If you have moved county/area, were you contacted by your new GPs health visiting service ?(Daniel pPlka related)

(45 Posts)
Owllady Tue 17-Sep-13 15:04:59

I noticed that Daniel Pelka case it has been noted that Coventry had the lowest number of Health visitors in the country (though this has now doubled)

I have moved county twice since my eldest were tiny. The initial area we lived in we had a HV but I moved when the children were 4 & 2 and I didn't have another health visitor until 4 years later when I had my youngest, despite the fact the 4 yr old had significant developmental delays. The HV was fleeting and we just saw her a couple of weeks following the birth.

I moved area again when the youngest was 2 and the others were 8 and 10. I have never seen a HV at all here. Infact, despite my eldest being a 'child in need' I was willfully ignored by social services for a whole year, then imo neglected for a further year. My eldest is a child in need due to severe disability, not neglect or abuse, but she is an extremely vulnerable individual and I do find it shocking it isn't followed up when you move.

I just wondered what other peoples experiences of moving counties were and whether you were ever followed up by professionals?

CMOTDibbler Tue 17-Sep-13 15:08:47

We moved areas when ds was 14 months, and were not contacted at all.

Llareggub Tue 17-Sep-13 15:09:35

No. I moved when my youngest was 3. We've still not heard anything from the HV nearly a year later.

Bragadocia Tue 17-Sep-13 15:26:05

I moved county 14 months ago - no contact until this summer when my GP wrote to them directly asking them to visit me and DS (3.8) at home. HV was profusely apologetic that they hadn't been in touch, but said the GP practice here hadn't put us in the system. When I registered at the GP surgery last year, I asked whether I should make contact with the Health Visitors, and was told by the receptionist that they would do so themselves if they needed to.

I have recurring depression problems which were considerable when DS was very little, but when my former HV at my previous borough retired, no-one else picked us up. It seems really easy to drop off the radar. DH and I did talk about this a while ago - at what point would it be noticed that a child wasn't appearing? We weren't asked to go to any child development checks, weren't asked to go for MMR booster (which is 18 months in my former borough). It's seems very odd that there is no process that keeps half an eye on a child's welfare.

So just in this little situation, so much incompetence!:
- HV didn't pass on my file when she retired
- 2 year development check wasn't requested
- MMR booster wasn't requested
- New GP practice didn't pass us to HVs
- Old GP practice still hasn't forwarded DS' notes to new practice

redcaryellowcar Tue 17-Sep-13 15:36:57

I think you are supposed to be contacted, I have a relative who is a hv and she also follows up a and e admissions. I.e contacts parents after admission to check all ok etc. she lives in different county to me and I haven't seen a hv since last one retired over a year ago.

AnneUulmelmahay Tue 17-Sep-13 15:38:23


AnneUulmelmahay Tue 17-Sep-13 15:45:23

Not until I had a baby then we saw HV praps three times, a weaning type sesh, two yr approx check, then pre pre school jabs. Nice lady. She called in for coffee randomly last yr, my kids are secondary age. Oh well.

ABumDance Tue 17-Sep-13 15:58:15

We moved county 7 months ago and we were contacted on various occasions by post and 2 phone calls IIRC. We had exceptional service from our HV team in the NW and although we haven't seen a HV yet, all contact has been pleasant and efficient.

tribpot Tue 17-Sep-13 16:05:35

We moved when ds was still a baby, so nearly 8 years ago. As far as I can recall, we were contacted by the HVs but I may have contacted them myself as I was still getting him weighed and stuff. I think the practice did it. Then again, literally the first thing I did on our first morning in our new town was go up to the practice clutching a sheaf of repeat prescription requests, as I knew my first challenge was getting them to start prescribing all manner of controlled drugs to my DH long before the notes could possibly arrive from the old practice. So our way of interacting with the health service is not that typical.

Retropear Tue 17-Sep-13 16:22:42

Yes and we were checked up on when dtwin 1 was admitted to 2 diff A&Es in one weekend.blush

Ran into a wall on the Sat and fell off a slide in a play park Sun!

A&E thought it was funny,HV not so much.

deepfriedsage Tue 17-Sep-13 18:37:06

I moved with a newborn pfb, I had to locate new HV and introduce myself.

Trigglesx Tue 17-Sep-13 19:17:37

Nope. The only reason the HV knew about us was because we were present when she stopped by to visit adult DD and DGS.

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Tue 17-Sep-13 21:41:42

I didn't move/change GP's but when my HV went on M/L when DD was 6 months old she told me a new one would be in touch. Never happened.

DD is now 9 years old! hmm

Owllady Wed 18-Sep-13 16:23:21

Gosh it's a bit worrying you can just move county and 'disappear' isnt it?

It made me feel sick when I saw about the Bradford case today too sad

BrokenSunglasses Wed 18-Sep-13 19:18:34

We weren't contacted, but tbh I don't think we should be. I don't want the state following me around and watching what I'd do or where I go. As a parent, it's my responsibility to register with GPs and ask for HV support if I need it.

Children can be monitored through school, and as far as I know, schools do have a kind of handover system. It's very informal though. I'd rather see that improved and made essential for every child. That way if a child left a school, that school would have to make sure the child was re registered elsewhere and report if they couldn't make contact with another school.

Erebus Wed 18-Sep-13 20:58:21

Um- if your the parent of a 'vulnerable' DC, isn't, or shouldn't it be up to you as the parent to tell 'the relevant authorities' of your move?

If you have 'a child in need', don't you, as a responsible parent attempt to meet those needs without sitting back and awaiting the Health Service to come calling? Then bitch on MN when they don't? I know I'd be straight onto the local GP - like I was for my NT DC when I moved house! It's all about being an adult and taking responsibility. I know I sound harsh but when it comes down to it, the day you make the decision to become a parent, you become responsible for the life you've created, therefore you lose the 'right' to seek blame with others who don't come running to 'check'.

In the current financial situation, you'd better get used to shouldering responsibility for stuff appertaining to you and your DC and not rely on someone else keeping tabs for you. This is not, yet, a 'nanny state' thankfully.

You'd have to clarify 'wilful' as in: "I was willfully ignored by social services for a whole year, then imo neglected for a further year." Did you request a visit which didn't happen? Which is different again.

MrsSpencerReed Wed 18-Sep-13 21:13:23

I was contacted after 3 months of moving but that may have been due to my MH issues and being a lone parent.

NiceTabard Wed 18-Sep-13 21:21:40

Is this just generally or if there is contact with HV / services outside of normal guidelines, for a reason?

Anyway TBH here (london borough) I can't imagine anything happening (people getting in touch) in all but really end-of-the-scale circs.

Round here there is no continuity of care / waiting lists are forever / HV what HV etc etc. The idea of having a HV who you know or a GP you know is utterly baffling.

hettienne Wed 18-Sep-13 21:26:08

Yes, moved house when DS was about 18 months and was contacted by new HV for a home visit about 4 months later (we had previously had minimal HV contact except weighing clinic and no concerns).

Have just moved again, and 4 months later have just had a phone call from new HV - DS is now 3.

hettienne Wed 18-Sep-13 21:27:26

When we registered with new GPs each time we ticked the "child health surveillance" box so obviously HVs knew we had moved to the area.

nancy75 Wed 18-Sep-13 21:31:11

I live in a london borough and was contacted by a HV when we changed GP. I was surprised as we didn't change county, just moved from one part of the borough to another. DD was about 2 at the time so this was quite a few years ago

NiceTabard Wed 18-Sep-13 21:35:14

That's great service nancy!

I generalised as I don't want people to know where I live grin but round here it's each to their own and you have to fight for services and there's not much "automatic" you get 1 visit after birth and that's it (unless I guess you are horribly ill... I was pretty ill!!!).

We are a very large fairly basically tory borough though so I suspect they think if people want / need help then they should go and find it IYSWIM.

thejoysofboys Wed 18-Sep-13 21:38:13

Yes. We moved when I had a 2yr old and a 1 yr old. The HV was in contact within 3 months and had done a home visit within about 4 months.

PassTheCremeEggs Wed 18-Sep-13 21:46:47

Moved from London to Yorkshire, HV was in touch within three weeks of us moving in to arrange a home visit to see our 14 month old. Came and spent an hour and half with us. Excellent service, far far better than we got in London.

nancy75 Wed 18-Sep-13 21:50:09

Nicetabard, I live in the most Tory borough! We live in Bromley which is about as blue as it gets, as i said this was a few years ago and things may have changed, it may have been because dd was the right age to trigger a check up, she was about 2, I think they used to do some kind of 2 year development check. I have to be honest I have been lucky enough never to actually need a HV so i don't know how good/bad they are here if you actually need them.

NiceTabard Wed 18-Sep-13 22:05:09

I never got called for a 2 year check with either of mine [sadface]

I looked in my red book and there was a list of stuff there but none of it happened! As I was feeling unwell at the time hmm I didn't chase it.

DD has currently been on the waiting list for developmental delay type stuff for 2 years. She just started school, really I think if they had helped nearer age 2 when we raised it, it would have maybe put her in a better place for school. Now she's at school though and STILL nothing. FGS.


nancy75 Wed 18-Sep-13 22:10:27

My dd is 8, i'm guessing yours is 5? I think the age difference might explain it, i'm sure they phased out the 2 yr check. Is your GP no help Nicetabard? I think that my GP's practice is particularly good, which might explain the good service I have had, i know our previous GP's was useless.

NiceTabard Wed 18-Sep-13 22:26:34

She just turned 4 bless her! GP was who I got the referral from, been trying and trying to chase for ages but not getting anywhere.

Actually DD1 also has an ongoing thing and she has had great treatment so think it's maybe a lack of funding in that particular service.

Definitely round here you need to seek help rather than be found IYSWIM - DD1 older and we never got a 2yr check for her either. I suspect they are concentrating money on serious cases probably. Certainly the whole concept of knowing who "your" HV is, or "your" GP is quite alien in this neck of the woods.

BinarySolo Thu 19-Sep-13 08:23:22

I moved from Derbyshire to West Yorkshire, registered with the gp including saying that I needed a health visitor for 1 year old Ds. Been here 14 months now and have just seen a health visitor but only because we now have a 3 week old as well.

Had a call from my old hv a couple of weeks ago about ds1's 2 year check! I'd been a regular at the hv run stay, play and weigh so am surprised that we were 'missed' sooner.

Judging by how we've stayed in contact but been missed I'd imagine it'd be pretty easy to deliberately disappear.

Suddengeekgirl Thu 19-Sep-13 08:36:46

We moved and a couple of weeks after I registered with the GP the HV got in touch and came out to meet us.
She was lovely but I do wonder if you don't register with a GP then you could avoid being checked up on by a HV entirely.

There's only so much that HCP can do to keep track on at risk children. Sadly if you are abusing your child then there are probably lots of things you can do to avoid the system IYSWIM. sad

Owllady Thu 19-Sep-13 09:41:21

You obviously have no experience of the systems I am up against Erebus . When I moved my precious council contacted this one to tell them I was moving with an extremely vulnerable child, a 'child in need'. I rang social services myself, I was told they were not taking any more cases on (!!) I rang and rang and rang. I was eventually visited by a social worker who dismissed me/us quite frankly, and it took 2 years to get any kind of care package in place. My child meets eligibility criteria A;

Child requires regular physical restraint, behaviour regularly injurious to self or others, requires night-time supervision. Child has physical impairment requiring handling in hoists for all transfers, unable to dress, toilet, bathe or feed themselves. Child with complex medical needs requiring frequent night-time attention for medication, turning and / or intubation

A substantial amount of support is needed to meet siblings’ essential care needs

^Essential care needs of the disabled child prevents parents from attending to any sibling’s essential needs for extended periods of time. Or family is in receipt of assistance in respect of siblings’ care needs at
Band A or B^.

^Parents / carers mental or physical health requires substantial support
to enable them to meet their child’s essential needs and / or there is a
substantial risk of family breakdown^

Substantial provision of services required to ensure parents / carers provide adequate parental care

Parenting capacity seriously affected by mental health, disability, medical issues, serious stress. Other major care responsibilities e.g. another member of the household who has significant disabilities

I was registered with a GP, school, paedatrician etc. but we were completely ignored by social services despite being labelled as we were/are. My child is at significant more risk of abuse of everyone, I don't think she should have been ignored at all, let alone how she was. I do want to know how many people this happens to.

A direct response for the D Pelka review has identified a health professional (HV) should have contacted the family. It's not a nanny state, it's following up basic protocol surely? I don't think current financial constraints have anything to do with it either. The whole system is there to protect children, not to conspire against them.

I resent the implication that you believe I should 'appertain' for my own family, I do. I do far and above what most parents do (with 'normal' children) and I have sacrificed my own life and career in order to care for my child (it's ok my husband is a high rate tax payer) and it's a 24/7 job, and includes way too much chasing up of people confused

Owllady Thu 19-Sep-13 09:45:00

I really hate autocorrect, precious should be previous and so on and why doesn't the ^^ work on everything! blush

I suppose my point is, if they willfully ignore people who do require support, quite obviously. I really can't see how any kind of current system is working properly for any child. It's easy to sit and judge when you have no experience of it, it's a bit more difficult when every day is a battle and I don't and wouldn't abuse my children, but if it's so easy to just move around without being followed up, surely it is easier to do so and disappear

benandgerry Thu 19-Sep-13 11:06:58

Compulsory checks aren't the answer.
Children can be seen frequently by HCPs and still abuse happens. As a HV I try to visit families regularly if I suspect children are neglected and possibly abused, or mother is a victim of domestic violence.
Mostly there's nothing I can do about it because my concerns fell below social services child protection referral threshold, and if parents don't want SS involvement or support from other agencies they don't have to accept it.
So I'm the only one seeing the child and it's easy for parents to put on a show because visits are always by appointment at a time convenient to them.
I've heard it said that parents accept visits from HVs because they are seen as non stigmatising, but I wonder if its because they are powerless and ineffectual angry

dialpforpizza Thu 19-Sep-13 12:08:00

I'm not sure I'm advocating compulsory checks per se, but that not registering your child at a GP practice, or with a HV, or in an Early Years setting, becomes something to investigate further - there is no way a parent should be able to kill through neglect, then house a dead child for two years, without someone somewhere asking a question.

But I take what you say about the threshold for child protection referrals, how completely frustrating for the HV profession and that's something of much concern, and no doubt a funding issue.

I'd like to think that HVs being seen as non-stigmatising is a really positive thing and enables many more people to access support where otherwise they might not, I know I was really grateful for mine. I guess we have to face the reality that some abusers will always slip through the net, but not sure it's a viable reason for parents to be able to disappear off the records during the most crucial stages of child development.

ringaringarosy Thu 19-Sep-13 17:44:53

I have never seen a HV,so no.

ringaringarosy Thu 19-Sep-13 17:46:31

actually scratch that,i did see one when i had dc1,but when we moved down south we didnt register with a gp so never saw one again,i have seen an nhs midwife though so im guessing im on some kind of nhs register somewhere,i dont have a medical card i know of though.

ringaringarosy Thu 19-Sep-13 17:50:25

Just to say aswell,for those that dont know,when you do register with a doctor,there is a box on the form,that says "i agree to take part in child health surveillance" or something like that,if you dont tick that box then you are supposed to be saying you dont require a health visitor,but i have heard from people who say they didnt tick it but were still contacted anyway.

benandgerry Thu 19-Sep-13 18:13:49

ringaringarosy - the bit about child health surveillance on the GP registration form hasn't got anything to do with the HV.
It only applies to the gp check i.e. the 6-8 baby check. GP gets paid for doing this and they need extra training to be able to offer it. They used to do a pre school check as well but I think that's been mostly stopped.

What a nasty spiteful little post from Erebus

FloraDance Thu 19-Sep-13 18:46:00

Yes, moved over a county border and had a home visit in weeks, thought someone had called the social on me!

somewherewest Wed 02-Oct-13 19:42:42

We moved from Oxfordshire to Hertfordshire when DS was 9 months old. We were not contacted, even though I informed our local HV in Oxfordshire that we were moving and gave them our new address. I got in touch with the HV in our new home on my own initiative just after moving.

somewherewest Wed 02-Oct-13 19:49:53

As for the 'nappy state', I was surprised we weren't followed up. Its alarming how easy it is for a small child to vanish off the radar.

somewherewest Wed 02-Oct-13 19:50:56

Ooppps blush grin. That's what I get for typing with a half a mind on potty training

TheRobberBride Wed 02-Oct-13 19:56:31

I moved counties with my 2 DCs in May. I was contacted by a HV last week to arrange a visit. She had notification of our move from our new GPs surgery. I'm not sure what would have happened has we not registered with a doctor.

BadRoly Wed 02-Oct-13 19:58:25

We moved when the dc were 8yr, 7yr, 3yr & 9mths. I received a letter inviting me for an appt with HV for dc4.

I made an appt. but then was ignored for 25 minutes despite being sat in the middle of an otherwise empty waiting area with a small child playing as the HV thought I wasn't coming.

The HV then turned out to be the woman who has walked past several times, smiled at us and even said good morning. There were no other clinics that morning. Kind of lost faith after that but was never invited for further check ups anyway hmm

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