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To have found the health visitor visit more like a social worker visit?

(61 Posts)
Piffling Sun 15-Nov-15 14:29:58

I was reflecting earlier, my local hv team was very poor for my previous dc... In a fluffy useless way though (some are wonderful, I'm just referring to the culture at my local team).

Last week for new dd though the visit felt more like a check up/ risk assessment? Is this the norm now?

Lots of questions with " after baby p I must ask..." " illicit drugs?" ... Binge drink? .... Dv? How's dad? What time does he work? Who helps you on bad days? Plus a in depth questions of other dd's medical appointments (Sn). Even a " physical check" of baby including enquiring about bruising ( none!).

Is this odd? It had such a different tone, I sat there quite bemused after a while. I'm a teacher and cp lead so maybe I recognise questions more so, but it felt like a sw risk assessment.

Whilst I'm not a fan of local hv I've had no negative interaction, bar suggesting I just pop into clinic this time. We're boringly normal in general. There's no further meetings, baby clinic services are decimated, no support, it just seemed like a quite full on check for child protection.

Was it a slightly odd hv I met? Or is this a change others have seen? Last time it was more a chat about feeding etc.

OurBlanche Sun 15-Nov-15 14:33:21

Sadly this is becoming more of the job - tick boxed nosiness, as a friend describes it (she has been a HV for about 20 years).

DoJo Sun 15-Nov-15 14:35:43

My HV didn't ask anything like that (although my husband was there when she came, so some of those would have been irrelevant). Drugs and drink were only mentioned as part of safe co-sleeping guidelines because I said that I had my son in bed with me most nights, so no questions, just a reminder not to co-sleep if either of us had indulged. She weighed him, so potentially did some relatively covert checking of him, but no questions about him physically other than standard ones about the routine tests such as clicky hip etc and how he was feeding/pooing etc.

cleoteacher Sun 15-Nov-15 14:36:27

Yes, I found the same with dad, totally different to the types of questions I remember being asked 3 years ago with ds. We didn't get asked about bruises and times dh worked but got asked about drugs and alcohol and she wanted to look in our recycling bin to check I was lying!

Sad I thought.

Piffling Sun 15-Nov-15 14:40:50

I think I would have been quite rude had she checked the recycling!

Maybe previous hv was more subtle. Also didn't offer to remove shoes (polite to ask but I always say keep them on despite the fact we have obviously shoes in hall) nor did she wash hands before handling dd (I'm not precious but I do often wash hands when arriving home)

Wishful80sMontage Sun 15-Nov-15 14:42:39

Yes it's changed between having dd and this one I'm expecting they now do home visits in our area and lots of those kind of questions plus handing me a pile of leaflets it felt very much like a tick box exercise.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 15-Nov-15 14:45:37

Gosh, I had dd 8.5 years ago, and ds nearly 4 years ago, and it was never like this. My goodness, I would dread it now., as I have depression and would think they felt I was not a good mum.

Piffling Sun 15-Nov-15 14:49:20

Aero, I would have too found it hugely difficult to disclose an issue such as pnd, addiction etc. whereas in the past I may have done if I'd needed.

A bit like the receptionist at our local a&me who askes "any problems with social services" like there's no room for contact with them in a positive way ( eg disabled child team)

Snossidge Sun 15-Nov-15 14:51:20

I was asked about drink and drugs, DV, depression/mental illness, smoking, who lived in the house, if we worked, if we had a social worker etc at midwife booking in and first HV visit. No one inspected the baby though.

Health visitors are becoming more and more stretched, fewer staff and bigger caseloads, so to an extent they do need to screen out no extra input families from those in need/child protection and focus their energies there.

NewBallsPlease00 Sun 15-Nov-15 14:51:18

Yep just had second dc and been asked all the same questions- she was great and actually apologised but needed to ask about dv (in front of DH...) fgm a use of substance etc
Then ticked boxes of no and said see you at 6 week check.... Last baby it was drop in clinic fortnight ly but they've all closed so essentially no one keeps an eye like last time...

Aeroflotgirl Sun 15-Nov-15 15:03:14

I would really feel under fire.

Chattymummyhere Sun 15-Nov-15 15:08:21

Just proof of the nanny state we live in. Although I remember with my first I took him to baby clinic just over a year old he had a mark and they wrote in his book "mark on head mother claims he fell out his ball pit" as if I was lying about it, surely I wouldn't of taken him at all if I was abusing him.

Innocent people quizzed like guilty people due to the minority of bad people.

Piffling Sun 15-Nov-15 15:11:58

There are actually more hv in my area now, more surestart etc. when I had previous dc something like 3% of dc were getting one yr checks due to shortages. After a fuss money was pumped in (deprived area) and now they have nursery nurses, outreach and all sorts.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sun 15-Nov-15 15:12:21

Eh? What sort of visit was it? An a&e follow up? DV follow up? Standard two year check?

stoppingbywoods Sun 15-Nov-15 15:13:06

I'm on the verge of telling our HW to take our names off her list. She turns up announced despite being asked not to. In my book, they says it all.

Piffling Sun 15-Nov-15 15:13:14

New baby visit. Dc 5.

stoppingbywoods Sun 15-Nov-15 15:13:59

I mean, what's she trying to catch us doing? (therein lies the relevance to you post grin)

Moodyblue1 Sun 15-Nov-15 15:15:13

I had mine last week and the questions were never ending, do we smoke, drink, take drugs, suffer domestic violence, am I scared of anyone in the house etc it all seemed like pretty standard box ticking questions. She weighed DD and checked her over so would have looked out for bruises I'd imagine but didn't make it obvious.

MatildaTheCat Sun 15-Nov-15 15:18:10

Any health professional who asks about DV in front of partner, male or female, is frankly in need of further training.

Many of these questions are asked at booking with the midwife which is well accepted by most people so it's the context in which the questions are asked, seemingly which causes offence. They are relevant question in both situations...tbh if you are lucky enough to be able to say 'no' to it all I can't see a problem. It's a reality of the times that hvs do largely focus their resources on families with additional needs.

Imagine the uproar if hvs only asked certain women any of this.

Outcomesthebunnyofdeath Sun 15-Nov-15 15:18:21

Its crap isnt it. No people skills whatsoever - could they not just assess parents and babies with their eyes and ears rather than asking direct questions of a sheet ? I mean, who is going to say 'im a drug addict' or 'im always leaving the baby and going down the pub'. The laughable part is that the real children at risk don't get a visit at all because the parents forget or make sure they are not in......

ExConstance Sun 15-Nov-15 15:21:07

You don't have to accept visits from the HV, I refused any visits when my sons were small and also didn't use the "red book"

Piffling Sun 15-Nov-15 15:22:03

My hv had a trainee shadowing and was obvious, " you didn't check baby's back..." "Any marks."

Piffling Sun 15-Nov-15 15:23:18

Constance, I said no three times and I'd pop to the clinic but she kept leaving messages to rearrange so I thought sod it and she came.

Piffling Sun 15-Nov-15 15:25:03

Yeah bunnyofdeath, I was tempted to give a deadpan " yes" answer at points to see the reaction.

Ninacarter77 Sun 15-Nov-15 15:26:05

All newborns should be examined by HV obviously a non mobile child shouldn't have any bruises/marks etc.

The DV/ substance misuse questions are part of midwifery booking here however maybe it is the hv who has to ask in some areas.

I don't know why anyone would be surprised in most areas now the HV's role is mainly childprotection. Universal service delivery means everyone should get the same questions-look as though they are doing their job.

(Not an HV but used to link in with them in a previous role)

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