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Can anybody help with HV query - long story!!

(19 Posts)
stinky Fri 31-Dec-04 11:48:00


I haven't posted much on mumsnet but have lurked for a while and have always been impressed by the advice given to people. So I wonder if anyone could help with my problem.

DD is nearly 7 mnths, she was a big baby 10lb 5 oz!!!. I took her to be weighed mid December and she had dropped nearly 2 centile bands since last being weighed (10 wks prior), the health visitor I saw (not mine) was very concerned, said she also looked jaundiced and referred me immediately to the GP. I felt there was no problem at all bearing in mind my DS had done exactly the same thing and was absolutely fine - following all milestones etc. Also both families have historys of large babies (DF was 10lb 8 in the 1940's!!!)and are average height but very slim builds. I said she had 2 colds and had been teething and she said this would not have caused it.

Anyway dragged her to GP on a freezing December evening and GP said she was fine - no jaundice and said he would listen to mother if I felt she was fine so did he. Also said to get her weighed in 2 weeks.

I was very annoyed at being dragged out unnecessarily and when my health visitor phoned the next day as she had been told DD was ill, I ranted to her about how upset I was not to have been listed to etc etc. She agreed with what I had said and I said I wouldn't go back to the clinic after that. She said she would let me know her clinic times and I could see her. Felt happier after that and thought it was all over.

Then 2 days later I get a phone call from original HV (Obviously my HV had spoken to her) who had obviously been to see GP and told me GP told her she was quite justified in sending me to him and said she had send me because of DD's drop in weight when I pointed out that she hadn't dropped in weight she had just gained very slowly she changed her tack and said it was the velocity she was concerned about (1st I have heard of it!).

Next day I receive a letter from GP advising me of clinic times over Xmas to get DD weighed, now as far as I am aware GP's are far too busy to be sending out letters like this I know it is because she went to see him and I guess they are trying to cover themselves - can anyone comment on this???

At no time has anyone asked me whether she is breast or bottle fed, weaned, how much she is eating, whether she has been unwell, how active she is etc..

I feel she is ok as my son did exactly the same things and my wonderful health visitor then assured me all was fine and asked about his diet, pointed out he was healthy, very active and following all his milestones.

Sorry for the length of this but could any one advise me on what my rights are, do I have to see HV or GP, should HV have questioned me on diet etc?

Please help, where do I go from here?

misdee Fri 31-Dec-04 11:56:02

dont think u have to see her at all. if gp has given your baby clean bill of health then leave it!

LIZS Fri 31-Dec-04 11:59:38

afaik you are not obliged to have the baby seen by a HV at all. If you don't go and they remember to pick up on it then you will probabaly get a call from HV but there is no reason why she cannot visit you at home, if you agree, and it sounds as if you have more faith in her opinion anyway. I don't know if you can insist on seeing a particualr one if the second one calls though, perhaps ring your local Primary Care Trust. I agree it seems odd to have not asked you basic questions which may have an impact on how dd is developing and feeding. Sounds as if they may be being overly cautious for some unknown reason.

coppertop Fri 31-Dec-04 12:00:24

You don't have to take your child to the clinic at all. Ds2 is 23 months old and hasn't been weighed by the HV since his 8mth check-up.

If you want dd to be weighed but don't want to use your normal clinic you can take dd's health record book and take her to any other clinic to be weighed. You can find out the times by ringing their surgeries.

Ds1 was on the 91st centile when he was born. He has steadily been on the 75th centile ever since then. He is tall and slim. He is now 4.5yrs and still the same (he has been measured regularly at the hospital as he takes steroids for his asthma and so needed his rate of growth to be monitored).

Donbean Fri 31-Dec-04 12:00:34

You seem to be very angry about the whole thing and although i can see your point of view i can also see the origional HV view as well im afraid. As she was seeing your baby for the first time, not knowing family background it is clear that she was simply doing her job and airing on the side of caution.
They have to cover themselves as you say. I agree completely with you regarding not bieng listened to as this is very frustrating. I do think that even if she had listened to you, she still would have referred your baby to the GP for a check over.
As far as i can see, she was bieng vigilant and Overly concerned, i cant see any reason to complain about this. Im sorry if its not what you want to hear, but its my honest opinion.

stinky Fri 31-Dec-04 12:04:02

unfortunately the wonderful health visitor I had with my son was in a different area and we have now moved so I don't think I would be able to see her unless anyone knows whether I can go to a different Trust?

paolosgirl Fri 31-Dec-04 12:10:26

Grrrrr....I do wish HV's would LISTEN a bit more. I was referred to the Paediatrician by mine because dd was on the lowest possible centile for weight (and still is 5 years on). I tried explaining that we're all tiny in my family, but it was duly ignored.
So, we then went through dieticians, blood tests on a baby (I was effing furious at that one) and finally an appointment with the consultant who looked at dd and said "and why am I seeing this child"? God knows how much this all cost the NHS.
Anyway, I would say that as a mother, YOU know best, and if you don't want to have your child seen by the HV, then don't. Go and see your GP if you're concerned about the jaundice - they don't do 7 years of med school for nothing.

kymbo Fri 31-Dec-04 12:29:55

No advice I'm afraid,just wanted to share a similar problem with a HV who wasn't my usual.DD is 11mths and weigh's 17lbs 15oz,which puts her on the 9th centile.I used to get her weighed at the local clinic until she was about 5mths,and she was plodding along nicely on the 50th centile. Then ds started nursery and I could no longer get to the clinic.She wasn't weighed unitl 8wks later,and she had dropped a centile. Usual HV wasn't worried,as she'd started crawling and was much more active.
5wks after that I took her to a clinic near ds's nursery for a quick weigh,and she had dropped another centile. The HV there had me freaked, saying this just wasnt right,she really should see a doctor.Had one of the doctors at the practice come out and look at her.He asked me about what she ate,was her dad small(we both are) is she active,etc.He noted she was very alert,and said not to worry,she'd just be petite.
I dont want to slag off HV as most of them do a wonderful job,but I think if you have a good HV its best to stick to thier advice as they know your family and any history.
If GP advised you to get dd weighed in two weeks, he probably sent the letter about Xmas times as it would have been around that time he'd advised you to come back.
I'm sure one of the mumsnetter's will give you some good advice.Good luck!

Kym,Anais&Joseph x

hercyulelog Fri 31-Dec-04 13:27:44

Do what I do, dont get her weighed. If she's happy and has energy I dont worry.

WideWebWitch Fri 31-Dec-04 13:35:29

Stinky, my dd (she's nearly 13 months) hasn't been weighed other than when she was born and at the midwives/standard hv home visit just after she was born. Don't go, I'm absolutely sure you're under no obligation to. If you're worried, call the GP, speak to him/her personally, explain (calmly, important this! Although I know how cross I'd be in your position) that you're sure your child is fine and you're sure that they'd rather you didn't waste their time as there is nothing wrong with her. And change surgeries if they Gp is anything other than fine and dandy with that. I really would like to know what training these people receive, you rarely hear of a good one on mumsnet.

WideWebWitch Fri 31-Dec-04 13:36:24

HVs I meant, not GPs!

Laylasmum Fri 31-Dec-04 13:43:22

wickedwater witch i think your being a bit unfair .i'm not a HV but i am a practice nurse and have friends who are HV and also support HV students during their training. As professionals we have set guidelines to follow and many times we are in a no win situation if things are reported and followed up then prents feel they are being accused of something or that it is uneccesary interference but if nothing is done we can face the same, if not worse, criticism.We are legally and morally bound to do what is believed to be in the best interest of the people in our care otherwise we are not doing our jobs properly!

hercyulelog Fri 31-Dec-04 13:46:35

It is interesting - the whole question of hvs. I've never met one who actually knew much about breastfeeding for either of my kids. I complained to my NHS trust when a hv was gobsmacked I had exclusively fed my dd to 6 months as she had never heard of anyone doing this before and didnt realise it was WHO and our gov recommendations.

WideWebWitch Fri 31-Dec-04 13:50:12

Laylasmum, sorry if you think I'm being unfair. I tell you what though, I don't think I am based on a lot of posts on here. Maybe it's because people post here when they've got a problem with their HV, rather than when they think they've got a great supportive one and therefore we probably don't see a representative sample here or anything like. But in this case and in many cases posted on this site hvs are not helpful and supportive. The GP said there was nothing wrong with this baby, the mother thinks there's nothing wrong with this baby (and the hv hasn't asked any sensible questions, is just looking at charts) and yet they'd still like stinky to take her baby in to be weighed. Why, ffs? We're not talking a first time mother here, we're not (presumably) talking about history of neglect. I can't see that this warrants hassling a mother of 2 who has other things to do with her time. I would genuinely be interested to know what training hvs have, really! Especially in manners and approach. If the hv had made a quick polite friendly phone call to stinky asking how it was going and did she think she wanted her dd weighed she'd have got a better response I think. As it is they've just put her back up.

Laylasmum Fri 31-Dec-04 13:58:25

Yes it seems as if all that has happened is that stinky has got annoyed but what i was trying to get at is that none of this was done out of spite or malice or purposely to inconvienience as many busy mothers as they could just before xmas, i'm sure it was out of genuine concern. HV offer a valuable service to all families and i acknowledge that some will undoubtedly be better, more experienced and nicer than others i don't think any of them would like to think that they had upset a mum so much. i agree that most posts on here are put on when people have a problem and many people respond with ' why don't you complain'. I personally have no problems with constructive genuine complaints at all but it is because of the increasing complaining and litigation culture that we have that ALL health care professionals have to cover all potential angles leading to the situation that stinky is unfortunately in!

WideWebWitch Fri 31-Dec-04 14:01:45

No, I know it wasn't malicious or spiteful but the manner in which this was done hasn't achieved the desired outcome for anyone.

Fimbo Fri 31-Dec-04 14:01:53

I agree with your points WWW. My HV is lovely as a person but not so good on the advice front.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 31-Dec-04 14:26:58

I took dd1 to get weighed once when she was just recovering from a cold. Her weight had dropped obviously, when my hv found out dd1 had been ill she told me not to bring her in to be weighed unless she was well as her weight would have dropped, she said she always gives this advice to mum's. Sure enough once I took her to be weighed after she'd gotten better, her weight was back on the centile chart.....

Potty1 Fri 31-Dec-04 15:03:58

I think that the most important thing is that you are happy that your child is well stinky. The HV should have asked you more questions.

I do have to offer a voice of support to HV's though. My dd fed poorly, failed to gain and I was worried. My GP was crap and didn't take my concerns seriously, it was my HV who referred dd to hospital over his head and my HV who pushed further when they too said she only had a UTI. She was later diagnosed with a serious medical condition and I'm not overexaggerating when I say that that HV saved her life.

I'm sure your ds is just fine slinky, the HV was probably just being cautious having not met you before. A bit better communication from her would have saved you worry and annoyance.

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