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To complain about this health visitor.

(92 Posts)
Freddiesfling Wed 31-Aug-11 21:05:19

Hi all- would really appreciate some sound advice.

I have 2 children the youngest being 6 months.

I also have a very close knit group of friends all with children roughly the same age whom I met when my oldest child was a baby/toddler. We regularly go down to our local clinic to get the babies weighed and if we have the odd minor concern we like to seek the health visitors advice (this isnt very often!!).

Today we went down as normal- I wanted to get my dd's birthmark checked as it was changing shape and we decided to get the babies weighed whilst we were there.

As soon as we got there one of the health visitors came up to one of my friends and said '' why do you feel the need to get your child weighed fortnightly- you can see by her that she is absolutely fine!
She then went on to say ''I think its sad that you use the clinic to socialise you should go home and use your own houses''.

My friend was too shocked to respond as was I and so we upped and left immediately ( I didnt even get my dds birthmark checked).

We are never at the clinic for longer than 15 minutes and as some of my friends babies arent gaining as much weight as they should so they go fortnightly to get their children weighed- one of these children has gone from the 98th to the 9th centile so my friend feels the need to get her weight closely checked.

We now feel we are unwelcome at the clinic, that our concerns dont matter and that we shouldnt try to be sociable to others whilst we are there. I for one treated the clinic as a lifeline when my son was first born as I have no family and friends here due to a recent move and was openly encouraged by the health visitors at the time to sit down with a cuppa and have a chat. They still provide a sitting area for parents with toys for the babies and children to use.

I also dont see why she had to insult us by calling us ''sad''

Shall I leave this matter or formally complain.


pieceofpie Wed 31-Aug-11 21:11:17

Definitely formally complain, for many people their local clinic offers support that isn't available anywhere else, and it's awful that the HV addressed you in such a way.

If she was genuinely concerned about resources being used up by those who maybe don't need to use them as much, she should have dealt with it appropriately, not in such a bullying manner.

twinklegreen Wed 31-Aug-11 21:13:29

I would complain.

LilRedWG Wed 31-Aug-11 21:15:36

Definitely complain.

AgentZigzag Wed 31-Aug-11 21:17:13

shock I would complain as well.

If not for yourself, for the time this HV says it to someone more vulnerable and struggling to cope.

thisisyesterday Wed 31-Aug-11 21:17:13

actually, i agree with the health visitor.

they are there to do a job, not weigh your babies while you socialise.

a healthy baby does not need weighing every 2 weeks. your friend whose baby has weight concerns obviously should go if she needs to., but you also write that:
"We regularly go down to our local clinic to get the babies weighed and if we have the odd minor concern we like to seek the health visitors advice (this isnt very often!!). "

it IS a bit sad that your social outing is to the health clinic... why not meet up at each other's houses, or at the park, or soft play or whatever? would be much nicer and longer lasting.

thisisyesterday Wed 31-Aug-11 21:18:27

i also don't think she was bullying either.

she asked a reasonable question... why do you think your baby needs frequent weighing. allowing her to find out if there is an underlying concern

AuntiePickleBottom Wed 31-Aug-11 21:18:39

even if you do socialise when you go, surely it is a way of getting new mums out of the house and perhaps boosted there self esteem which in turn can help prevent PND

BimboNo5 Wed 31-Aug-11 21:18:40

Agree thisisyesterday

WaftyCrank Wed 31-Aug-11 21:18:47

I would complain. I have to get my DS weighed fortnightly and I would be annoyed if I was spoken to like that. I was also told that he looked fine, he was then diagnosed with a cow's milk protein intolerence so even if they look fine it doesn't mean they necessarily are.

Hassled Wed 31-Aug-11 21:19:29

I'm assuming there aren't space issues or issues where a bunch of mothers who know each other well aren't maybe making brand new mothers feel a bit left out? Like that sort of new toddler group hell where you sit alone while everyone apparently has an established best mate? Could that be where the HV was coming from?

AgentZigzag Wed 31-Aug-11 21:21:44

It's not for the HV to decide who should be able to check in with their babies just at face value thisisyesterday.

They're there for everyone whenever the clinic is on.

Someone might go and get their baby weighed every week, but the actual unsaid reason they go is because they're feeling isolated and needing the routine support this can give.

catpark Wed 31-Aug-11 21:21:44

If your concerned about a birthmark you'd be better seeing a doctor. Health Visitor will probably tell you to see a doctor anyway.

worraliberty Wed 31-Aug-11 21:21:49

I agree with the HV

6 month old babies who are clearly thriving, don't need to be weighed every fortnight.

All it does it make the place busier for the parents who do need to use the clinic.

usingapseudonym Wed 31-Aug-11 21:23:12

It depends on the area. Where I used to live there was a crackdown on "unnecessary visits" and each time we visited we were given a sheet with recommended visits - certainly far less than every 2 weeks. People were actually turned away for visiting more often than that.

However the group one across actually ran the weigh in session as a "stay and play" so completely different!

thisisyesterday Wed 31-Aug-11 21:23:35

i know that agent... but if they are very, very busy and feel that they can't give people the time they need, and if there is also a social group present very frequently who don't have any other issues and simply come to chat to each other then I think they should be able to suggest that perhaps those people only come when they have an issue/concern that they need to discuss?

the HV DID ask if there was a reason why the mum was coming so often, and did point out that her child didn't need weighing so frequetnly. that is standard... it says in the red book that monthly weighing is the norm and they are within their rights to point that out

griphook Wed 31-Aug-11 21:24:05

I was just going to say about space really and whether the group you are with are quite dominnering (sp) how many of you are there and how big is theh spaces. If this has come out of the blue then I wonder if another mum has maybe said something to the HV.

If only one of you has concerns about weight, the rest don't need to be weighed fornightly so would be much nicer to meet somewhere else

worraliberty Wed 31-Aug-11 21:26:21

I must admit it would piss me off if I had to wait a long while with a newborn to see the HV because other Mums were putting an unecessary strain on the service.

Also, the HV probably has other clinics to attend or home visits to do so it's a teensy bit selfish really.

thisisyesterday Wed 31-Aug-11 21:26:37

and when she said it's "sad" she might have meant that it's "sad" that you have nowhere else you can use.
surely you'd have a nicer time sat at home with tea and bisciuts??

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Wed 31-Aug-11 21:26:58

I agree with the HV too. You're clogging up clinic time and creating a longer queue for those with major worries.

LoveBeingIgnoredByMardyBra Wed 31-Aug-11 21:27:55

Is it based in a childrens centre? I know some of my local ones are being taken advantage of, could just be you've been caught up in something like that.

Mightimama Wed 31-Aug-11 21:28:02

I would complain purely for her calling you sad. How dare she pass judgement on you without knowing circumstances, even then it is none of her business. The HV are there to provide a service, if you feel this service is not being met then complain. People are too nervous to complain about HVs, Midwifes, Nurses etc incase it affects any treatment or further dealings they may have. We are having similar probs with our HVs, they are hopeless. Ours arent even based at a Health Centre - in a backroom of a library instead!

AgentZigzag Wed 31-Aug-11 21:28:47

Yeah, I see what you mean now thisis.

I think the way the HV did it, leaving the OP and the mums she went with feeling humiliated and not welcome, got my back up.

emsyj Wed 31-Aug-11 21:33:11

My local baby clinic is held at the children's centre and mums are actively encouraged to drop in, have a cup of tea and a chat and make it into a bit of an outing. When DD was very little and I was feeling like a chewed-up rag due to emcs under GA, a tiny (slightly prem) baby who fed constantly and a DH who worked 24/7 and was rarely around for support, the baby clinic visits were a vital part of keeping me functional.

Maybe when babies get to 6 months that sort of 'service' is less essential, but IME it is quite normal for mums to have a bit of a chat at baby clinic. Calling someone 'sad' is just rude and nasty. If the HV wanted to pass comment then the more appropriate thing would be to ask mums who were coming very regularly whether they had particular concerns and perhaps advising that they don't need to come so frequently. The HV could even have commented about the number of babies they have to get through and that time doesn't allow for 6 month old healthy babies to be weighed every fortnight etc if they are actually struggling for time to fit everyone in.

Calling someone 'sad' should be reserved for bitchy teenagers ffs. YANBU. I would complain.

thisisyesterday Wed 31-Aug-11 21:36:50

no you're right that she shouldn't have left them feeling like they couldn't go back, or that they had been insulted.

but I do wonder if they just took it a bit too personally. it's really hard to tell on here because we don't know how it was said

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