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Can I opt Out of Having a Health Visitor?

(63 Posts)
FutureMummmmmmyx Wed 19-Apr-17 13:06:42

Is having a health visitor a legal requirement? Can you tell them you don't wish to have one? And if so, Has anyone done this?

Wolfiefan Wed 19-Apr-17 13:09:04

Why would you? You don't have to have much interaction with them but they do some useful stuff like hearing test.

PerpetualStudent Wed 19-Apr-17 13:12:20

I think it depends massively on the area. I'm in London and had one (fantastically pointless) home visit, and dropped into the HV clinic to have DS weighed a few times (undiagnosed tongue tie)
I guess if I wanted more support I could have asked for it, but the endless and interfering home visits some people get would drive me mad! I'd ask your midwife exactly what the deal is in your area.

FutureMummmmmmyx Wed 19-Apr-17 13:12:28

I understand that, But i'm just asking if I can opt out of having them.

miwelaisjacydo Wed 19-Apr-17 13:13:02

Yes you can! I think you just have to say.

FutureMummmmmmyx Wed 19-Apr-17 13:13:13

Sorry for the re-post internet crashed. Thank you for the replies smile

FutureMummmmmmyx Wed 19-Apr-17 13:13:47

Thank you smile

SquedgieBeckenheim Wed 19-Apr-17 13:14:27

Nothing is a legal requirement, so you can refuse to have them. I wouldn't though. I've only had good experiences with health visitors.

Wolfiefan Wed 19-Apr-17 13:15:05

It might raise questions. They may be concerned there's a reason you don't want this person in your home.

Floggingmolly Wed 19-Apr-17 13:16:02

I only ever had one home visit (at 10 days). Hardly onerous, tbh.
Who on earth gets "endless" unasked for visits? confused

MrsPear Wed 19-Apr-17 13:16:07

Good luck with saying no. It would be a red flag.

FutureMummmmmmyx Wed 19-Apr-17 13:16:37

So, There ''optional'' but if you decline then they are just going to assume somethings wrong. Doesn't sound very fair/Optional to me :/

purplecoathanger Wed 19-Apr-17 13:17:49

There is no legal requirement to have a health visitor. However, in some cases questions might be asked as to why you would refuse the advice they offer.

For example if a referral was ever made to Social Services on your child a red flag would be waved if you didn't have a health visitor.

A referral to Social Services can happen to anyone, even the very best parents so just for this reason I would accept having a health visitor.

RNBrie Wed 19-Apr-17 13:18:29

Of course you can. In my area you get a letter saying that they've informed your gp that you've dropped out of the service - I guess it's so it's on record somewhere and your gp can keep an eye on you if you turn up there. I dropped out of the service with two of my three and it was a total non-issue.

Floggingmolly Wed 19-Apr-17 13:18:49

It definitely would be. I think you're technically assigned to your health visitor until your child turns 5, although as I say I've never known anyway get more than one visit, so it would be extremely odd to be so adamant that you're not having one.

PerpetualStudent Wed 19-Apr-17 13:19:06

Wolfie is your advice based on any knowledge of the HV sector? 'Raising questions' and having 'concerns' are quite vague statements, and I don't really think it's fair to put fears into the OP's head unless these are based on any professional knowledge or personal experience.

purpleprincess24 Wed 19-Apr-17 13:19:12

I don't understand what the problem is with having them visit tbh. At worst a bit of a hassle but they can also give you see good info

Why dont you want them to visit you?

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 19-Apr-17 13:19:22

No they won't assume anything is wrong. But clearly some people might not engage with HV for reasons that are concerning. It might form part of a pattern of behaviour that gets noticed. But that wouldn't apply in your case, so don't worry. Presumably you'll register your baby with your GP and so on?

Funnyonion17 Wed 19-Apr-17 13:19:58

Out of all the support over the years i found the health visitors the one that mattered. They can come out on request often, check development issues and weight etc. Help with tweeting issues at nursery and school. They can support you too with MH or forms for financial support etc.

I think if you decline you may be seen as defensive or hiding something hmm

Starlighter Wed 19-Apr-17 13:20:34

Why would anyone want to opt out?

Wolfiefan Wed 19-Apr-17 13:21:00

Most people are happy to attend mw and hv appointments as being the best thing for your baby. To opt out completely suggests something could be awry. Substance abuse, unsafe housing or dv. They need to be aware of any possible safeguarding concerns.
I wouldn't refuse to engage with a healthcare professional but would turn down anything pointless or intrusive. (Never did very frequent weigh ins with second child for instance!)

OrlandoTheCat Wed 19-Apr-17 13:27:44

To all those asking why you'd want to opt out: I have to say that mine was utterly useless.
not only that but I offered her a slice of cake, which she sat and slowly ate before she asked any questions. All the while, I was sitting on the sofa slowly dying of fever thanks to mastitis (I didn't realise before she arrived that I had a fever, only that I felt very unwell).
I just wanted her to go. but no, she ate her cake verrrrry slowly before she sloowly and deliberately asked her questions!! grrrrr

Floggingmolly Wed 19-Apr-17 13:30:50

But you didn't have to see her again, Orlando? Telling your existing hv that you're fine; you don't need any more visits (if you have one of those mythical ones who have nothing better to do than pop in every hands turn) is quite simple, surely?
Being asked to be removed from her files completely suggests you want to fly under the radar for some reason.

mimiholls Wed 19-Apr-17 13:31:04

I agree hv are there to spot safeguarding issues and I think they would think it was very odd for someone to opt out, especially with their 1st child. My health visitor is much more knowledgeable than my gp about child health for more routine matters and I couldn't have done without her. There are a million questions as a first time parent and its often difficult to find a good source of advice. They are also there to take pressure of GPs to some extent I would imagine. If there are no issues you will see them very infrequently and I just can't imagine why it would be a problem.

OlennasWimple Wed 19-Apr-17 13:33:06

Would you be taking your baby to the GP to access the usual HV services, such as hearing checks?

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