can i refuse a health visitor?

(24 Posts)

I found the health visitor assigned to my ds really condescending & had the definite impression that she didn't approve ( of what I have no idea as we, as a family are about as average as you come)? I was breast feeding initially but after 3 months used formula to supplement and got no end of naggy comments from her. At the first visit all she commented on was that the nursery was too hot and that she didn't like that we had 2 cats (ds wasn't sleeping in the nursery for another 5 months and the cats didn't go upstairs anyway). Throughout the first few months of checks and weigh ins I never felt that much positive was ever said, always comments about weight - too high, though always kept around 75th centile line, breast feeding or lack thereof & infant acne - ds really suffered badly for about 5 months, lots of oh dear/yuck sort of comments but no suggestions of how to help it or even just supportive, sympathetic words.
Ironically when we could have actually done with the input & general support of a health visitor we never heard a peep from her - ds was in hospital in the spring with viral meningitis and pneumonia - we didn't even get a phone call to ask how he and we were doing once he was discharged!
I don't want to be bothered with her this time around & I know for sure I'll not be the timid first time Mummy I was last time.
That all said our midwifery team are fabulous, even second time around.

ommmward Sun 23-Sep-12 18:19:08

I just rang up in my naice-est middle-class voice and said "thank you so much for offering to come and see us. We're doing fine thanks, got lots of support, and we'll be in touch if we need your help".

I next heard from them when my next child was born, and just rinsed and repeated the same answerphone message.

That's it. I've never heard anything from them since.

smile

Nigglenaggle Sat 22-Sep-12 19:16:28

I was told if you dont consent it flags you as a troublemaker....

nickeldaisical Sat 22-Sep-12 16:13:37

here they ring you to make appointments until the 6 weeks check, then they disappear.

it's up to us to go to them.

jaffacake2 Sat 22-Sep-12 16:12:12

The HV will probably be quite happy to have a letter from you saying you dont want the HV service.She will leave you alone and concentrate on the many families and children in need on her caseload.

wiggofan Sat 22-Sep-12 16:07:36

ColouringIn - perhaps some PCTs have different policies for information sharing. Here's an example It used to be how you describe where I work but following child deaths and Serious Case Review recommendations (which criticised GPs for being more concerned about confidentiality than child protection) there are now regular meetings between HVs and GPs and any information that might be relevant to Child Protection is shared, this covers a wide remit because it's been shown that comparatively unrelated factors that the individual HCP may think is unimportant can build up and form a pattern and be a warning signal.

ColouringIn Sat 22-Sep-12 15:19:50

As a (now ex) HV, I can tell you that information should not just be shared without your permission. In the last Trust I worked for we had to obtain consent from the client before sharing info.....and the GP could not just share info either.

Yes we were all part of the PCT with shared computer records but. Could not see what the GP had written and vice versa without the consent of the client in question. Where the client was a baby or child the consent had to be obtained from a parent.

OP if you decide not to see a HV, the most that will be done is a letter to the GP explaining you had declined the service and asking the GP to carry out the development check(s) whatever is done in your area.

katykuns Sat 22-Sep-12 14:49:10

I understand why you don't want to see one. They tend to be good at barking out orders, which comes across as rather patronising, as well as being a bit off when they tend not to see you very often and have no clue about what the child is like etc.
I was irritated by having the health visitors/midwives come round after DD2 was born, it just felt like a waste of time... also, they could never give a time they would come, so we would quite often be stuck indoors all day waiting, when we could have been off doing things (my labour wasn't that hardgoing, and after suffering with SPD, I was desperate to get out and about!)
Despite it being irritating, I put up with it, once she hit a month old... they basically left me alone anyway!

wiggofan Sat 22-Sep-12 12:31:49

op - HVs and GPs are all part of the primary health care team and information about patients is shared without asking permission. I think there's something in the Red Book about this but it should be made clearer.
If you don't want the HV to visit you could say you'd prefer an appointment to see her at the clinic - they're doing this in some areas for the first HV contact due to staff shortages as home visits take too long. No need to go into details why but you could imply there's building work going on at home and you don't want the stress of visitors.

Ozziegirly Sat 22-Sep-12 06:13:56

We don't have HV over here (Aus) but we do have Early CHildhood centres which we are strongly advised to attend. I won't be attending with No 2. They are great for 1st time parents, I met lovely mums and got great advice, but it was only 2 year ago, I reckon I can cope.

crackcrackcrak Fri 21-Sep-12 23:53:20

Actually re the gp, op I think you may be correct. HV would advise you see go if she had concerns but if she was going to refer it would be to ss - not gp

crackcrackcrak Fri 21-Sep-12 23:51:36

Don't they have a weigh in clinic you can go to occasionally instead? They don't do home visits routinely here - I wish!
You might get in better with this one you never know. I got in well with dd1 HV bit friends are facing such bad experiences just now I am bracing myself with dd2. Around here they are obsessed with bf babies weight and suggest top ups at the tiniest slowing of weight gain. I will give sd2 HV a go but one suggestion of formula and I will be bowing out!

lisad123 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:59:28

Because GP and HV are the same team and most are joined with GP surgery so if I remember right all notes are joined up.
I would endure first visit and then never see them again

acsr1987 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:57:26

and wiggofan, how can she discuss me with my gp without my permission? my gp has no concerns of me as a mother and i hardly think that anyone should be discussing my physical and or mental health without my consent?

acsr1987 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:54:58

well with my first it was just constantly "are you still breastfeeding" and because i was i got great smiles and they could tick their boxes and everything but with the new baby im not sure if i want to bf again and to be honest i dont think it is any of their business if i bottle or breast feed! i also dont want to be told what i should and shouldnt do, at my 9 month check i was told in no way shape or form could i give my son a bottle after he turned one year old. i know her reasoning behind this, however it is their job to advise, not to tell you what to do. i just felt that it was a bloody pain in the backside last time especially seen as i had to have the house imaculate (i know they "say" they dont care but i did) and i was tired and this time im going to have an 19 month old and a new born and i have better things to do that to sit and be told how to look after my own child!

ColouringIn Fri 21-Sep-12 15:06:55

Yes you can, simply say you don't need their service, end of.

crackcrackcrak Fri 21-Sep-12 15:05:24

I would never say you have to see one but is there something you are particularly concerned about?

wiggofan Fri 21-Sep-12 15:04:21

As been said, you're entitled to refuse HV visits but you'd be drawing attention to yourself. If it was me I'd just grit my teeth, smile politely (not sure you can do both at the same timesmile) and get the visit over with.
If you refuse all contact the HV will check to make sure there are no child protection concerns. She'll probably look at your other child's records and discuss your physical and mental health (and your partner's) with GP. She'd also record your refusal on your baby's computer or paper record.

nextphase Thu 20-Sep-12 20:12:50

Agree with the others - its not compulsory.
However I'd also agree with letting them come round after the midwives have discharged you, and then having nothing else to do with them (which is what happens round here unless you go to a weight clinic, or hit a 9 month check requirement, when they send you a letter). Refusing to see them outright may raise some questions about what your trying to hide!!!

ForkForever Thu 20-Sep-12 20:05:39

Nope, you don't have to.

The child health surveillance programme (aka health visitor appointments) is a service you are offered that you can choose not to use, if you so wish. They don't make that very clear, and loads of people think it is complusory, but its not smile

RancerDoo Thu 20-Sep-12 20:04:36

I let them come over for that first visit and then never saw them again.

Sirzy Thu 20-Sep-12 20:03:58

You don't have to have one, although if you get one like mine you will never see them anyway!

AGoldenOrange Thu 20-Sep-12 20:02:46

No you dont, you can refuse to see them

acsr1987 Thu 20-Sep-12 19:29:06

i really dont want one with my second, do i have to have one?

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