or possible referrals to social services, just because a parent states everything is fine and there are no problems that does not mean its necessarily true. And in light of all the serious case reviews of recent years they are duty bound to visit. Its a shame people are so uncooperative and defensive when ultimately it may prevent the death or maltreatment of a child which when it sadly does happen people like to blame on the professionals they also slate for trying to get access to them.

RainbowSpiral Thu 23-Jan-14 19:14:09

I hate health visitor checks. I felt because I had post-natal psychosis that I did have to accept the checks or they would follow up. That is possibly logical from the outside but for me it was upsetting. It would have helped if my health visitor wasn't so patronising and definite about everything.

MPB Thu 23-Jan-14 19:17:04

If your DC attended nursery/ pre school/ childminder they too would have to do their version of a 2 year check. It is part of the EYFS and is a Statutory Requirement.

It's just to check everything is OK and to intervene early if not e.g speech delay.

bodygoingsouth Thu 23-Jan-14 19:18:27

I have no idea why you would make such a big deal of this.

phone them and arrange a mutually agreeable time.

MPB Thu 23-Jan-14 19:18:49

Ds1 (8) didn't have one it was pre Baby P, but DS2. (Nearly 5) did, but it was at the health centre.

WilsonFrickett Thu 23-Jan-14 19:21:55

Our medical practice couldn't keep a HV on staff, so my DS didn't get a 2 yr check. I will always wonder if his autism would have been picked up more quickly if someone had seen him. Certainly I never picked it up. Because when they're that tiny, it usually takes a HCP...

Joiningthegang Thu 23-Jan-14 19:24:48

Yanbu to ask the purpose of the check

Yabu to be so defensive and refusing what could be a quick visit if there are no problems

pianodoodle Thu 23-Jan-14 19:29:13

I was disappointed when no one got in touch to arrange the 2 year developmental check for DD - turns out they're running late with it all here so she's having it next week.

I wasn't over keen on my first HV but the new one for second baby has been lovely.

Also, first time round I had a query about DD and they were on the other end of the phone to help. It seems mean to not just let them get on with their job for all the time it takes.

SecretGP Thu 23-Jan-14 19:30:17

Your attitude is ridiculous OP.

I really don't get why you want 'honest answers' about their visit. Surely it's obvious, they want to ensure your child is ok!

It's not casting aspersions about your parenting, it's about the health of your child.

And all mums are busy people, what an ridiculous statement to make.

Get a fucking grip.

AwfulMaureen Thu 23-Jan-14 19:32:31

If they did not insist on seeing all children SO many would fall through the cracks. Stop being difficult. Let them see your son.

polythenespam Thu 23-Jan-14 19:32:35

yabu. it's a standard and quick check, to make sure your child is ok. with all due respect, there could be something you've overlooked.

if you start asking the hv for "honest answers" as to why she's there you're going to come across a bit unhinged tbh

bionic77 Thu 23-Jan-14 19:33:14

YABU the time you've spent posting on this thread the HV could have been and gone. Is your house such a pigsty you can't dig it out for one visit. Get over yourself it's not actually about you but with that attitude maybe it should be.

Invasive and in the most cases unnecessary but if it saves 1 child from the fate of the cases of little bodies abandoned in woodlands / cots / drowned in baths while the mother tops herself then I'll put myself out for that!

How would a home visit prevent what you have described?

AwfulMaureen Thu 23-Jan-14 19:34:06

Wildthings has it in one. Your son has a right to be seen by a professional. MANY parents miss all kinds of developmental issues.

JassyRadlett Thu 23-Jan-14 19:34:56

My HV dropped me like a lead balloon. DS hasn't been near a HV for either 9 month or 2 year checks. Either these are standard or necessary or they aren't - instead there's a postcode lottery where your location determines the level of engagement/harassment (pick your poison).

AwfulMaureen Thu 23-Jan-14 19:34:57

Wombles because some parents can be seen to be mentally unstable the moment a professional walks in...others are obviously addicts or just neglectful.

notso Thu 23-Jan-14 19:35:52

It violates my sense of personal liberty
What a load of old shit, you sound like one of those sad face nobheads in the Daily Mail suing someone for putting sugar in their tea.

Don't have the appointment if you don't want it, but accept that refusing might raise concerns.

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 19:41:11

I was bathing DD so only just come back and checked.

There is no duress involved- duress would be 'let us do your check or we will involve the police'. I was merely pointing out that refusal without good reason (such as that your child is already being seen by other health professionals) will raise alarm bells.

As for your reasons:
1. You can ask for the check to be carried out at a health centre or sure start or similar. They want to see your son, not your house. Of DD's checks, only the immediate postnatal ones were carried out at home due to me having a c section. After the 6 week check, I haven't met with anyone at home.
2. You can also ask for the check to be carried out at a time that suits you. I have met with the HV in the afternoon before.
3. It's a screening programme, they have decided that it's more cost effective to see children at 2 and put early interventions in place if needed, than waiting till children start school, by which time more intensive and longer interventions are needed. You might think that your son is OK, but are you a trained professional with experience of hundreds of children? (Even if you were, it's easy to miss something in your own child because you have blinkers on). It's not a waste of NHS time any more than doing smear tests on 1000s of women who turn out not to have cancer is.
4. It's quick, an hour of your time maximum. And in fact, in view of your objections 1 and 2, I'd be tempted to pop along to a weigh/drop in session at the sure start, say hi to the HVs, explain that his 2 year check is due but you have no concerns and is it really necessary? They will probably ask you a few cursory questions, make a note in his red book, takes you 10 minutes at a time and place to suit you, and they're happy that he's been seen. Job done.

SusanC5 Thu 23-Jan-14 19:44:21

You seem to be getting a hard time OP. I refused any contact with the HV after our first meeting, when her main concern was not the health and welfare of my DS, but the choice of biscuits in my biscuit tin.

Cuddlydragon Thu 23-Jan-14 19:44:26

YABU. You're reaction to a health professional offering to come to your home to check on your child's development is a tad over the top. Tbh if you've been as forthright with them as you've been in your posts I can see why they're insisting. I'm glad they're insisting, I think a society that spends money checking in the young and potentially vulnerable is ok with me. As for answering your questions honestly, what offends you about them saying they just want to be sure the child is ok?

JakeBullet Thu 23-Jan-14 19:44:57

Wombles, am sure this has been said already here but you don't have to see the HV or have this check. I used to be a HV and in many areas this 2 year check isn't even done. Obviously in your area it's been decreed that it should be offered. The key word here is "offered" and you don't have to accept.

mymatemax Thu 23-Jan-14 19:45:27

Wombles, but its not about you is it, its about the children.
The HV doesn't know you the next family & cant make an assessment on your childs welfare and development if they don't actually see them.
How do they know all is well & dandy?

Why see it as sinister & intrusive? I just don't get it?

Lambzig Thu 23-Jan-14 19:47:03

Wildthings has it spot on. It's not about you, it's about your child.

I don't agree it's about saving children at risk necessarily, I am not sure that expecting a HV to identify risk in a 20 minute visit is practical. However, I think it's very reassuring to hear your DC has hit all the developmental milestones. Ok, you can look those up yourself, but we are all inclined to be biased where our DC are concerned and I think its useful to get a trained third parties objective view. No matter how busy, surely that is worth 20 mins of anyone's time.

YABU and very precious.

With an appointment you can easily fake your home life.


Op why are you so pissed off that the hv wants to pay you a visit in order to check that YOUR child is ok ?

I know MY child is okay. I'm an ex-nursery nurse with degree-level training in child development (sorry for the drip feed, but you seem to think I may be unaware if my kid was having issues). I know my child is doing great.

Your attitude is disgusting

It's disgusting that I don't want a stranger to invite herself into my home at an inconvenient time because she (based on zero evidence) wants to check my child isn't delayed or abused? Really, that's disgusting??

giantpurplepeopleeater did they try to rearrange the appointment?

NinjaBunny Thu 23-Jan-14 19:51:30

I never saw a Health Visitor at all.


I gave birth at 1am. Left the hospital with DS at lunchtime the next day after seeing no one (not one member of staff) since I'd been stitched up. I was starving, need some paracetamol and just wanted to be at home.

DS has been to the Dr a few times over the years (ear infections, chicken pox, etc) and A&E once or twice (bumps to the head) so they have our details.

But no one has ever contacted me about him. Ever.

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 23-Jan-14 19:51:33

The OP or anyone else has the right to decide whether or not the service will be helpful or otherwise for their child. This includes the family and their own response to a visit from the HV and that impact on the child.

HVs can be great, but they can also be not great. In my case they prevented early intervention for my classically Autistic DS that I would have accessed had I gone another route. Their gatekeeping, egos and paperwork got in the way.

I had a similar experience when seeking breastfeeding help. They made things much much worse for me.

I will not be using their service again, not because I object to a waste of my time, but because I would like to prevent further harm to my children and family.

I can see where you're coming from OP, I found myself irritated when I listened to a message from a health visitor yesterday informing me should would be coming to meet my two youngest DC. This is the first contact we've had from her in the 9 months we've lived here and now a call out of the blue to invite herself into my home. I do find it rude tbh and it instantly put my back up.

In contrast, my last HV called me when I registered there and asked if I would mind her popping in and explained that the visit was routine and the reasons for it. I was much more receptive to my old HV unsurprisingly and she was greeted with a cup of tea when she arrived.

We all know we are under surveillance (I felt this particularly 15 years ago as a teen mum) but there are ways of making a necessary intrusion feel less intrusive iyswim.

bella411 Thu 23-Jan-14 19:54:03

I don't in general get the hatred of the hv, all of mine have good, though not really involved with dd. Have only seen them 3 times. My dd had her 9mo check this week and even though I know and work with the eyfs it was good to check her development with another professionals.

I think what wastes hv time more (and they could be spending it with the vulnerable mums and families) is people refusing to have the generic check ups therefore the hv has to waste time calling and writing to you, rearranging visits just because don't like, trust them, see them as a waste of space, mum knows best and all that shite etc etc

Heydiddledumdum Thu 23-Jan-14 19:54:26

Yabvu. Chip on your shoulder??? hmm

mymatemax Thu 23-Jan-14 19:55:17

Its not disgusting, you know you & the fact that you have all this child development knowledge & are a balanced caring mother with your child best interest at heart.

They do not, so they want to check.
They are putting your childs welfare above you.
that's the way it should be

Nanny0gg Thu 23-Jan-14 19:55:46

God. It's an hour out of your life.

You may be an 'expert', but thousands aren't. So there is a system to help those who may have problems. Most don't, but some also find it reassuring.

You don't want it, don't have it. But personally, I'm glad the opportunity is there.

MOTU Thu 23-Jan-14 19:57:39

My dd is 2.5 and we were never invited for a check and I never chased for one cos she's fine but I don't mind these appointments, either your child is doing swimmingly which is nice to hear or isn't which is necessary to hear.....

I personally have found hvs pretty pointless thus far but I certainly don't object to their involvement in our lives.

peppinagiro Thu 23-Jan-14 19:57:50

YANBU. My HV is utterly useless. She's a dangerous mix of condescending, completely uninformed, critical and with a total disregard for confidentiality - she nattered away about a neighbour's problems as soon as she set foot in my house. There is no way on earth I would contact her for advice on anything. I'd get more expertise and wisdom from the contents of the nappy bin. I've no intention of allowing her anywhere near me or my baby again.

JassyRadlett is correct. I live in a nice part of a shitty area.

BadChat25 Thu 23-Jan-14 19:59:24

OP Why post on AIBU when all you want to hear is you are right. You have every right to tell them to piss off.

You sound like a petulant child.

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 23-Jan-14 19:59:47

It's an OPTIONAL service. Optional services should not impose themselves on anyone. It is the parent's right currently to decide which of the available services are beneficial to her child. When a HV hounds that perception tips from may be beneficial, through 'not fussed' to detrimental.

Vaccinations are also optional, as is schooling, as is what you feed your kids. No-one should have to answer questions about these things or be hounded into taking up the services unless there are genuine safeguarding concerns, which must be made clear first.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 23-Jan-14 20:01:18

I know MY child is okay. I'm an ex-nursery nurse with degree-level training in child development

And? I'm a paediatric nurse, as are most hv (if not general nurses), I have no issues with my DS's development but still have no problem with them wanting to see him, even if its a tick box exercise. Infact the last one I saw we ended up having a nice chat about nursing.

what offends you about them saying they just want to be sure the child is ok?

Guilty until proven innocent. That's what offends me.

bodygoingsouth Thu 23-Jan-14 20:02:43

er qualified nursery nurses abuse and neglect children too you know op. nurses, doctors, lawyers, politicians, big TV stars, can neglect children be cruel and abusive.

being well educated and 'busy' doesn't mean your HV immediately thinks ' oh middle class professional here so obviously don't need to check on her child.'???

I hope you don't have the same prejudiced attitude in your working life with children as you could be ignoring warning signs under your nose.

I think you are miffed because your HV sent you an appointment. you sound full of your own self importance to be honest.

pigletmania Thu 23-Jan-14 20:03:06

Op you may know your child is ok but others are not, and need health professional intervention. It's a way of assessing your child and if they need any help, if they do it's better that the child gets the help whilst they are very young. You may think that your child pis fine when they might not be, it takes a trained professional to see it. I would rather the checks, than children falling through the net not getting the help or intervention that they need. So book a an appointment at a convenient time and let the HV do her job

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 23-Jan-14 20:04:05

what offends you about them saying they just want to be sure the child is ok?

Guilty until proven innocent. That's what offends me

Seriously? They aren't out to get you. Believe me they want your child to be ok, it's a lot less paperwork for a start.

bella411 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:04:25

So wombles your area with have a high level of hv involvement. Like mine as same here, live on the boarder of the areas of high deprivation and worked in the local schools etc. Please just have the check up, show off how great your child is, I find as someone you knows about child development I have a different conversation with them. Rather than pratting about and wasting the hv time in having to repeatingly call you when it could be used more resourceful with families who need it.

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 23-Jan-14 20:04:45

'Op you may know your child is ok but others are not, and need health professional intervention.'

That may be true but it is up to the parents to decide whether or not they'd like an opinion on this. Having been on the receiving end of health professional intervention, it absolutely wasn't worth the effort of getting it.

StarlightMcKingsThree most of the people on this thread would tell you that you are selfish and to suck it up.

pigletmania Thu 23-Jan-14 20:09:00

Starlight my dd 6 gas ASD, I as a parent did not want to acknowledge anything was wrong, it was like 'she's fine, late developer etc, it took professionals to realise there was a problem and to do something about it! Not all parents want to realise there might be something wrong with their child!

Heydiddledumdum Thu 23-Jan-14 20:09:52

"Guilty until proven innocent. That's what offends me."

What an odd way to think.... confused

Why are you even associating this visit with guilt??? Guilty of what?

It would have never occurred to me to think of these check-up visits in that way, in fact I was miffed that dc1 missed out on the 2 yr check. Admittedly most HVs I have encountered were a bit patronising and interpreted current health guidelines a bit too freely for my taste (not all though). But I feel as a mum I am part of this society and quite happy to play ball when there is no harm to me or my family.

You know what Op, you sound like you do feel guilty about something. What is it? Why are you resisting so much?

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 23-Jan-14 20:10:34

Yes I know.

I think unless you actually NEED the services they claim to deliver you won't realise how dangerous they can be.

It all looks very harmless from the outside but on the inside quality is extremely variable, inconsistent across PCTs and as far as I can tell the service has very little in the way of independent evaluation or Evidence Based Practice or proper accountability checks of information delivered to new parents.

Pollaidh Thu 23-Jan-14 20:11:03

You are being a bit unreasonable. I was so grateful when my hv offered to come to my house to save me the trek. My HV has been helpful and extremely supportive, even though I kind of feel I'm wasting her time. Also she's so nice that when she saw me at the doc's this week and I hadn't seen her for a weigh in for about 2 months (with a young baby), she rearranged her schedule so I didn't have to make a second trip (am disabled), and spent about an hour with me.

Every time we go to a&e with the eldest we get the standard social situation check to see if we're high risk, and although it's stressful I absolutely don't mind that because there are children out there who might be saved by those few questions. The only thing that worries me is that when they realise we're married and educated they seem to tick a mental 'ok' box. Educated parents abuse too, and they're probably better at hiding it.

perplexedpirate Thu 23-Jan-14 20:11:03

Suck it up, shut up and buckle under. It is the lot of the new parent, to be constantly under suspicion.
And they wonder why people struggle...

pigletmania Thu 23-Jan-14 20:11:14

As a result of professional intervention, dd has been dx with ASD, sage is in a fantastic school fir Autism and is doing so well, without that I dread to think where she will be.

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 23-Jan-14 20:11:46

But which professionals piglet? HVs?

Did they bring it up at the 2 year check?

itispersonal Thu 23-Jan-14 20:11:52

wombles surely as an ex nursery nurse and degree level training in child development, you should know exactly why these checks are done.

So why all the fuss?

Why post on AIBU when all you want to hear is you are right

If you look at my OP you will see that I was asking "AIBU to ask the HV why she's here?"

The question was not "AIBU to refuse the visit".

Yet people seem to be answering the latter. Bizarre.

pigletmania Thu 23-Jan-14 20:13:29

Op I think you know very well why the HV is there, as a professional you should be expected to know!

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 23-Jan-14 20:13:40

My family has crossed paths with 2 excellent HVs. I am grateful for their help.

But I sought them out for their expertise and skills. They weren't chasing me.

pigletmania Thu 23-Jan-14 20:14:22

Yes they did actually

cherryhealey Thu 23-Jan-14 20:14:35

In our area nursery nurses carry out 2 year reviews
HVs are far too busy and overwhelmed with child protection....this is a ordinary town not inner city
The HVs have a horrific job- under resourced and short staffed.
YABU- universal surveillance picks up lots of issues .

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 23-Jan-14 20:15:05

I ask all professionals now what they are expecting the outcome to be for my child as a result of their visit/intervention/meeting.

Most don't seem to have a clue - Which is when I part company.

mymatemax Thu 23-Jan-14 20:17:48

But Starlight its not always about if you NEED their service, its sometimes about if a child NEEDS them & a reluctant parent does occasionally - and I'm not suggesting it to be the case with the op - have something to hide.
Persistence is sometimes what is needed to help a child in need.

Unless you allow access the HV cannot make an assessment, albeit brief.
Yes we are in a country where we have a choice BUT the OP really cannot criticize the HV for attempting to do their job

Nanny0gg Thu 23-Jan-14 20:18:01

You know why she's there, so pointless asking.

See her, don't see her.

I'm sure if she does see you, you'll be able to put her straight over any observations she might make, so I doubt there'll be any problems.

Why are you even associating this visit with guilt???

Read the prior remark by one poster who said "nursery nurses abuse kids too".


You know what Op, you sound like you do feel guilty about something. What is it? Why are you resisting so much?

I don't like HVs, having worked with them and also with my prior experience. The ones in my area are particularly patronising and anti-bf.

SecretGP Thu 23-Jan-14 20:19:08

Ok OP if you want people to answer 'AIBU to ask why the health visitor is here' then here's your answer.

Of course you are being unreasonable as they have told you why, for the 2 year check.

NewBeginings Thu 23-Jan-14 20:19:24

You seem to be baffled that the system wasn't designed specifically with you in mind! Just because it's not what you feel you want or need does not mean it's not a good thing on a grander scale.

Thetallesttower Thu 23-Jan-14 20:19:30

I opted out of HV involvement for my second child after birth, my first had several HV including one who said something very upsetting to me when I was already finding things difficult after a traumatic birth. Second time around, I weighed my own child, happy for her to be checked if they called round, but I didn't take her to baby clinics (I tracked her weight myself).

I did have the three year (then) for the first, the second they asked me to contact them if I was concerned/wanted a visit, I didn't, and they were lovely about it.

It seems to have moved from an optional supportive service to a compulsory one. I don't believe it will help with child abuse whatsoever, all of the cases mentioned above, the parents and children were already involved extensively with social services/police and so on (50 odd contacts for one case) and it still didn't make any difference. Health visitors may be more useful for developmental checks, although mine couldn't spot a tongue tie and gave me out of date information about flattened heads.

If you talk to anyone who works in social services child protection or child psychology/psychiatry they will tell you there are so many already extremely serious cases overwhelming them and it is difficult to cope. My friend who is a child psychologist had cases of child self-harm, parental neglect and she used to have to beg ss to take the cases. I would rather the money was poured into these services than HV because with the best will in the world, a small visit once every two years is pointless as a child abuse prevention measure, Baby P's mother used to hide the child's bruises with chocolate and tidy up.

I don't think HV should interpret lack of interest in their visits as unwillingness to engage, the team I had involvement with were really lovely and saw themselves as offering services, not imposing them.

BadChat25 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:22:01

AIBU to ask the HV why she's here?

Is it not obvious, she would be there to do a development check with your DC...

allthingsfluffy Thu 23-Jan-14 20:22:39

If you look at my OP you will see that I was asking "AIBU to ask the HV why she's here?"

Ok I will answer that.

YABU to ask someone, who is just doing their job, a question you already know the answer to. Its extremely passive aggressive and confrontational.

If you think it will make you look clever, believe me it won't.

Yes we are in a country where we have a choice

It's not a choice though is it?

bodygoingsouth Thu 23-Jan-14 20:24:12

pig what a very brave and interesting post. good for you. it is hard to acknowledge your child may need help so great point.

op what a bloody fuss.

as a degree level health care professional you should really know what HV are and what they do. you should also know visits are not mandatory in this country so there is no issue here anyway.

in case you missed a bit on your course though let me tell you that anyone of any profession can neglect/abuse their child.

keep that in mind if you work with children

strongurgetofly Thu 23-Jan-14 20:24:39

The check in my area is 2.5 . With dc 1 they just sent a form with a return envelope asking various questions. I put on the form that I didn't think it was a valid way of checking and open to abuse. With dc2 they opted to visit (they have had more funding). I was glad they came because I learned some new guidance and they offered support for some of my own issues which I wouldnt have got if they hadn't visited me.
They are doing it for the right reasons. Better safe than sorry. For the hundreds of people with nothing to hide there are hundreds more who need help and this is one way of establishing need.

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 23-Jan-14 20:24:51

Mymate he HV knows it is an optional service. They are a HVing service not Social Services.

New Parents should not be expected to understand or worry about the intricacies of the system that puts HV's in a bloody awful position, or read between the lines that they aren't all or 'just' what they are called.

When you have to badger your GP for a referral for something you are concerned about it IS annoying to have a HV service banging on your door for something you are not. It becomes about the service provider rather than a service based on need.

MrsOakenshield Thu 23-Jan-14 20:26:27

well she's not there is she, as you won't let her enter your home, so your AIBU makes no sense. If she was there you could ask her and she would say she is doing a 2 year check.

I went in for mine, it was fine, quite interesting. I think it helps them to get stats of where 2 year olds are and to pick up things that may go unnoticed.

HVs can certainly be very hit-and-miss but I think this is fairly benign.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 23-Jan-14 20:27:33

I can understand you not liking Hvs OP if your experience has been negative.
I have felt the same about the nursery nurses in the HV team that DCs are seen by. I have found a frew of them to be very poorly qualified and over opinionated tbh.
But i don't think I would want to be as forthright as you seem to want to be, because it would be rude. I have always understood why they (HV or NN) are "there". It's sort of obvious.
I have the checks because I like to see How the DCs are growing and whether the HV thinks there's anything I can do to improve their lot.
If I felt the need to grill the person doing the check because I deemed it unneccessary I just wouldn't have the check.

you should also know visits are not mandatory in this country so there is no issue here anyway.

THAT'S my issue. They claim their 'service' is optional, but their actions say otherwise. They are being dishonest.

Lambzig Thu 23-Jan-14 20:30:57

It's not about thinking you are potentially a bad parent and finding you guilty it's about a health check for your child. You may have a lot more knowledge than most, but can you truly say you are objective about your own DC?

However, I give up, you are determined to take offence and be self righteous about it, so just cancel the appointment.

eurochick Thu 23-Jan-14 20:31:34

I understand the OP's concerns and think she is getting an unnecessarily hard time here. I do not know a single person in my social circle who has found health visitors helpful. A number have found them actively unhelpful. Only one has felt able to opt out of the service. All of the others have felt too scared of getting a "black mark" for opting out of service to do it. So they sit and nod and then ignore the useless "advice" they are given. It's a complete waste of everyone's time.

in case you missed a bit on your course though let me tell you that anyone of any profession can neglect/abuse their child.

You've just demonstrated my 'guilty until proven innocent' point.

mymatemax Thu 23-Jan-14 20:32:39

I completely get that the frustrations of looking for service support that just isn't forthcoming and also the bizarre system whereby our children our expected to fit the service model available rather than providing what is actually needed.

It is an optional service but it is a difficult assessment to make when a parent is resisting contact, maybe for perfectly good reason but until there is some contact the HV (or any other prof) just isn't able to get a feel for if they should be concerned or not.

well she's not there is she, as you won't let her enter your home, so your AIBU makes no sense.

I made the thread prior to the appointment. I thought that was obvious hmm

itispersonal Thu 23-Jan-14 20:34:55

They should just make it compulsory and if you failed to attend the appointment you get fined. Would you be more happy with that op?

Heydiddledumdum Thu 23-Jan-14 20:35:26

I don't like HVs, having worked with them and also with my prior experience.

A bit of a sweeping generalisation. I agree that there are HVs, especially 'old school' ones who can be patronising and prescriptive or even borderline unprofessional by offering advice that is not based on evidence.

Saying that you are bu to make such a fuss of this. Either you let the lady come and get it over and done with or refuse and also be over and done with. As said upthread, they cannot make you open your door to them. By all means ask them what the reason for their visit is but try not to be confrontational? No need for that, she is just doing her job. And it must be a tough job dealing with reluctant families, troubled families etc.e etc.

The ones in my area are particularly patronising and anti-bf.

Ok, are you still bf? If yes is it this why you don't feel up for being questioned about extended bf or possibly be made to feel guilty because extended bf is sadly not that common. She might make assumptions on sleep etc and by possibly questioning bf at this age criticise your parenting? I do sympathise with this bit but think that if you are prepared the HCV might yet learn something useful from you about bf? grin

Just chill and make a decision whether you want her or not.

They should just make it compulsory and if you failed to attend the appointment you get fined. Would you be more happy with that op?

Yes I bloody would! I'd know exactly where I stood. No patronising 'choice' rhetoric.

Heydiddledumdum no way will I be bringing up bf.

MrsOakenshield Thu 23-Jan-14 20:39:49

no, I've read all your posts and nowhere do you say that the HV is in, or has been in, your home. So your AIBU of asking the HV why she is here makes no sense as she isn't. You can't ask someone who isn't there why she is there.

itispersonal Thu 23-Jan-14 20:39:57

Good, I personally think it should be compulsory! Cut out the time wasters ...

Though I still don't get your objections, if you are/ were in the profession.

Heydiddledumdum Thu 23-Jan-14 20:41:30

no way will I be bringing up bf.
Why? Out of interest....

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 23-Jan-14 20:42:29

I would feel uneasy around a HV who was anti bf, especially as I fed my DS until he was 2.
If you really don't want the check just don't have it.
What do you think they'll do?
The only action they could possibly take is to record that your child hasn't had a 2 yr review (these checks are back in fashion ATM as others have explained)
Not scary really.

SecretGP Thu 23-Jan-14 20:42:46

I also think your experience and education means much really here.

As a 'health professional' you should know that it is inappropriate to 'treat' your own children or family as a parent could perhaps struggle to view the situation objectively.

I'm a GP. But I do not treat my DD. I take her to her own doctor if she needs it. I wouldn't be arrogant enough to assume I am an expert and refuse medical/health professional advice if it is offered.

I don't think my daughter has a problem, she's a bright little thing. But if and when the HV calls to make an appointment I wouldn't turn it down. Because it is for my daughter's benefit. They are there to advise, not to instruct. If their advice doesn't agree with how my family operates then I will politely ignore but I will accept their well intentioned visit with grace and respect as a fellow health professional.

HVs do not visit with a hidden agenda of guilty until proven innocent. Given your vast education I'm surprised you don't know this.

pigletmania Thu 23-Jan-14 20:43:26

Thanks the body, ds is 2, has just had his check, apart from slow speech, everything seems to be fine, I will go to the SALT drop in at our local sure start, he is so different to dd. it is horribal to admit something is wrong, you just close your ears. I eventually had to wake up and realise when the differences between her and her peers came blindingly obvious.

SecretGP Thu 23-Jan-14 20:44:19

*doesnt mean much here

girliefriend Thu 23-Jan-14 20:45:31

I feel really sorry for the poor hv who does the visit, you have already decided it's a waste of time and you don't like her, before she has even set foot through the door!

I seriously can't get my head round why this would be an issue confused and also do you not have any concerns about your 2yo?! None? Nothing at all? Really ? hmm

I would always be glad to have a professional glance an eye over dd and to ask advice on how she was doing developmentally. With my dd it was at the 2yr check up that the hv mentioned concerns over lack of clarity in her speech. She ref dd to ent for a hearing test and she was found to have severe glue ear resulting in needing gromits.

This is for your childs benefit, seriously find something else that actually matters to get in a tizz over.

Oblomov Thu 23-Jan-14 20:47:06

I hate hv's. I've had nothing but horrendous experiences with them.

But I think OP should just make a convenient pm appointment at the health centre, rather than her home.

pigletmania Thu 23-Jan-14 20:47:11

I agree secret, you don't have to take their advice you can make your own judgement, this is what I will do with ds, he is only just 2 so of course he is not going to do everything a 2.10 year ok'd would do. Even 2 months is a long time in young child development. So will play it by ear, and if later on there are concerns I will flag it up with the GP

Heydiddledumdum because of potential anti-BF sentiment. And also because its none of her business.

To sum up the outcome of this debate:

I am having the visit.

I am asking why she is here, as the letter said the visit was optional.

Just to spell it out:

I'm pissed off that they claim the service is optional, and then when I try to cancel, they undermine my decision.

Does this make sense????

itispersonal Thu 23-Jan-14 20:50:38

So still going to be an arse, when you already know the answer.

JakeBullet Thu 23-Jan-14 20:50:54

Actually it's people like the OP who eventually made me decide to give it up. Nothing worse than making a planned home visit to someone who has already decided you are a waste of time and doesn't want you there.

Cancel the visit OP fgs, tell them you don't want it. Trust me, most HV's are overrun with child protection cases these days'll give them a space to see someone who does need their input.

BadChat25 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:51:54

I'm going to come off this thread cause I really can't stand your attitude but I will say this...

They are not trying to catch you out and find you guilty of anything. They would be there to check your child's development and general well being. The fact you are a nursery nurse is irrelevant, mothers can sometimes be less likely to pick up on early signs of development issues regardless of their training. This can range from genuinely not noticing to just not wanting to see it and everything between.

If you don't want the appointment then cancel and tell them you do not want to rearrange (do not be surprised if this raises red flags), if you decide to go ahead by all means ask what the purpose of the checks are for but try not to be arsey to someone who is just doing their job. Although I can appreciate you will probably find this extremely difficult.

JakeBullet Thu 23-Jan-14 20:52:47

It will be the clerk who has rearranged it....I doubt the HV is even aware you don't want the visit. Most admin staff have been cut back to the you cancel the visit. Another clerk comes in, sees the visit is cancelled but doesn't know why so sends out a new appointment. Nowt to do with the HV....she is just sent out to see the booked appointments.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 23-Jan-14 20:54:59

But it is optional. You can decline.
Wither their admin system is a bit clumsy (hence the reappointment) or there's something you're not telling us about your child's, or your history.
It seems that youo're just looking forward to to the confrontation so I guess that's a bonus for you.
Totally agree with secretGP

SusanC5 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:55:15

Can someone please explain why refusing an "optional HV" visit would raise a red flag?

Cancel the visit OP fgs, tell them you don't want it.

I did.

They didn't listen.

It will be the clerk who has rearranged it...

It was the HV. She left a voicemail in person.

Yup SusanC5 I'd like to know.

MozzchopsThirty Thu 23-Jan-14 20:59:45

Did u feel this way about the midwife who came to see you at home postnatally? Did she violate you by entering your house??
Why the hatred against HVs?

Just tell her you don't want the check and stop wasting her time. She will have a list of children she needs to see each month for 6m, 12m, 18m checks etc, she's just working through that.
Unless she has any concerns about your child's safety then there won't be an issue, just opt out.

BadChat25 Thu 23-Jan-14 21:00:16

A normal HV just checking in etc wouldn't but a development check will. They do these things for a reason not just for fun.

Idespair Thu 23-Jan-14 21:00:43

In my area the 2yr check is done by post. But I think you'll just have to let them visit if that's standard where you are otherwise it looks like you have something to hide.

Did u feel this way about the midwife who came to see you at home postnatally? Did she violate you by entering your house??

No, I wanted her to check my stitches. I actually wanted her visit, and it was needed. Big difference.

SusanC5 Thu 23-Jan-14 21:01:24

I thought the OP did opt out, but was ignored?

MozzchopsThirty Thu 23-Jan-14 21:05:53

Fantastic post by secretGP

MozzchopsThirty Thu 23-Jan-14 21:07:47

So what's the issue, you tell her again that you don't require the check and wish to opt out.
Don't really understand the HV hatred

MrsKCastle Thu 23-Jan-14 21:08:16

Wow. I'm really surprised at how much importance seems to be placed on this 2 year check. In my area, we were invited to a group clinic type thing. Two dates were offered- both mornings. I was working both days and so couldn't go. The letter gave me the impression that it was entirely optional, and I haven't heard from them since.

I'm certainly not losing any sleep over it.

Crazeeladee Thu 23-Jan-14 21:10:35

I liked the hv coming to do the 2yr check (it was a nursery nurse actually), it's just nice to know that my dd's were doing ok as someone had checked all their milestones.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Thu 23-Jan-14 21:10:43

I didn't get visited by a mw with DC2 or DC3; they asked me to come into the clinic. But FWIW I did feel that way about the mw with DC3 because she was giving out misleading information (e.g. refused to sign us off when DC3 was 2 weeks old because she "wasn't gaining weight quickly enough" even though DC3 was an ounce and a half over her birth weight at ten days old, and suggested that this imaginary "slow weight gain" was because my breastmilk wasn't sufficient for her, and told me that normal baby acne was a worrying rash that we should see the GP about -- if I'd been a first time mother I'd have been an emotional wreck). But I was conscious that I had to turn up to the appointments, even though I suspected that she was just pretending to be a mw for a bet or some risk factor box would get ticked somewhere with unknown consequences.

(Disclaimer: every other mw I encountered over three pregnancies, births and sets of antenatal care was lovely, so I'm not suggesting that this is an endemic problem. But heck yes, I saw this particular woman as a complete waste of time at best and actively detrimental to maternal and infant wellbeing at worst, and I would have opted out of seeing her in a heartbeat if I could have realistically done so)

JakeBullet Thu 23-Jan-14 21:15:46

Did you speak to the HV when you cancelled or a (no doubt temporary) clerk.

Did you say, I am declining further health/development checks and will see the GP if I am concerned?

If you are in London they seem to have a massive shortage of HV's and lots of Bank staff who might just get a message to make an appointment.

Cancel the appointment again...yes I know you should not have to. Write a formal letter to the Modern Matron for Child Health and say you are declining all further visits and health checks from the HV service....ask that your records are amended to show this.

hoobypickypicky Thu 23-Jan-14 21:21:35

YANBU to ask why the HV wants to visit. You would not BU to decline the 'invitation' to visit you. I did.

But YABVVU if you think that the MN majority were ever going to approve of you being so anti-authoritarian. wink

ebwy Thu 23-Jan-14 21:24:21

OP, yanbu. It took me 3 cancelled appointments I never agreed to, 7 phone calls, and 2 letters to convince them that I did not want their "help"

To add insult to injury, 2 of the appointments were with a particular HV who has been banned from the house by my housemate because of her attitude and incompetence and who the sight of still makes me cry.

Pigsmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 21:24:42

What's the issue? I wouldn't mind if a HV wanted to pop around here at the 2 year mark. Why do you?

Love you hoobypickypicky

hoobypickypicky Thu 23-Jan-14 21:35:27


CromeYellow Thu 23-Jan-14 21:43:31

I think they should be mandatory, every child has a right to be independently checked to ensure they're developing properly. While your child may be thriving, only you know that (or think you do), the state doesn't and there are many children who aren't.

It's natural that suspicions may be raised when a parent refuses a check up, it suggest that there's a possibility they're hiding something and in more than a few cases that will be the reality. Nearly all parents who are severely abusing or neglecting their children will be avoiding checks which will get them caught. There should be pressure to find out who they are.

Children who are loved and well taken care of benefit from an outsiders opinion. Parents can be innocently unaware of problems with weight/speech delay/social development. Relatives and friends often won't point things out for fear of causing offence so it's up to a hv or doctor to notice. The sooner issues are identified, the sooner they can be dealt with and the better the outcome for the child.

I think they should be mandatory

That would be better than the current bullshit.

Children who are loved and well taken care of benefit from an outsiders opinion.

Is that a blanket fact?

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 23-Jan-14 21:48:55

Crome it's not true that abusers avoid services a huge amount of them actively seek them out and turn into very friendly yes people when ever they are around them

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 23-Jan-14 21:53:43

I think they should be mandatory too. Then there would have to be proper investment in the service and national standards instead of the variable and potentially harmful hotch-potch there is now.

Thetallesttower Thu 23-Jan-14 21:54:09

Nearly all parents who are severely abusing or neglecting their children will be avoiding checks which will get them caught

This is rubbish, all three of the terrible cases mentioned in this thread (I won't go over them) were engaged with social services on numerous occasions.

InsanityandBeyond Thu 23-Jan-14 22:06:20

This is for your child's welfare not yours and I agree that it should be mandatory.

I don't understand this 'attitude' about health visitors on here. Yes some do talk a load of crap and seem to know less than you but first and foremost they are there to check on the DC wellbeing and to offer help and advice (which it is your choice to take). What is the problem?

formerbabe Thu 23-Jan-14 22:12:54

I would let them go ahead with the and nod, smile and nod,smile and nod!

I had one come over with no appointment...stare at me accusingly 'where is your husband?'. work, its 11am on a weekday! But smile, nod and get it over with is my advice!

JakeBullet Thu 23-Jan-14 22:27:10

God what a waste of your time and the HVs.

I don't agree with mandatory checks. IMHO most parents know if their child is developing normally or not,

Please please cancel the visit again. It isnt worth your while having this appointment. Then write that letter saying you are declining further input from the HV service and will see the GP is concerned.

If I was the HV I wouldn't want to waste your time or mine.

zoezebraspartydress Thu 23-Jan-14 22:51:52

It's optional, I declined it, no "red flags" were raised, although they did keep sending out appointments until I phoned and spoke to the Health Visitor myself - then, they just stopped coming.

missymayhemsmum Thu 23-Jan-14 22:53:35

OP, yabu. Giving every child routine developmental checks is a way to pick up all kinds of problems early, identify parents who need support before it's a crisis, and generally ensure that children are ok. It's not a perfect system, but you never know when you may need your HV - mine have all been awesome, real lifesavers. Try and book it for a convenient time and enjoy watching someone else observing your child through fresh eyes. It's not a parenting inspection, it's a routine developmental check.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Thu 23-Jan-14 23:01:34

I wouldn't let the HV pass my door, I loath her and her attitude.

She did nothing but make me feel like a shit useless mother, who failed to get DS to eat, sleep, talk and hit mile stones.

Thank good I took him to our GP, would referred us to the paediatrician and dietician.

After 3-4 years I finally got a Dx of autism

ImagineJL Thu 23-Jan-14 23:05:51

OP you seem very paranoid, it's really quite bizarre. Guilty until proven innocent? What are you on about? HVs are just doing their job.

Rightly or wrongly, Childrens Services have deemed that a check at 2 years is useful, so in your area it is arranged. I think you're being rather precious and attention-seeking by making it into a drama.

HVs have targets, checks to make, and they need to be happy that they're doing their best to look after their caseload. It's their job.

And it's seems odd to me that, if your time is so very very precious, you would choose to quiz and berate the HV when she comes, as this will make the whole thing take much longer.

tiggytape Thu 23-Jan-14 23:06:52

I know MY child is okay. I'm an ex-nursery nurse with degree-level training in child development

Most parents don't have professional ways to assess their child and the system has to assume that most people don't know key things to look for or main concerns at this age. But even those who do have a child development degrees or are qualified nurses or GPs or whatever aren't experts on everything and aren't always objective about their own child. An outside opinion by someone who deals with hundreds of very young children is valuable.

And although it offends you, there is the assumption that going off radar is suspicious. Whilst most people who do this simply want to be left alone, it is also the exact same tactic employed by those who don't want anyone in authority to know that things are not going well. The HV isn't physic - she doesn't know which bracket people fall into when they create a big fuss about not liking people in authority nosing into their lives

DontCallMeDaughter Thu 23-Jan-14 23:11:53

I've declined 2 year check for our dd. It's a 15 min group appt at our local health centre that I'd have to take a day off work to attend.

I don't believe a total stranger can diagnose any problems with my child in 15 mins in a group setting that her team of nursery workers, her parents or other associated adults (several of whom are health care professionals) wouldn't have picked up on already.

I'm getting threatening letter about reporting me to our GP. I'm interested to see what our GP, who it takes at least two weeks to get an appt with is going to do about it hmm

Whathaveiforgottentoday Thu 23-Jan-14 23:24:44

I refused the 2 yr old check with my dd2 too. It was a group meeting at the clinic. Unfortunately it was on at the same time each week which I couldn't make. I offered lots of times when I could come in or she could visit but supposedly it was wed mornings only. I really didn't see the point of the meeting and said if they were that desperate they could contact me. I never heard anything else from them.

ineedsomeinspiration Thu 23-Jan-14 23:29:23

op can I ask what you think the hv is actually coming for? I get the impression that you feel it's not just to check your dcs development?

MiscellaneousAssortment Thu 23-Jan-14 23:32:38

Good Lord you are getting a hard time on here! I suspect alot of it is about the board you're on and the timing of your post.

No YABU to be irritated that a 'choice' is seen as a 'red flag' as soon as you exercise this choice.

Much better to be mandatory than have this reaction every time someone dares to choose.

FWIW I went to my Ds 2 year check and came out as usual feeling like a crap mum with a son who wasn't ok ... Except no positive advice given and it was an extension of the tooth sucking about baby weight etc that happened earlier. The only thing I pushed was that I thought a hearing test may be useful so the hv referred him for one... Ds is 4 and we've never heard back. So massively underwhelmed about it, though not opposed to it in principle.

I do wish people wouldn't use infamous child abuse cases to justify these things, as the main issue in these cases is failure to communicate between professionals versus failure to gain access to the child in the first place,

SeaSickSal Thu 23-Jan-14 23:32:50

OP you do sound paranoid. And incredibly highly strung. Perhaps this visit is a good idea...

yonisareforever Thu 23-Jan-14 23:35:32

the problem is lots of HV talk out their arse.

no one trusts them none of the groups I have met with two DC have a good thing to say about them and one gave me awful advice about post in law fall out right after hte birth saying I should let them see the baby twice a week...and I was BF...this led to massive issues..we felt pressured to do it that it was the right thing that the GP saw the baby twice a bloody week!

marchduck Thu 23-Jan-14 23:39:17

I'm glad I took my DD for the 2 year health check at the local health centre.
I thought she was fine, apart from the fact that she wasn't meeting the speech milestone of 50 words - but I was sure she would catch up in her own time. None of my family (which includes a teacher and a GP) thought that there was anything amiss.
We had a very quick appointment with a locum HV - she seemed very under pressure. She barely looked at DD, but said that she wanted to refer DD to SALT. We saw the saw SALT a few weeks later; she she said that DD had developmental delay in most areas, and referred her urgently to see a multi disciplinary team in a child development centre. She was diagnosed with ASD and speech & language disorder shortly before her fourth birthday.
Looking back, I cannot understand how I missed the signs that were there blush. I will always be grateful that I went to that 2 year health check and that the HV made the referral. Otherwise I dread to think how long I might have waited for DD to catch up in her own time - all during which she would have been missing the interventions she needed.

horsetowater Thu 23-Jan-14 23:48:11

At the moment the visit is optional although you feel it isn't. If they have a suspicion (they might, nobody knows) that there is something amiss you are wasting a lot of taxpayers money by making them insist on a visit, get all the paperwork required for an essential visit.

You should never think you are above suspicion, you never know whether somebody has made an allegation.

Easier and cheaper for the taxpayer if you just let them in the door.

Hi op

Sorry my phone suffers from premature posting. You asked on page 1 does this happen in the US. I had a baby in the USA nearly 5 years ago. Since then nobody has so much as checked he is still alive - if I hadn't enrolled him in school I doubt they would ever have sent out a letter demanding he attend. No health visitors and I stopped his baby check ups at 6 weeks when I found out our insurance wasn't covering them and the bills were $400 each weigh in. So no... It doesn't happen in the USA. Not sure it is a good thing though... Kids get neglected here all the time.

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Fri 24-Jan-14 05:13:37

Nothing to stop you turning up at a clinic at a time that suits you. Certainly, round here you could. They don't have to come to the house - in fact mine refused to step inside my house after she found out that we had a pet tarantula! grin
Seriously, YABU to want to refuse a check for your son that MIGHT prove to be beneficial to him and that allows the hv, to spend the majority of her time, concentrating on those children who do need intervention. By all means ask her why she's there, but be prepared for a reiteration of these posts.

MiaowTheCat Fri 24-Jan-14 07:06:33

OK let's start by saying - I LIKE MY HV.

However yep, these days there is quite an unpleasant sentiment of guilty until proven innocent when you've got kids. It's crap and it definitely deters some people from seeking help with things like PND, or going to the local Children's Centres... I know it does me. The CC make such a pallava over every bump and bruise - even when it happened IN the centre, in front of their entire staff (DD1 decided to trip over and headbutt a bookshelf leaving a nice perfectly straight bruise over her forehead) that nowadays if we get a learning to walk bump or scrape I do tend to think "fuck it - won't go down there today since it'll be hassle filling in forms"... and we had the totally bonkers situation when DD2 was having issues with her milk allergy in the process of diagnosis and with the GP being obstructive where a conversation when I actually said, "Yeah we're having a crap time of it, was just telling the HV today that the GP's being an arse over this prescription" resulted in me being called into the office for one hillariously passive-aggressive "chat" where they desperately tried to steer me to the conclusion they had decided HAD to be reached (in the end I just said "Look what are you desperately trying to get me to agree to that you're going to do anyway") and that they had to ring the HV to tell them that I'd talked to the HV about having a bit of a crap time of it. (The HV's comment when I relayed this to her was "oh for pity's sake!" - like I say, I LIKE my HV)

Then you've got the GP - with the whole sentiment regarding mums with mental health issues and that one in the news again at the moment - I was terrified of going to her with the depression/anxiety I was suffering... and every single GP appointment has about 2 paragraphs on my notes about how the kids appear... and one line about my own health. It makes you feel quite marked out and targeted to be honest.

The whole thing is just shit - thankfully it's our HVs in the middle of it all who are the bastions of sanity, but we're lucky that we've got a decent HV team really (I've had to work with mine a lot in the fight with our GP over DD2s prescriptions) who will privately agree it's all gone a bit bonkers.

Ours tend to pull you down to the clinic or children's centre for development checks though - mine's coming to the house to do mine purely because I asked her to since I had transport issues. But yeah I'm sick of the whole insanity of the system in general - not too fussed about development checks - but the whole "oooh this is optional but it isn't really" crap is just annoying as fuck. Just say it's bloody compulsory if you want to avoid the social workers if it is and quit with the crap.

JakeBullet Fri 24-Jan-14 08:24:10

Good post Miaow

Taz1212 Fri 24-Jan-14 08:30:23

Sorry but when you have absolutely no worries about your child, work FT and need to take a days holiday for a needless 15 minute appointment it is a pain! I work PT from home now so now would be able to fit in an appointment if needed, but I was FT with an hours commute each way when the children were young and I was annoyed at the pressure to take time off work so that someone could be reassured that my DC were fine.

JakeBullet Fri 24-Jan-14 08:55:30

So cancel it Taz.

Most surgeries are run on a shoestring though and no guarentee your message about not wanting the appt will get through first go, You might have to write it formally, ... for records to be amended.

...but cancel it and dont whinge that they are wasting your time if you cannot be bothered to do so.

Pisses me off.,., one of the major reasons I left health visiting was the number of "superior know it all" parents whose time I was clearly they were mine. With a huge number of child protection cases my time would have been better spent elsewhere,

I HAD to send appointments because that is what the PCT who employed me required. I didn't want or need to see anyone who clearly thought it was a waste of their time.

Interestingly in a few cases I picked up things that the smug "my child is fine" brigade had missed. In one case severe global delay which turned out to be a serious genetic issue.

But God I am glad I no longer have to deal with it all.

JakeBullet Fri 24-Jan-14 08:58:07

Am hiding this thread now as it is bringing back too much irritation.

Good luck OP, hope your message about cancelling the appointment (again) gets through this time. Your HV can do something more appropriate and productive instead of wadting your time and hers,

NearTheWindmill Fri 24-Jan-14 09:10:47

Well I can only base on personal experience but 19 years ago my HV was so incompetent I refused to use the service and made a formal complaint. If the service is to be offered in an overbearing way then in my opinion one or two improvements need still to be made including:

Making mutually convenient appointments - mine turned up on the step at 9am when I had a 12 day old baby with no attempt to make an appointment - no attempt at basic courtesy, no apology for coming at an inconvenient time.

Telling the truth about the service being optional and not demanding attendance at if I may say, rather dirty clinics where one had to wait adjacent to the sick visiting the doctor.

Being able to use the scales properly and not getting arsy when one points out they read -xx kg when the baby went on; and when it appears because of the incorrectly set scales that the baby has lost weight rather than just writing it in the book to notice there might be a problem.

Not seeing people with food stains down their cardi

If mother asks questions for example about immunisation to be able to answer them in a comprehensive and intelligent manner rather than reading out the leaflet

Not writing to the local head of immunology about your concerns because your baby has breathing problems - my baby didn't have breathing problems.

If one has problems breast feeding to be able to provide evidence based help and advice if the HV is intent upon telling a mother they must persevere and breast is better than bottle. Do not instruct me to do something when you have no expertise in that area whatsoever.

If there is paperwork to fill, then fill it accurately.

In short the service I received was discourteous and totally incompetent and I felt I was better able to pick up problems with my dc that than the HV. Posters talk about what they pick up; I am more concerned about what I am sure they miss or disregard.

If a mother thinks there is a problem with her baby she needs to visit the GP and ask for a referral to a specialist. The HV cannot do that.

IMO it's a service with extremely high levels of incompetence and disinterest and the money would be better spent having more time at GP level for new mothers who could identify potential issues and refer to other agencies, with sound reasons shared with the parents, so that specialist support can be professionally identified and targetted.

After my son was born and beyond 8 weeks I formally refused to have anything to do with the service ever again, made a form complaint which was upheld and was within my rights to refuse their services which are by the way not mandatory but that is not clearly explained to women. I asked the question at least three times and did not get a straight answer until I met with the Director of the local health trust.

Thatisall Fri 24-Jan-14 09:12:30

I think that routine checks at 2 years are probably a better and more time/cost effective way of at least trying to prevent another Baby P. Imagine the time it would take to research all local children including those who haven't been flagged just to double and triple check that they shouldn't have been red flagged.
Given the scrutiny that these services are under, rescheduling the appointment for the afternoon and giving up 20 mins so that your HV can tell you your ds is fine...isn't really much to ask is it?
You say you feel your privacy is being violated and that it's inconvenient. So change the time and maybe realise that by giving up your privacy for 20 mins, the HV is able to maintain a certain level of service across the board.

frumpet Fri 24-Jan-14 09:12:46

Ask away OP , hopefully the HV will be able to allay your fears with regards to the gulity until proven innocent point .
Are all the HV's in your area very anti breastfeeding then ?
I had to cancel two appointments i was sent for DS's two year check , one because i was working that day and another because he was sick . In the end i took him in to the sure start centre and saw a HV there for it . In and out in 20 minutes , and i managed to get a bargain from the ' for sale' notice board , so a good day all round !
HV's are people too , there are always going to be good and bad in any profession . I imagine it is hard for you , when bad past experiences have left you with a negative bias towards them.

Thatisall Fri 24-Jan-14 09:17:40

Also I'm not sure it's helpful to compare HV experiences across decades confused a lot has changed in recent years. My HV was quite nice, didn't give me much advice but I didn't need/ask for it. She was however very kind to me and very complimentary of my skills and my dd progress which boasted my confidence as a mother.
That said I wouldn't think for a moment that all HV are like this or that the routine checks etc are the same as they were back in 2002 when dd was born.

buttercrumble Fri 24-Jan-14 09:18:47

OMG what a massive over reaction , the hv is only doing their job. You seem very over sensitive and suspicious . I would have no problems with them coming to do a routine check which is offered to every child in the country hmm

eddielizzard Fri 24-Jan-14 09:19:28

i would cancel it. it's big brother. the whole 'well if you've got nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about'. bullshit. you feel it's an invasion. it's optional. cancel. tell her you have no concerns and as it's optional you are cancelling.

force them to admit that it's mandatory otherwise she's not coming in.

eddielizzard Fri 24-Jan-14 09:20:03

btw my kids haven't been offered the 2 year check. so it is not offered to everyone in the country.

milk Fri 24-Jan-14 09:21:22

My friend said no and no red flags went up!

buttercrumble Fri 24-Jan-14 09:39:20

I work for the NHS and I think you will find it is , perhaps your letter got lost in the post hmm

tobiasfunke Fri 24-Jan-14 09:42:39

Perhaps when you phoned you sounded as angry as you are coming across here and that made the HV pay attention and think maybe she should go and see you.
Personally I was glad of the visit- 10 minutes chatting to someone from the NHS who was looking like they gave a shit at my DS's development.

If you don't want her there phone her and tell her that you have other kids and it's a waste of her time but thanks anyway. The crosser you are the more they will think there is something wrong because it's not most people's bog standard reaction to a 2 year check.

UniS Fri 24-Jan-14 09:55:06

Is the 2 year check the one where children are given a book bag full of drawing book, pencils and a story book?
DS had his 2 year check up at the clinic. He still uses that book bag 5 years later as it's his favourite colour.

tobiasfunke Fri 24-Jan-14 09:59:59

The only other people I know who refused all HV visits were doctors who basically thought all HV and nurses were a waste of space. The fact was the father of the boy was an abusive alcoholic and the mother was near a nervous breakdown - the child's home life at that time was totally dysfunctional. No wonder they didn't want the HV anywhere near them.

It's a milestone visit, and will be the last one you will have if no concerns.
You really just have to suck it up, i had these visits with all four of my dc and expect the same with dc5.
I suppose they are there just to check your dc is doing all the things they should be.

I have had good health visitors, that are friendly and helpful & of course i have had bad experiences with them too, re pfb, snooty hv complaining about my dog, xmas tree and various other things that weren't to her taste. But i sucked it up and was relieved when the bitch got the f* out of my house and never came back, when pfb finally turned 3grin

Wombles - sorry, only just back online. When I called up to tell them I didn't want the appointment, they wanted to re-arrange it. I told them I wasn't interested in making another. They told me that this would be noted on their files, which would be transferred to the doctors. I said fine.

I have seen the doctors a few times - who hasn't with small children? They've never raised it.

It truly is down to you, and is a choice. If you truly, for whatever reason, don't want to do it then don't.

I won't, like others on here, judge your choices or your reasons for it, for they are yours. You are your childs parent and are the person who is able to make these decisions, so if you are confident that it is unneccessary, then don't do it.

Viviennemary Fri 24-Jan-14 10:44:59

I can't see why people object to HV. If you get a nice one you're lucky. If you get a busybody type then it's more difficult. But I think refusing visits will just raise red flags to them. Right or wrong that's how it is. But I agree they shouldn't keep calling it optional when refusing visits has 'implications'.

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Fri 24-Jan-14 10:45:32

The main issue is really that the whole concept of the HV position seems to be flawed. There is a deep-seated problem in that a signficant percentage of the people occupying these posts are, objectively, completely crap and in some cases dangerously misinformed. So - either the route/routes HCPs are taking into HV work and/or the content and intensity of the training provided are not suitable for what the NHS wants and percives the post to entail.

I don't know how that needs to be fixed, but it does. It seems to be some sort of fluffy nothing position - I have NEVER seen a HV whose opinion I have thought worth having after 2-3 minutes chat, and I've seen a few, as we've moved about a fair bit since having children. It's usually some utterly misinformed comment or piece of 'advice' about breastfeeding that makes me tick them off the list mentally. And after that, the concept of contacting them if there was a problem with my child seems ludicrous, and I'd automatically contact the 'real' professional - GP, pharmacist, whatever.

It shouldn't be like that.

K8Middleton Fri 24-Jan-14 10:48:51

I'd just ring them back and say there's obviously been a mistake because another appointment has been made and you don't need one, but thanks for thinking of you.

I've not taken dd for the group appointment for her 1 year check. I did take ds for his 8 month appointment at clinic (as it was then). I have no concerns and I really cannot see the benefit of a group appointment for 15 minutes and nor do I want to discuss my dd's development in front of some other parents nor be witness to their discussions.

Neither of mine had/will have the two year check which happens when they are 2.5 here because it is really too late to pick up on most development issues. DS was under a paediatrician until he was 2 for a suspected allergy and from 2-3 was under the consultant at the ENT clinic and audiology for hearing problems and was seeing a private SLT. I could not see the point of taking him along to see a HV who would tell me all the things that were wrong with him when I already knew. So I didn't.

Not that it matters really, if you don't want to see the HV you don't have to and you don't even need to say why.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 24-Jan-14 10:59:57

Why on earth wouldn't you want a HV to do developmental checks on your child? confused

Your DS could have a developmental issue you're not aware of. We recently found out that DS is practically blind in one eye. He's 5. We had no idea, not a scooby, that anything was up.

The HVs don't only visit those they think are at risk of harm. They are also looking out for DCs who need medical help. Why wouldn't you want this, just in case? You'll feel pretty silly if you discover something is up later, and you could have known if only you'd let them check your child (for free too!)

Warped thinking IMO. And all about you, OP, not the best interests of your child.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 24-Jan-14 11:02:02

(But yes, I agree, there are some pretty badly informed HVs out there, which is a shame.)

K8Middleton Fri 24-Jan-14 11:10:25

Actually I am a little bit concerned about my dd's hearing in light of ds's problems and because she her speech is a lot like him before his operation. However, she is 14 months and has speech so I will monitor and if necessary take her to the GP for an ENT and audiology referral.

I really don't think they will be able to pick up on subtle issues like this in a group environment but I will concede that the fact our local HV service has been stripped back to less than the bare minimum is influencing my decision. I have concerns that the current processes for seeing parents by my local HV services actually does more harm then good because people get a false reassurance. A bad HV is potentially worse than no HV.

It used to be the case that there were weekly HV clinics that parents could drop into at GP surgeries and a clinic twice a week in the town centre and at a local retail park. That has all gone.

K8Middleton Fri 24-Jan-14 11:11:43

thepobble did you DS see a health visitor for development checks prior to his eye problem being picked up?

SaucyJack Fri 24-Jan-14 11:15:37

Please stop dragging Peter Connelly into this. He was seen by a paediatrician two days before he finally died- never mind a HV.

He was failed by people not doing their jobs properly- not because his mother blocked access. Mandatory HV visits would not have saved him in any way.

It's in poor taste to mention his death in relation to this particular issue.

K8Middleton Fri 24-Jan-14 11:24:34

You're not wrong SaucyJack sad

PenelopePipPop Fri 24-Jan-14 11:25:02

Compulsion = you have to do it. Things that are compulsory for parents in this country in relation to children are registering their birth, ensuring they get an education (though not necessarily in school) but primarily securing their physical, emotional and social well-being until they reach adulthood and can do it for themselves.

That is it.

Optional = you don't have to do it.

We are incredibly privileged in this country to be offered many services that help to ensure our children are healthy and educated. But many of these are offered on an optional basis such as vaccinations, developmental checks, state education, access to NHS healthcare (but you can choose private care if you prefer).

The implications of refusing these things are not that anyone will compel you to do them. Hence Not Compulsory. Loads of people don't do them, the vast majority of them are people fulfilling their primary responsibility as parents - to secure their children's welfare.

However, in the small class of people who are neglecting their children there may be more children who do not get routine vaccinations or developmental checks or get supported to attend school. Seeing a pattern of non-attendance at baby clinics, vaccinations, developmental checks and school would be rather worrying? In some cases it might be because the parents are ensuring their child's well-being through other health and education services or are very confident of their own judgment. In some cases it might be because the parents are making terrible judgments and the child is at risk. So in those cases I'd be grateful if HV's both tried to get in touch with the family and if that failed notified SS that they had concerns.

There are also children being actively abused by parents who Do take their children to developmental checks, vaccinations, make them attend school, even develop bizarre and elaborate accounts of illnesses they don't have to mask the injuries they have sustained through abuse (this is very very very rare and unfairly stigmatises many parents of children with genuine but obscure illnesses).

But this kind of paranoia about developmental checks is unhelpful. If you don't find it helpful ask for it to be cancelled again and don't worry about it. Nothing about the way you are caring for your child suggests you have any reason to be anxious.

Social services have far better things to do than investigate every single child in this country who does not have an age 2-2.5 check-up.

maddening Fri 24-Jan-14 11:38:58

Imo it was my son's appointment- not mine. I know I'm a good mum but the hv doesn't and her job is to check he is in good health - I have nothing to hide so why deny my ds a normal developmental check up.

The 2 year developmental checks are just that - developmental checks. By their very definition, for most children the check is a complete non-issue but for a few children it can be a chance to point the family in the direction of support if there are developmental issues.

The checks aren't about abuse or neglect.

They aren't to spy on you in your home - many areas will ask you to go to the HVs office for the check (and someone up thread has already mentioned having group developmental checks at a clinic).

FraidyCat Fri 24-Jan-14 11:50:57

I find your attitude awful op. Absolutely horrible and awful. In very sorry you don't want to waste 20mins of your precious time, but perhaps this way another baby p, for example, may be saved. Try to think about others sone time.


Yabu. This is for your child's benefit and I can't see why you wouldn't agree to it despite the 'inconvenience'. It will take about 20 minutes FFS. If I were a HV your point blank refusal would indeed raise a reg flag with me.

Twenty minutes my arse, if you commute it's a day off work.

For me, a HV appointment would mean a loss of hundreds of pounds of self-employed earnings.

I think we are perfectly justified in being pissed off when the NHS wastes our time.

If it's just the child they need to see, they could visit them at nurseries/childminders.

NearTheWindmill Fri 24-Jan-14 11:52:32

Message deleted by MNHQ for using disabiist language. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Damnautocorrect Fri 24-Jan-14 12:01:35

My son didn't see a health visitor at all, there was no letters, no phonecalls nothing. So I can see how kids slip through. He had no checks, nothing.
I moved boroughs when he was three, had a letter from new boroughs health visitor. By this point I was truly annoyed so binned it, even that didn't cause a trigger!

K8Middleton Fri 24-Jan-14 12:04:58

lol Windmill. A HV told me when DS was a few weeks old that it was "important to read books to your child and you can't just wait until they go to school" and "he should join the library".

I have an English degree and I had just told her that we had signed ds up for the library hmm

As it was due to being almost deaf and all the associated problems that go with that with concentration and attention he wouldn't sit and look at a book until he was well over 2.5 and after 6 weeks of intensive SLT that worked on communication and developing attention in a non-verbal and possibly deaf child.

He is now a book addict at nearly 5.

But I have met two sensible HVs although one of them did say something that at best was daft and worse stupid although would ultimately not cause any harm.

expatinscotland Fri 24-Jan-14 12:07:33

Too right, Miaow.

Mine are too old for HV now, but our good one left right before DS was two and they never got another in.

Meh. Didn't make a difference.

I went to the GP with him for paed referral. Follow up next month, she thinks ADHA/HFA.

PopiusTartius Fri 24-Jan-14 12:52:25

OP I don't think you are being entirely unreasonable.

But here's what I think you should do instead. Ring the surgery (again, I know) and say "There must have been a misunderstanding, I cancelled the appointment and I didn't want it rebooked, so please cancel this one as I do not require a visit."

It is either an admin mistake or an attempt to force you into something you have declined. But either way, you don't have to have it.

It isn't compulsory everywhere. You get a 2 year questionnaire here. You fill that out and send it back to say how your child is hitting milestones, and then you can request a visit if you want. I kept forgetting to fill it in so they rang me. I said they were doing very well, that we didn't have any need of them at the moment but thanks for their concern and I'd be in touch if anything changed. It was no bother.

Really, the problem is the inconsistency.

I had two HVs, one good, and one adequate.

I do know of 2 people for whom their HVs were awful. Their advice, if acted upon, could have caused harm.

I got told at DS's 8 month review, by the adequate one, that as I am partly deaf, that I must make sure that DS's hearing gets checked out. He had already had a hearing test at 15 DAYS old, which was fine. And she had been told this.

I got told by the same HV that it would be wise to have the DCs eyesight checked as I am very short sighted. Again, she had been told that both DCs had already been having tests for 2 years, as I'm well aware of the necessity.

The good one, well I'm sorry she moved on, was a very helpful, knowledgeable person who helped a lot of people I know.

eddielizzard Fri 24-Jan-14 14:31:51

baby 1: great hv

baby 2: no hv, not even after baby was in hospital twice within first 9 weeks. no hv follow up

baby 3: no hv.

no 2 year checks. nothing.

higgle Fri 24-Jan-14 14:44:32

I didn't want or need a health visitors check for either of my two, I never took them to be weighed and refused to use the book provided for any records as these were shared on some sort of central register. Neither of my sons had any "developmental checks" it was pretty clear they were fine. No repercussions whatsoever, I don't like interfering busybodies poking their noses in to my family.

SuffolkNWhat Fri 24-Jan-14 15:35:46


My involvement with HV has been shocking. DD1 was a slow weight gainer, instead of support I was told if I didn't give her formula I would be referred to SS. I took her to a pediatrician who told me there was nothing wrong, she was petite and gaining weight nicely. He wrote a letter complaining about my treatment to the HV team. I never got an apology.

DD2, I was told again she wasn't gaining weight. I knew she was, I could see and feel she was. Again told to give her formula (at least this time no threat of SS). I refused as I'm now a trained BF peer supporter and told the HV I would be continuing with BF. Turns out her scales were broken. Again no apology. Just how many other mothers have been told their baby is not gaining weight by this arrogant HV who refused to accept she had been in the wrong?

So far with both the girls I have yet to meet a HV who gives the correct, up to date NHS guidance on feeding, vaccinations or weaning. Not one.

I too am no longer taking up this optional service.

ineedsomeinspiration Fri 24-Jan-14 17:59:49

OP seems to have disappeared.
It seems to me a lot of people have a huge hv shaped chip on their shoulder. I can understand this if you've been given bad advice but I'm pretty sure they are not employed to spy on us all?
We must be lucky in this area I have had nothing but good advice from my hv team. Super bf support. Workshops run on weaning both traditional and blw with talks from mums who had done both. Even had a health visitor come out the day after I rang sobbing as ds was going through a really ad sleeping stage at 8months. She gave me several solutions to work through and we discussed together which plan I would like to try. She came for a follow up visit too.
Ds has his 2 year check next week. He has been reviewed by his childminder but I shall still go. It's only half an hour out of my day. I know it's harder for those that work ft but surely you could work something out so you don't lose money.

MiaowTheCat Fri 24-Jan-14 19:34:33

Do group developmental checks just sound like the ultimate in competitive milestoning hell to anyone else?!

K8Middleton Fri 24-Jan-14 20:26:05

Ha yes Miaow. Especially round here in SW London.

With ds I would have been the one slinking away feeling like shit about my "backwards" baby (someone a horrible fucker at baby gym actually called him that due to his development delays angry) but with dd she'd be the one streets ahead (I am biased) and I would be mortified if anyone felt shit by comparison. I've been there and it's not nice.

So we don't do the group development check. Total waste of time and potentially upsetting to boot.

MadIsTheNewNormal Fri 24-Jan-14 20:32:36

I'm very sorry you don't want to waste 20mins of your precious time, but perhaps this way another baby p, for example, may be saved. Try to think about others sone time.

There must be a better, cost effective-way of sieving out the baby ps.

Yrs I'm sure there is, but unfortunately it would be considered heavy-handed, politically incorrect, an attempt at social cleansing, and persecution of the 'vulnerable.'

So in the meantime, please just suck it up, for the sake of the children who would otherwise fall through the cracks. If it's not too much of an inconvenience.

skatpot Fri 24-Jan-14 20:41:47

I believe that the Health Visiting service is commissioned to provide developmental/health reviews, just as GPs are commissioned to provide an immunisation service. Funding for the service may be dependent on the reviews being completed.

jellyandcake Fri 24-Jan-14 20:50:19

I like my HV. She is helpful and non-judgemental. I like that there is a system in place to look out for children and provide support to parents. I have never felt judged or presumed 'guilty' of anything. At the 2yr check it was clear to me that they weren't looking for signs of abuse, they were monitoring my son's development, providing the Bookstart bag which was lovely and giving me the opportunity to ask questions which was very useful. I find it really odd that anyone would bristle about this being intrusive or suspicious in any way!

Also, when he was a baby the HV team provided free baby massage classes which was great as well. I am actually looking forward to them getting involved again now I'm expecting ds2!

jellyandcake Fri 24-Jan-14 20:52:59

Though, all that said, I do remember the nursery nurse giving bad advice at the weaning talk so it's not that I think the service is flawless but I don't see it as some kind of sinister Big Brother type outfit!

Pilgit Fri 24-Jan-14 20:54:38

this differs from area to area as we weren't invited to even a year check with DD1 and we had one visit from the HV for DD2 and not a dickie bird from them since (she's 13 months now)..... very odd.

NearTheWindmill Fri 24-Jan-14 21:17:46

Struck me as a job creation scheme for nurses who wanted a qualification to get them out of nursing. All those visits round here in homes worth 7 figures, chippy little comments, trying to grind vulnerable women into a bad place because that's how they got their kicks. How hard is it really to Sspend a third of one's time driving from appointment to appointment with the radio on, blaming the traffic for turning up late?? [Hmm]

Overcooked Fri 24-Jan-14 21:32:06

Parents that are abusing children want to keep them 'under the radar', appointments are missed, it's a flag. God forbid that your child suffered what was thought to be an unexplained injury - that 'flag' would act against you, and for what reason, you have nothing to hide.

JakeBullet Fri 24-Jan-14 21:58:02

Near, you need a reality check love if you really think that is all your HV does,

I used to spend half my life attending child protection meetings and visiting the families of the children involved,

Fuck all to do with "getting out of nursing". hmm

God there are some ignorant people on this thread. Just as ignorant as some HVs no doubt but I do get irritated by people assuming one bad one is representative of the entire profession,

And I don't know where you all live but I worked in an area with one of the highest number of child protection cases in the UK. I was far too busy to waste my time visiting smug women in expensive houses who clearly know everything about child development and who look down their noses at my job.

Thank God I no longer have to do it.

NearTheWindmill Fri 24-Jan-14 21:58:46

What exactly are you trying to say overcooked? Is it that parents who chose not to engage with a non mandatory service due to its inadequacy will be suspected of abusing their children? That's precisely why I made a formal complaint due to the service's overbearing nature. And I achieved some improvements: in my area standards were set about HVs making proper appointments, nt before 10am for new baby checks, a lactation consultant was hired - funded jointly between the PCT and hospital trust (HVs and MWs), and there was a commitment to improving communication. Not least more clinics outside surgery hous were organised. In my case a formal complaint was worth it but that doesn't detract from the upset and incompetence encountered.

Admittedly it was easier to complain as a professional with a lawyer for a husband against a background of a very wanted and planned child and a very stable home.

JakeBullet Fri 24-Jan-14 22:02:45

I really am hising this thread now.

Some of you have had bad experiences its clear.

Yes I agree there are some shit HVs out there. ...just as there are nurses, midwives ( DO know many HVs are also midwives), doctors, teachers, secretarys etc etc.

The shit HVs drove ME nuts too....but I am too intelligent to tar an entire profession based on one or two bad ones.

Complain....get them out ....far more productive than bitching about it all on an internet forum.hmm

JakeBullet Fri 24-Jan-14 22:04:11

Well done Near, I am glad at least that you got some improvements for the local community as a result of your complaint. That is positive.

NearTheWindmill Fri 24-Jan-14 22:06:52

Well then jakebullet duckie - as you clearly want to plumb those sorts of depths, that's precisely what you shoukd have been doing. Not, as my little HV got her kicks from, trying to degrade women who were clearly doing their best in a loving environment. I didn"t want her in my home without an appointment at 9am in the morning when my baby was less than two weeks old spouting ill informed crap - bt it was clearly a nicer place for her to be than a dirty flat, 22 floors up, where she was needed.

At about that time the chairman of the HV association said in the broadsheet press that the role of the Hv was to teach ignorant mothers the three Cs - "cooking, cleaning and communication". Nothing much more rude than that imo and anyone who lumps me into that can take a running little jump and that alone convinced me that I would never deal with your smug little profession again.

As you were duckie!

WeddingComingUp Fri 24-Jan-14 22:19:02

I got told at DS's 8 month review, by the adequate one, that as I am partly deaf, that I must make sure that DS's hearing gets checked out. He had already had a hearing test at 15 DAYS old, which was fine. And she had been told this.

Ds1 had a hearing check at a few weeks old and passed.

At 7 months he was diagnosed as being partially deaf in one ear.

Having the newborn hearing test is just an indication which MAY pick up a problem. Suggesting another at a later date if there is history of hearing loss in the family is entirely sensible.

Is this really the type of thing which people think makes a bad hv?

SuburbanRhonda Fri 24-Jan-14 22:20:02

Blimey, near, I thought your performance on a previous thread about teachers was just you having a bad day.

But you genuinely are a full-on pompous arse, aren't you?

WeddingComingUp Fri 24-Jan-14 22:23:13

I can't say that my experiences with HVs have been useful. I'd just smile and nod at the advice about how to sterilise and put baby to sleep etc etc.

BUT I'm also sensible enough to realise that by nature of their role, HVs have to target their advice to the lowest common denominator...and they have no way of knowing if that's you or not.

NearTheWindmill Fri 24-Jan-14 22:25:05

Nice sentiment Suburban. Simply speaking as I have found it. As I said on the other thread perhaps you would care to explain why the public should blithely accept substandard services. I can see no reason for substandard services to be delivered and even less reason to see why they should be acceptable. But hey let's just treat eVeryone like crap and watch them suck it up eh? Perhaps you would care to explain this time why people should just suck it up.

SuburbanRhonda Fri 24-Jan-14 22:35:11

You're very welcome, near.

Simply speaking as I found it smile

SuburbanRhonda Fri 24-Jan-14 22:37:14

Not that I have any interest in replying to someone who deals only in generalisations, but I'm sure even you would admit that substandard service is not the exclusive preserve of the public sector.

AGoodPirate Fri 24-Jan-14 22:50:11

You know what the purpose of the two year checks are. Please don't bully this HV coming to your house trying to do her job by harassing her with stupid questions about what she wants and accusations that she is treating you as guilty until proven innocent.

Just cancel if you don't want her there.

Then get over yourself.

NearTheWindmill Fri 24-Jan-14 23:12:42

No it isn't exclusive to the public sector but it is more widespread and when it is identified there are often more excuses than there are remedies.

My personal experiences are not generalisations and if you were to read this thread I think you would find rather a large number of mothers on it who have found the HV service, a service that is expensive and has variable impact at best, very wanting.

I think the HV service cost several billion to provide and yet large numbers of women find it inadequate for their needs. Every woman has midwife or GP care in he UK. Most women see MWs or GPs about six times during pregnancy and those carers should be forming opinions about women they get to know and should be raising red flags if required on the basis of that experience which should be far greater than an hv dealing with a flustered new mummy at a new birth visit. Those professional carers shoukd be ensuring that more orofessional and targetted care is delivered to those women who really need it rather than the current situation where all women are offered care of a variable and often inadequate standard.

MadIsTheNewNormal Sat 25-Jan-14 04:57:18


it isn't only women in dirty 22nd floor flats who get PND you know, and that whole post makes you sound really, really unpleasant.

MadIsTheNewNormal Sat 25-Jan-14 04:59:54

Hmm. IMHO people who say they 'speak as they find' usually are really really unpleasant.

TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 25-Jan-14 05:55:17

Lots of talk about women's needs here. Women's needs are important but
The HV service is supposed to be child centred.
I think lots of ppl very easily take issue when some is looking at their child's needs. It makes ppl feel defensive.
I have been lucky with my HVs.
I have had mixed experiences with GPs. I would have been foolish to think that after a bad gp experience all gps were rubbish.
So I can see that it would be annoying to have had a problem with a HV.
My dh reckons that the only ppl who hate HVs are those with something to hide. But he can be a bit rude. I don't take him to mother and baby groups wink

JakeBullet Sat 25-Jan-14 08:42:24

Trouble is Near, that the HV has NO say in what she does. She/He is employed by a PCT who tells her what she has to do. So if they told me "all 2 year olds are to be offered a 2 year development check" then that is what I had to do. In fact my last PCT didn't bother with this thankfully due to the very high child protection caseload in the area. I worked on a sink estate (the kind where drug dealing was almost a cottage industry) and housing was very the 2 year checks were targeted to the famiies of concern and only offered to others if they expressed a concern about their child's development. Perhaps this is a better way of targeting these checks.....but the Coalition govt want ALL 2 year old children to be offered a development check.

So yes I would far rather have spent my time in that filthy 22nd floor flat with the isolated woman who needs my support than in the million pound home of a woman who does not. I might add though that I have found as much PND and isolation in the million pound homes as I did in the poorer homes in the past. The richer woman can be very isolated too....just in a bit more comfort. She does generally have more resources to deal with her isolation though. Child abuse also happens in the richer homes but is generally better hidden.

You mention that your HV was filthy and there is no excuse for that. Nor is there any excuse for crappy outdated advice and trust me, I have banged my head against the proverbial brick wall in the past when I have read here some of the shitty advice women have been given. There is no justification for crap advice.

NearTheWindmill Sat 25-Jan-14 08:53:34

Ultimately the real issue is that women are not told honestly that the service statutorily has to offer a visit to all women/babies but women do not have to accept that service if they don't want it. This is further compounded by the fact that women have no choice over who their HV is and they have no opportunity to meet them before the birth. This is completely wrong in my opinion - I wouldn't go to any old GP or dentist and I thought carefully about which of the three hospitals I could have had my children at before booking, listening to friends' experiences and actually going on the new mother tours. Likewise one listens to friends' experiences about GPs and puts one's head round the practice door before registering to see how it carries on.

I wouldn't just engage any old accountant or solicitor or even estate agent and I feel quite strongly that women should have more choice in relation to their HV and should be able to check out their local reputations before engaging with them. I didn't want a complete stranger coming to my home at the most vulnerable time of my life without checking out their credentials first.

It's the dictatorial and variable nature of the service that is wrong and the fact that HVs and other health professionals do not provide clear guidance in relation to expectations of what the service should provide.

SuburbanRhonda Sat 25-Jan-14 08:58:02

near, please provide links to evidence for the following pronouncements in your latest post:

"No, [substandard service] isn't exclusive to the public sector but it is more widespread and when it is identified there are often more excuses than there are remedies."

"I think the HV service cost several billion to provide all women and yet large numbers of women find it inadequate for their needs."

NearTheWindmill Sat 25-Jan-14 09:04:50

I know PND exists in wealthy homes Jakebullet. I had it. But I had it because of poor continuity of care and what tipped me over the edge having had by the time my son was six weeks old, three bouts of mastitis (infective mastitis it was called then) and a breast abscess, was a Health Visitor who was obsessed with breast feeding and when I asked for help just said "well breastfeeding mothers put their baby first, bottle feeding mothers put themselves first - there are benefits to breast feeding you know".

I cannot explain how much pain I was in during those six weeks (and suspect now that I probably had thrush of the inner breast tissues too) and that comment forced me to breast feed for another two weeks against the advice of a breast surgeon with a tube inserted into my breast to drain pus and hooked over my shoulder to drain into a plastic bag. All I needed was a bit of empathy and help - and I think HVs need to be aware of the power they are able to wield over mothers when they are at their most vulnerable whatever their circumstances. Trouble was, I probably didn't look vulnerable.

Having experienced a disgraceful service on every level: social, clinical, professional and competence I exercised my right to formally refuse the service and never again saw a health visitor because unfortunately I saw nothing positive about anything they asserted to provide - at my one clinic visit the HV couldn't even accurately weight the baby and was totally disinterested in him and me and I had to sit in a noisy, ghastly room for 40 minutes for that.

NearTheWindmill Sat 25-Jan-14 09:07:18

I'll work on the first suburban. For the second all you have to do is multiply the salaries of about 20,000 health visitors and add on about 25% for management costs and premises.

I'm aware that was personal Jakebullet but I have to say looking back to that period I still get upset about the first six weeks with my baby and the one person who should have been there and facilitated further support was the health visitor - no?

SuburbanRhonda Sat 25-Jan-14 09:43:20

I was actually after links to hard evidence, near, but I know to stop asking when I know the information is not going to be forthcoming.

While what you went through sounds horrible, it exemplifies exactly what I mean when I said you are generalising. You have taken your own experience and extrapolated it to the entire service and justified it because some posters on this one thread have also had poor experience of the service.

And you admit yourself that your experience was 19 years ago, so perhaps as a start, you could accept that things may have changed since then?

SuburbanRhonda Sat 25-Jan-14 09:50:32

In fact, near, the government's own data state that there are around 10,500 HVs as at February 2013. Even allowing for a salary of £30,000, which is above the starting salary for a HV, and adding your 25% (evidence for choosing that figure is ....?), you are very far from the billions you quote.

TrollopeDollope Sat 25-Jan-14 10:15:08

2 year checks aren't offered where I live - due to "shortages". We were given a piece of A4 with a list of what the 'average' 2 year old should be able to do, and told to contact HV if we had concerns.

RevoltingPeasant Sat 25-Jan-14 10:19:56

Rhonda it seems to me that although Near is generalising, she's not wrong about the obfuscation around the HV service.

E.g.: I choose not to have smear tests at my GP's normally. They write offering me one. I decline. They may ask if I want to reschedule, but if I say no, it's no issue. It's an optional service and I can actually decline it.

With HVs, it's so murky! 'We like to see all women.' 'Well, you can decline, but obviously we'll have to report that.' 'You might get a red flag next to your name if you ever take DC for emergency treatment.'

I have also seen a lot of women on here saying that HVs ask about their relationships with their husbands and their sex lives (use of contraception). Why, if it's about the child?

Those are the kinds of messages I (as a layperson) get about the HV service. It's also not clear to me what it's for. Is it for child health? Is it for child protection? Maternal health? Is it for both parents? There seem to be mixed messages.

I think it would be much better if HV visits were either made compulsory or non-obligatory and this was clearly flagged to all new mothers. The remit should also be made clear. Either it's about the child's health in which case ideally both new parents should be in attendance, and it can take place at a clinic.

ziggiestardust Sat 25-Jan-14 10:36:09

I disagree. I think there should be more.

My DS is on a later schedule of vaccinations for family history reasons, but this was discussed with his doctor but not noted as the doctor didn't think it was worth noting for whatever reason. He hasn't been to see the doctor in bloody ages because he's not been poorly; when he has it's been obvious what it is (chicken pox/d&v bug) and I've not taken him in to prevent infection. His 2 year check was postponed due to a bug he had, and tbh I never chased it up as I was getting back to work at the time. My own absent mindedness is to blame, I know.

Whatever; no one is bothered that they haven't seen him in probably the best part of a year. My friend is the same; her DS had the MMR at 13 months and he's only now been called for his pre school jabs. He hasn't been to the doctors either since then because he's the youngest of 3, so his mum has seen it all before and knows how to treat it.

I think that is worse, and no one is checking or seems bothered in the slightest.

SuburbanRhonda Sat 25-Jan-14 10:45:24

I think near was expecting too much from her HV - she says the HV was the one person who should have been there for her. For many people, it's their partner or family or friends. I wouldn't have expected my HV to fill that role. And if the HV had truly said those awful judgemental things about BFing, why on earth didn't near report her for being unprofessional? Why come on here, 19 years after the event, claiming it's evidence that the whole HV service has gone to hell in a hand cart?

horsetowater Sat 25-Jan-14 10:48:02

I actually think parents should be made to do a 'parenting theory test' like the dvla. It should ask questions like if your baby cries what would u do, etc etc bla. And fathers should do it as well. It is important that there is a catchall system. A test would flag up those in more need of support. Is that a really stupid idea? Do I sound like Michael Gove? Oh dear.

MysterySpots Sat 25-Jan-14 10:51:34

Imagine having the luxury of complaining about a free health check for your child? I'm speechless.

MysterySpots Sat 25-Jan-14 10:57:08

Actually you remind me of my DSIS and DBIL bitching about the nhs keeping them prisoner overnight because the hospital wouldn't discharge their sick newborn baby. Peoe should be thanking their lucky stars that they leave in a state that cares about the welfare of its children. And yes public health isn't perfect and there are a lot of inadequate HV, but systems are put in place that work for the whe if society not for individuals.

MysterySpots Sat 25-Jan-14 10:57:38

Excuse typos

K8Middleton Sat 25-Jan-14 11:37:28

It is possible to feel that you personally, for whatever reasons (mine are above) do not want to use the HV service or some aspects of it, and yet still think it is a good thing and should continue.

Personally I am concerned that my local service has been reduced to one that I believe is no longer doing the basics. A good, accessible
HV is something all women and children should have available to them.

I understand that there are massive funding problems, hence the reduced service. I understand these funding problems have a knock on effect to quality of advice due to fewer opportunities for training and professional development. It must be bloody awful trying to do a good job when you are constantly working at full capacity and still not getting everything done. I can see how some of the solutions were reached; service needs to see all babies for one year check but we have 20% fewer HV than we need and not enough clinic spaces (clinics are regularly cancelled) so we will introduce group appointments and see 6 babies in the time we would previously have seen one.

The other problem is that some of these solutions do not work. The other problem is that when a HV is working in somebody's home and says something slightly incorrect like "if your 3.5yo child doesn't have his preschool booster [given between 3-5yo] now, he could give the baby whooping cough and children have died of this! Hopefully it's not too late." There is no peer or supervisor to over hear it and say "erm, that may have been a bit much Jan, the child is well within the schedule window and extremely unlikely to have whooping cough never mind pass it on to the baby". More training opportunities help reduce this risk but that isn't always possible due to understaffing.

I have never felt that my decision to decline some development checks has created red flags. This may be because it is not uncommon for parents where I live to go private including private GPs.

NearTheWindmill Sat 25-Jan-14 12:42:07

Completely agree K8middleton. Further suburban to point out, I had the full and complet supposrt of my partner and family - they just weren't experts or professionally qualified in relation to breastfeeding and I think it is reasonable to expect someone who tells you 100pct you must do ut to be expert enough to help you.

The luxury of complaint about free services. The NHS is not free, it is free at the point of delivery. If a servuixe provider turns up on my doorstep I expect to know the clear parameters of what is being provided. I can give birth privately, I can see a private GP, I can educate my children privately. I would have been happy to hire a private HV with checked credentils - I couldn't it was a state dictated service. Therefore, when I am dictated to I expect that service to be a lot better than good and if it isn't I don't expeect to engage with it.

No way id accept. Hvs here are useless. I've two dds and our hvs are dumb. I'd happily rock up at a GP. But wouldn't for hv.

Taz1212 Sat 25-Jan-14 12:57:53

I quite liked my HV. When "PFB" son was born I took him up for his weekly weigh ins until I went back to work and was perfectly happy for her to visit the house every day for the first few days. By the time his 2 year and 3 year checks arrived, however, I was back at work and it meant wasting taking a days holiday for someone to spend 15 minutes telling me there were no concerns. When I phoned to cancel I got the whole, "oh but it's so important, you really need to have it done etc." Being naive with "PFB" -and being a foreigner and not knowing how things work here-- I felt I had to keep the appointments. I wised up by the time I had DD and declined her 2 year check. grin

mistermakersgloopyglue Sat 25-Jan-14 15:32:36

Imagine having the luxury of complaining about a free health check for your child? I'm speechless.


There are a lot of people on this thread that need to get the fuck over themselves.

I wouldn't just engage any old accountant or solicitor or even estate agent and I feel quite strongly that women should have more choice in relation to their HV and should be able to check out their local reputations before engaging with them.

Hear hear!! someone needs to create this website.

SuburbanRhonda Sat 25-Jan-14 16:05:20

Maybe the HVs need their own website:


TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 25-Jan-14 16:08:36

Yes, revoltingpeasant you can decline any check, as an adult.
But your child is not declining the check. You are declining it on their behalf. The reason for the "chasing up" is that the child does not have any say in accessing health services.
It's fine to refuse a health check as an adult. Children have no choice. Hence the following up from child health services.

OP here. Someone was asking for evidence, here some:

Health Visitors or Health Police?

AchyFox Sat 25-Jan-14 16:12:31

This is about the child not you.

RevoltingPeasant Sat 25-Jan-14 16:33:55

Amanda, that is fine. But then it should be made clear. It evidently isn't to a lot of women on this thread.

TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 25-Jan-14 16:59:57

What should be made clear?
A 2 year check can surely only be for a child. When's the lack of clarity?

Also, someone mentioned tha they wouldn't engage "any old accountant or solicitor..." we'll, no. Neither would most people. But you're not engaging he HV. You're certainly not paying a private hourly fee.
I agree that hcpvs should be good at their job and I can see that it's a great shame some ppl have had negative experiences, but the comparison just doesn't stand up, you are not engaging the HV. They are offering a public service.

K8Middleton Sat 25-Jan-14 17:40:05

An optional public service...

NearTheWindmill Sat 25-Jan-14 17:40:40

And if they offer a public service and pretend it is mandatory the powers that be who spend our money on it need to make sure the service is homogenous, competent and transparent. With respect to the check being for the child, if the child needs an operation the parent has to sign consent formas and the surgeon cnnot wield the knife without parental consent or a court order.

With hindsight I went wrong with mine from the very beginning. She turned up rather discourteously at 9.10am expecting me to be available to spend 45 minutes with her. In that time I was in my nightie too embarassed to feed my baby, who helpfully went back to sleep when I stuck my little finger in his mouth. I don't usuallt strike up "rrelationships" in my nightie. Least of all whenn the stranger hasn't had sufficient courtesy to telephone and make a mutually convenient appointment.

What I should have done of course is to have said "no you can't come in, you haven't made an appointment and I am not ready to talk to you let alone let you, a total stranger, into my home. Somehow one doesn't think on one's feet with a 10 to 12 day old baby.

SuburbanRhonda Sat 25-Jan-14 17:48:41

OP, it was I who asked for evidence, but I wasn't just asking for evidence that some people have had bad experiences with HVs. There's plenty of that of this thread.

I was asking near for specific evidence to support her claims that (a) substandard services are more prevalent in the public sector than in the private sector and that problems are less likely to be addressed in public sector services and (b) that the HV service costs "billions of pounds" and the most women find it inadequate for their needs.

So far, none of this evidence has been forthcoming but I certainly don't expect you to provide it because you didn't make the original claims.

NearTheWindmill Sat 25-Jan-14 17:53:34

When you learn to say please you might get what you want. You can always google and do the work and the uploading yourself rather than expecting it to be done on your behalf if you don't believe what you are being told.

JakeBullet Sat 25-Jan-14 17:58:18

Your first few weeks sound horrendous Near and you had a crappy HV as well....horrible that it still causes you to feel sad. It must have been absolutely awful and those first few weeks are so difficult anyway without poor input from someone meant to support you.

I am more than aware of the shortcomings within the profession and part of the reason I left was I felt less and less able to offer the support I wanted to. I now volunteer for a community service which offers support to parents. I do this as just another parent who knows how difficult it can be at times. In this way I feel I am plugging a gap.....helping other parents who just want someone they can chat to over a coffee once a week. I am able to boost confidence, help women feel less isolated, deal with debt issues and find outside support for a myriad of problems. All stuff I used to do as a HV but which slowly got eroded as the caseloads grew.

SuburbanRhonda Sat 25-Jan-14 17:59:58

If I were going to make the claims, I would of course research the issues first.

But it was you who made the claims and you who can't back them up. Throwing random statements onto a thread and then declining to back them up with evidence just makes your threads unconvincing.

penguinsforever Sat 25-Jan-14 18:03:46

Yabu. Let them do their job. I think the checks should be mandatory to improve the chances of finding abusive parents.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 25-Jan-14 18:55:07

Some hv are great, some are crap. You can't tar everyone with the same brush.

I found I only ever saw a nursery nurse when I got DS weighed which was frustrating as they never had any advice. Which seeing as he had eczema, reflux and a cmpi would have been helpful. They weren't really bothered.

Also, being a children's nurse myself I never knew what they could tell me. What I don't understand is that I have to keep myself updated as part of my job, do hv not have to do the same? As from reading here and on other sites the advice given is very mixed and not always good.

My last hv was lovely and admitted that some of the things the older hv's came out with were shocking.

MiscellaneousAssortment Sat 25-Jan-14 19:20:08

I think it's time to overhaul the role of Health Visitors altogether, for the good of children, parents, health visitors and budgets etc.

It's a role that has shifted and there's alot of confusion about what they do and what they're for. It's not ok that they give bad advice and bring their own personal beliefs and old wives tales into the job, and it's not ok that some can't read the weight charts etc. Few other jobs allow for this level of variation in skills and the amount of dissatisfied parents/ 'service users'.

And the good health visitors must feel constantly hounded and hated and that must be awful.

Having clarity over the aims and purpose of HV would help alot:
- are they here to assess for child neglect and abuse?
- do they assess and screen parents OR advise and support them? which is their primary purpose?
- are they there for the mother and family? Or purely for the baby?
- is it the HV doing an assessment OR a dialogue where the parent can ask and garner advice and understanding?
- Are they supposed to be the 'go to' profession for breast feeding & child nutrition?
- are they supposed to identify and help mothers with pnd or other problems?
- is engagement with them a choice or is the pretense of choice actually causing problems in a world when they allege to have been designated the front line screening for child abuse?

It's because of the lack of clarity, misinformation and massive range in interpretation of their role that causes problems. People will complain and find hv wanting if they are using the wrong frame of reference, feeling a hv has fallen short on something and the hv feels that's not their purpose. There is no benefit to this confusion and lack of transparency. It opposes parents and Hv, it causes tension and angst, it means people would rather contact their gp or other professions, it allows unprofessional and incompetent hv free to misinform abd upset people ... And be the examples of a profession which I'm sure has real expertise and skill.

Who gains by the current state of affairs???

SuburbanRhonda Sat 25-Jan-14 20:48:05

Wow, miscellaneous, ever heard of the term "over-thinking"? smile

whattimeisitanyway Sat 25-Jan-14 21:46:58

OP- if you are not happy for your 2 year old to be seen, simply decline. There is little point in cross questioning the HV as to why she is seeing your DC. It is simply a routine contact.

near- you obviously had a v disappointing experience with your HV. However, some of your posts make you come across as unreasonable in your expectations (expecting the HV to be the one person who supported you in the newborn period) and others patronising, rude and unpleasant:

'Well then jakebullet duckie - as you clearly want to plumb those sorts of depths, that's precisely what you shoukd have been doing. Not, as my little HV got her kicks from, trying to degrade women who were clearly doing their best in a loving environment. I didn"t want her in my home without an appointment at 9am in the morning wly hen my baby was less than two weeks old spouting ill informed crap - bt it was clearly a nicer place for her to be than a dirty flat, 22 floors up, where she was needed.

At about that time the chairman of the HV association said in the broadsheet press that the role of the Hv was to teach ignorant mothers the three Cs - "cooking, cleaning and communication". Nothing much more rude than that imo and anyone who lumps me into that can take a running little jump and that alone convinced me that I would never deal with your smug little profession again.

As you were duckie!'

Obviously you didn't receive the support that you needed, which is poor and disappointing for you, but perhaps, from the HV's perspective, you were more difficult to help/ form a relationship with than the majority of women that she saw. The above post certainly makes you sound v difficult to me.

I'm not a HV in case you were wondering.

MiscellaneousAssortment Sat 25-Jan-14 22:28:02

Suburban moi? Really? smile

Add to the phrase 'too much time on my hands' and you get the explanation! My Ds just had an operation and his chosen method of recovery is sleeping on mummy, and shouting very crossly if i move, so the phone may be getting more use than normal.

However having read so many HV threads on mumsnet, I do think that HV are a profession in need of some clarity, transparency and purpose.

YABU, it's a 2 year assessment as stated will happen in your red book-it really is that simple...hmm

SuburbanRhonda Sun 26-Jan-14 10:55:27

Yes, I agree with you there, miscellaneous. I work with HVs, school, nurses, SWs and the like and believe me, it's not just HVs who are confused about their role.

Wishing your DS a speedy recovery smile

whattime, couldn't have put it better myself, and boy, have I been trying!

FutTheShuckUp Sun 26-Jan-14 15:04:57

Miscellaneous it's already been done. Read a call to action, 2011 and the Healthy Child Programme 2009

K8Middleton Sun 26-Jan-14 15:55:27

YABU, it's a 2 year assessment as stated will happen in your red book-it really is that simple... hmm

I think you have your little red books confused. The child health record is issued by NHS... not Chairman Mao.

SuburbanRhonda Sun 26-Jan-14 16:16:17

K8, I think thegin meant that the red book explains what the OP seems to be confused about, i.e. the reason for the visit.

And isn't Chairman Mao dead, unlike the NHS, though Jeremy Hunt seems to be trying his best to remedy that sad

Lillily Sun 26-Jan-14 17:44:48

MiscellaneousAssortment You are absolutely right in all your thinking .

GiveMummyTheWhizzer Sun 26-Jan-14 19:51:52

The turn in DS eye was picked up at his 2 yr check (and handled brilliantly BTW). DP and I weren't concerned about it as couldn't see how bad it actually was (PFB).

It only takes 10 mins. YABU.

kitchensinkmum Sun 26-Jan-14 19:57:01

YANBU . If you don't want it DONT have it. It's your choice . Just say no thank you.
I have a friend who won't see health visitors , her child has had no vaccinations and is vegan.
She phoned her GP and said she didn't want a health visitor to contact her. GP said it was her choice . It didn't flag anything suspicious at all.

Ok, so the appointment is at 1pm today. What can I expect from this uber, uber important 'check'?

jacks365 Thu 06-Feb-14 11:37:52

My hv showed a picture book to get my dd to name pictures just to check speach, few blocks to build a tower, threading spools on a string and using a pencil to make marks. Apart from that just a quick chat to check I'm happy with everything. Quick simple and easy.

How long did it take?

jacks365 Thu 06-Feb-14 11:52:38

Not that long probably no more than 15 mins. I was surprised how quickly it was done but my dd was in a very agreeable and wanting to be involved mood.

Sweatingthesmallstuff Thu 06-Feb-14 11:53:06

From memory, less than 30 mins.

Enjoy it...I found it huge fun. Especially when the HV pointed to a picture of an orange ball and asked DD what is was and she said 'Satsuma'.

This was brought up in the FoB speech at her wedding a few weeks ago. Honestly OP this is nothing to get angry about. Unless of course things have changed hugely since those days and they now put you on a rack and stick red hot pokers under your finger nails!!

Gruntfuttock Thu 06-Feb-14 11:59:52

"they now put you on a rack and stick red hot pokers under your finger nails!!"

I can't believe you just blurted that out and spoiled the surprise.


Sweatingthesmallstuff Thu 06-Feb-14 12:03:38

I can't believe you just blurted that out and spoiled the surprise

<Facepalm> doh!!!!! What am I like blush

Satsuma lol!

What if my DS gets grumpy and shy (as he often does when faced with complete strangers - and she is a complete stranger. Never seen this HV before). How is he expected to perform in that state of mind? Genuine question.

musicismylife Thu 06-Feb-14 12:12:01

Hi, Op.

I can understand your frustration but I do think you should bite the bullet and see her.

Unfortunately, in a ss/hv/school capacity all parents are guilty until proven innocent. Therefore, you let him/her turn up.

musicismylife Thu 06-Feb-14 12:22:49

Wombles, you'll be fine smile

As an anxious person, this is quite stressful.

jacks365 Thu 06-Feb-14 12:30:43

Relax, be playing when she arrives so your ds is in that mood. If she's anything like mine she'll know how to engage him to get the best out of him. I was a nervous wreck too I think we all get that way.

jacks365 Thu 06-Feb-14 12:33:48

She also did height and weight but my dd refused to stand up straight for the height so we just got as close as we could before she dropped onto her bottom again. I know she's growing cos she can't walk under the breakfast bar any more.

IceBeing Thu 06-Feb-14 12:38:58

Id aim for napping....DD was napping when the HV arrived....

aworkingmummy Thu 06-Feb-14 12:50:51

My DS's 2 year check next week and I'm really looking forward to it. Our HVs are brilliant and between them and the neonatal nurses gave me & DH a lot of support and reassurance with DS (he was prem & IUGR). For the 1st year of his life we took him to "weigh day" every week without fail, it was a great comfort to see him finally getting on the centile charts and then climbing up them. We're both back at work, so HV haven't seen him for nearly a year, so we're excited to show off how well he's come on tbh.
I suppose it all depends on what the HV are like in your area - I'm lucky, mine are brilliant.

aworkingmummy mine are shite.

FutTheShuckUp Thu 06-Feb-14 15:22:47

Yes we did get that you have issues wombles....

Gruntfuttock Thu 06-Feb-14 17:02:36

HOw did the HV's visit go, OP? Not as bad as you expected I hope.

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