Healthy Child Programme (HCP) - Health Visitors and School Nurses (0-19 Service)
Welcome to West Sussex, Brighton and Hove Health Visitor and School Nurse Service.
Health Visitors and School Nurses, also known as Specialist Community Public Health Nurses, are qualified nurses or midwives who have completed additional training in public health. Your local health visitor and school nurse team may also include staff nurses, assistant practitioners, community nursery nurses, school health assistants, health and wellbeing youth workers, and the school screening team.
Check out these websites that have advice and information about our service:
These award-winning websites are designed to teach children and young people about their physical and mental health in a fun and engaging way, helping them make choices that support their wellbeing.
Both websites are easy to use, offer a read-aloud function for people with visual and/or hearing disabilities, and can be accessed on smartphones.
What to expect from your Health Visitor Service (Ages 0-5)
Please click here to view an infographic entitled 'Who are health visitors and what do they do?' (Credit: Institute of Health Visiting).
You can expect to have contact with your health visiting team when you are approaching the delivery of your baby. The Health Visiting Service offers parents/carers a minimum of five contacts from late pregnancy through to a developmental assessment of your child when they are about two years’ old. For more information, please watch this video clip (Credit: BBC).
Health visitors provide antenatal and postnatal support, building relationships with families to make sure that children learn, thrive and reach their full potential. Health visitors assess growth and development and encourage the development of healthy lifestyles and good nutrition. As health visitors, we are aware of the challenges of parenthood and will also be available to discuss these with you. We routinely ask mums and dads about their emotional wellbeing as well as their physical health.
Families may also need support or guidance with issues regarding their children’s health and development at specific times. This may include: infant feeding, diet, routines and boundaries, continence, sleep, speech and/or parenting support. The service provided to each family will vary according to a personalised assessment of their own needs and evidence of what will work for them.
What to expect from your School Nurse Service (Ages 5-19)
School nurses provide support to ensure that children, young people and families can access appropriate information and advice. Prior to this your child may have received support from the Health Visiting Service. If your child attends a primary school (including academies and free schools) you can expect to have contact with the screening team when your child is in Reception. A hearing and vision screen is offered to your child plus a growth measurement as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). Your child will also be offered a further growth measurement in Year Six, again as part of the NCMP. You will be contacted with the results of vision and hearing screening tests and will receive a letter about the NCMP measurements. You will have the chance to opt out of the screening of your child if you’d like to.
In Brighton and Hove a school entry health questionnaire is offered to all parents/carers, and if you have any health questions or concerns about your child, one of the team will contact you. Also, a health questionnaire is also given to all Year Seven young people to complete and is the chance for them to meet their school nurse face to face and ask them questions.
We ensure all children aged from 0-19 years are offered early intervention, prevention and health promotion services, which are designed to help them enjoy the best possible health and wellbeing. Families need support for specific issues at specific times and school nurses work to provide support or guidance about children’s health and development. The service provided to each family will vary according to a personalised assessment of their own needs and evidence of what will work for them.
We can also refer your child to a range of other services depending on their health needs. We can offer support on growth, weight, eating and healthy lifestyles, sleep, dental and oral care, immunisations, developmental concerns, continence issues, emotional and mental wellbeing, and children and young people who identify as LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, plus), as well as on young carers. We can also offer support and advice around sexual health and contraception, and drugs and alcohol.
Young people aged 11-19 can also use our Chat Health texting service to contact the school nurse, and this can also be used by parents/carers of primary-aged children. More information on Chat Health is available in this film.
The Health Visitor and School Nurse teams also work with other agencies, such as schools and GPs, to develop and deliver care to the most vulnerable children and families. This includes working alongside Children's Social Care to safeguard children and young people.
Our Trust takes your feedback very seriously. By providing us with feedback you help us know when we’re getting things right and what we can do to improve our services. You can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) if you would like to provide a compliment or report any issues relating to the care that your child has received. PALS is a free, confidential NHS service for patients, carers, families and members of the public.
For access to our Healthy Child Programme (HCP) - Health Visitors and School Nurses (0-19 Service), please see the information under 'Contact Details' below.
Brighton and Hove
Brighton and Hove Parentline (for children aged 0-5 years) Text 07507 331296. You can use this anonymous text service at any time and we will return your message within 24 hours, Monday to Friday, 9am-3.30pm, except for bank holidays and weekends. This service is for advice and support only, please do not message to arrange or amend appointments.
Brighton and Hove Telephone: 01273 266000 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. Excluding bank holidays) This is for advice, support and appointments.
Brighton and Hove email: firstname.lastname@example.org
West Sussex Parentline (For children aged 0-5 years): Text 07312 277163. You can use this anonymous text service at any time and we will return your message within 24 hours, Monday to Friday, 9am-4.30pm, except for bank holidays and weekends. This service is for advice and support only, please do not message to arrange or amend appointments.
West Sussex Telephone: 01273 242004 (Monday to Friday, 9am-4.30pm, excluding bank holidays). This is for advice, support and appointments.
West Sussex email: email@example.com
Brighton and Hove
Chat Health Brighton and Hove: Text 07480 635423. You can text us at any time and we will return your call within 24 hours, Monday to Friday, 9am-4.30pm, except for bank holidays and weekends.
Brighton and Hove School Nurse team: Telephone 01273 696011, ext 1692, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.
Brighton and Hove email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chat Health West Sussex: Text 07480 635424. You can text us at any time and we will return your call within 24 hours, Monday to Friday, 9am-4.30pm, except for bank holidays and weekends.
Parentline West Sussex (for parents/carers of children and young people aged 5-19): Text 07312 277011. You can text us at any time and we will return your call within 24 hours, Monday to Friday, 9am-4.30pm, except for bank holidays and weekends.
West Sussex School Nurse advice line: Telephone 0300 303 1137, Monday to Friday, 9am-4.30pm.
West Sussex team email: email@example.com
Please see the information under 'Contact Details' above.
If your child is under five, please visit our Health for under 5s website to see details of all the venues we use. You will find the information under the 'Select service' finder.
Useful links for parents and carers:
The Little Orange Book (NHS) - Expert advice on helping babies and young children when they're poorly.
Start4Life (www.nhs.uk) - For help and advice during pregnancy, birth and parenthood - including feeding and starting solids, and activity ideas.
https://www.nhs.uk/change4life - Ideas for eating well and moving more.
https://www.eric.org.uk/ - Advice on toileting, continence and bowel problems.
DadPad - The Essential Guide for New Dads - Support Guide for New Dads (DadPad | The Essential Guide for New Dads | Support Guide for New Dads (thedadpad.co.uk)) - For specific advice for fathers (West Sussex). Free to families with a West Sussex postcode. For download onto an apple device- DadPad on the App Store (apple.com) For Google Play- DadPad - Apps on Google Play
https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/ - Safer sleep advice.
http://iconcope.org/parentsadvice/ - Advice on coping with a crying baby.
West Sussex MILK! - breastfeeding support in West Sussex: SCFT MILK Infant Feeding - West Sussex - Home | Facebook and Breastfeeding - MILK! Infant Feeding Team (West Sussex) (sussexcommunity.nhs.uk)
Brighton and Hove Breastfeeding Team - breastfeeding support in Brighton and Hove: https://www.facebook.com/scftbreastfeeding, Breastfeeding Peer Support Service Brighton & Hove | Facebook and Breastfeeding Team (Brighton & Hove) (sussexcommunity.nhs.uk).
FAQ (allsortsyouth.org.uk) - Supports and connects children and young people under 26 who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity (LGBT+).
https://www.talktofrank.com/drug/tobacco - Information for young people on drugs and alcohol and tobacco.
https://youngminds.org.uk/ - Children’s mental health charity that offers a wide range of support for young people to help them understand their feelings and access help. Includes information on mental health medication as well as support for parents.
https://www.southeastclinicalnetworks.nhs.uk/readyforparenthood/ - #ReadyforParenthood campaign - Information designed to support new parents.
Childhood Sleep Problems - video (below, courtesy of Steph Wooler/Moovly)