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To refuse health visitor?

(92 Posts)
Seline Fri 11-Jan-19 05:29:21

Hi. I'm a 2nd 3rd time mum to twins and had them prematurely. One is still in hospital and had a very traumatic time, and I have appointments for pediatricians, speech and language, dieticians, cardiologists and other specialists. I already have an older child with extra needs and so have lots of appointments for him too.

I don't see what advice a HV could give me as I'm already under such specialist care. My twins had extreme problems and aren't typical prems according to the nicu either so need specialist follow ups. We had the metabolic team involved at one point as they were concerned one had an inborn error of metabolism but thankfully that turned out to be okay.

I feel like waiting around for HV appointments would be too much when I already have so many and that I just want to be as normal as possible. I declined the Child Health Surveillance thing when registering them. I explained my reasons as above and the receptionist still seemed suspicious.

I now can't stop thinking they're going to refer me to SS or flag me up as difficult. I have anxiety and I keep thinking they're going to use that to say I'm unstable and need extra watching.

LetBartletBeBartlet Fri 11-Jan-19 05:38:05

What about care for you? Do you have adequate support in place?

Sounds like you're going through a lot OP.

HoraceCope Fri 11-Jan-19 05:40:05

I think you could do with the extra support ?
A HV could be someone who helps ?
I guess the receptionist probably wasnt aware of the protocol in the situation.
Dont close the door on the service op, you might appreciate it in the future

Seline Fri 11-Jan-19 05:43:05

I do have lots of support, I'm very close to my family and my in-laws. I luckily love my MIL, which I know doesn't happen often! My mum, MIL and cousins and BIL are always on hand to help us out.

It's not that I have a problem with HV as such it's that I think it would cause me extra stress. I'm also not keen on home visits as I am quite private and quiet and see it as a bit intrusive. I'm happy to take them to clinic to be weighed, in fact I prefer it as I love any excuse to get out the house and go for a nice walk.

Loveweekends10 Fri 11-Jan-19 05:44:35

Remember the HV has a duty of care first to the child - not you op! So yes your refusals will trigger alerts! Even though you feel they shouldn’t.

Seline Fri 11-Jan-19 05:46:02

Even though I saw a HV with my eldest and no concerns have been raised? He is also under specialist care for his needs. I engage with lots of professionals so it's not as if I keep my children hidden away or don't speak to anyone about their needs.

Her0utdoors Fri 11-Jan-19 05:46:10

YANBU. You are a grown up, with alot on her plate, and you sound perfectly capable of accessing the appropriate service as or when your family needs them. I also declined HV involvement after my first child. It was completely straightforward to ring and make an appointment when I did want ds weighed and measured.

HoraceCope Fri 11-Jan-19 05:48:21

stay with the service, you say yourself you enjoy getting out of the house.

this is medical support, a person to fight your battles, to help tie things together.

Seline Fri 11-Jan-19 05:49:35

Her0utdoors were they okay with that? Did they question you or act like you were hiding something?

Phillipa12 Fri 11-Jan-19 05:57:36

When my dc3 was 10 days old my dc2 caught pneumonia and sepsis and died, she was 3. My health visitor did visit me and then came out every 2 weeks for a year. As she said i can see that dc3 is thriving, she spent 5 mins doing cursory checks and then spent the rest of the time talking to me. Like you i had tonnes of support from friends and family but she is the reason i didnt sink into a huge hole of depression, having someone to chat with about anything and everything to do with my daughters death and my life in general was amazing. 5 years later i do still credit her with the fact that i didnt need any counselling, personally i would let her visit the once, you might get out of it what i did, you might decide thanks, but no thanks i will pop in to you at weigh in eow, most health visitors are there to help, dont cancel them just yet.

Seline Fri 11-Jan-19 06:00:15

Phillipa I'm so sorry your daughter died, how awful. flowers

NoParticularPattern Fri 11-Jan-19 06:03:58

It’s entirely up to you. The health visitor service is completely optional and you don’t have to agree to their involvement at all. They’re not going to make some awful case to social services about you being neglectful or hurting your babies just because you refused a non-compulsory visit from them. If you feel like you’ve got the support that you and your children need then I’d ring them and tell them you’d like to opt out of the service. You can still get your babies weighed and measured at the clinics but you don’t have to consent to them doing all their check ups that they like to do at all. Mine has just rung me telling me I need to book a 12 month check up with them and I’ve refused. Not least because she’s already booked to see the doc and nurse for jabs, but also because they haven’t given a shiny sausage about me or my baby since we were very first discharged to them at a couple of weeks old.

QueenOfCatan Fri 11-Jan-19 06:04:45

Yanbu. I found them useless with DD, whilst I was pregnant with her I had to complain about one who made massive assumptions and outrightly ignored a lot of what I said based on my living situation at the time and their community nursery nurses (who never made it clear that's what they were so I thought that they were trained hvs who I know have medical backgrounds) gave me downright dangerous advice regarding dds allergies when I was weaning. Their 'breastfeeding support' was rubbish as well.

I'm declining this time around and will take number two to be weighed semi regularly, though I may skip some of those if the nurses are happy to pop baby onto the scales when we're taking DD to her routine allergy appointments!

blackcat86 Fri 11-Jan-19 06:04:46

Don't discount how helpful HVs can be. It feels like a lot at the moment but having a consistent person who has a more holistic view of your babies is really helpful. My HV has suggested referrals that GPs and even consultants have missed. DD (5 months) was also a special care baby and we have a lot of follow up appointments. However we also have ended presenting at a&e with her a few times. Everytime you visit a&e with a baby it will get flagged with the HV to follow up. They ignore ours now because our HV knows it part of the wider picture rather than we're shitty parents who have injured our baby etc.

Yura Fri 11-Jan-19 06:04:57

I’ve met ours once and then told her to never come back again (shw was a waste a nhs money, incredibly annoying on top of being incompetent). never heard from them again, no alarms triggered whatsoever.

Yura Fri 11-Jan-19 06:06:24

Maybe meet them once, see if they are any good, and then decide

Seline Fri 11-Jan-19 06:07:06

The health visitor service is completely optional and you don’t have to agree to their involvement at all.

This was my understanding too but I can't shake off the receptionists raised eyebrows when I said no to it, as she told me I have to tick the box for it and I refused. She went into the back for a long time and I'm really worried.

Huggybear16 Fri 11-Jan-19 06:08:52


There are no words. Losing a child when your youngest is so little, I just can't imagine what you went through. Credit to your HV, sounds like a good one.

I felt like OP, was always irritated with HV visits and appointments but I couldn't figure out exactly why. Then another HV joined the practice and took me on her patient load. I explained that I felt the number of visits and appointments were difficult for me to manage, so she gave me the bare minimum usually required and gave me her number if I needed anything else. She was brilliant and changed my perception of the HV service. Could you speak to HV and just ask for a skeleton service?

Seline Fri 11-Jan-19 06:10:22

I've never had my HV contact me about a and e visits with my older child and he's been a few times for jumping off of a slide and extremely high temperature that we couldn't bring down at home. His HV is a very nice lady I just barely speak to her as I've never seen the need.

Seline Fri 11-Jan-19 06:12:40

She was brilliant and changed my perception of the HV service. Could you speak to HV and just ask for a skeleton service?

I may do this as I don't mind the occasional appointment. It's the ones who pop in for a chat that I don't have time for as I have legitimate consultant appointments to go to, and I'm not someone who likes to talk much anyway.

Huggybear16 Fri 11-Jan-19 06:16:22

I'm exactly the same, @seline. I get awkward around people I'm not close to and hate people dropping by my house (it's rarely tidy and I'm rarely dressed on my days off). My son is 2y2m old and I've seen her 4 times, which is manageable and enough to not raise any red flags.

Seline Fri 11-Jan-19 06:19:50

I'm quite an awkward person too. I'm always thinking how to appear normal in front of strangers which makes me appear even more awkward! I have to sort of plan a script in my head before I speak to anyone and I hate having to do that in my own home where I should feel comfortable.

Huggybear16 Fri 11-Jan-19 06:25:53

Same! Ah, I thought I was alone in the world. I totally understand.

Write down a few things, explaining what you have here, and give them a call. You are seeing HCPs all the time, so it's very unlikely to look like you are hiding anything/avoiding anyone. Give it a shot OP, nothing to lose by talking to them. I'm so glad I did.

Side note, I actually contacted my HV yesterday - by text (easier for me). I haven't seen her in months but I wanted to know how to go about getting the chickenpox vaccine for my son. She text me back asking for a good time to call me. She's great (previous HV was not so great).

Clottedcreamfudge Fri 11-Jan-19 06:27:02

You might find that as it's your second they basically ignore you anyway. My first Hv was absolutely useless, so much so I worked out which clinics she did and went elsewhere and got 1 year check done by another hv.

My second baby now 6 weeks, the newborn visit was a phone call with the option to have a home visit if I needed. They did visit to do newborn hearing test. They have said I can ring if I want them or go to clinic, they don't even seem that bothered about getting her weighted that often.

Loveweekends10 Fri 11-Jan-19 06:27:07

This is the legal stance on it. Scotland has a different system but in England HVs have a lighter touch approach.

…there is a risk that parents will be given the impression that they must accept advice in relation to the services offered by a named person in the exercise of the named person functions, and that their failure to cooperate would be taken as evidence of risk of harm. Care should therefore be taken to emphasise the voluntary nature of the advice, information, support and help offered by the named person.

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