Bexley 0-4 Service
The 0-4 service is for parents and carers of babies and children from birth until just before they start school. The service supports parents and carers to give their babies, children and young people the best possible start in life. We provide a series of 10 health checks starting with an antenatal contact, and you will be given advice and support about your child’s development and growth, healthy eating, physical activity, emotional wellbeing and immunisations.
We’ll support you to become confident in looking after the health and development needs of your child from when they are born to when they transition into adulthood. We will also provide support to children and young people as they grow and develop, offering information and advice as and when needed.
Whether you’re concerned about feeding, sleeping, behaviour or development our team of fully qualified and experienced Health Visitors and healthcare professionals here to advise and support you with bringing up your child to be healthy and happy. Whatever your concern, no matter how small you think it may be, we are here to help.
Midwives and Health Visitors – what do they do?
Midwives are specialists in pregnancy and birth and will look after the mother and baby during labour and birth, and up to 28 days after the baby is born. When your baby is 10 days old the Midwives will handover care to the Health Visitors.
Health Visitors are qualified Nurses or Midwives who have completed further training. The Health Visitor is there to support you as a parent in raising a happy and healthy child; working together with you to give your child the best possible start in life. As far as possible we will try to ensure that you see the same Health Visitor at each visit so that you know who to expect.
When and where should I expect to see my Health Visitor?
A Health Visitor will meet you before your baby is due (around 28 weeks into pregnancy, known as your antenatal visit), then they will see you when your baby is 10 to 14 days old. The Health Visitor will come to your home for these visits and they’ll phone you to arrange a convenient time.
When your baby is 6 to 8 weeks old your Health Visitor will phone you to arrange a convenient time to meet either at home or at the clinic or Children and Family Centre.
When your baby is 8-12 months old, and again when they reach 2 to 2½ years old, you will be invited by letter to meet the Health Visitor at a clinic or Children and Family Centre. This letter will contain a questionnaire for you to complete before you meet the Health Visitor and bring along with you.
Following this your child will move to the care of the School Nurses once they start school. Further information is provided in the 5-10 section of the website.
What will my Health Visitor do at these visits/meetings?
At the visit following the birth of your baby the Health Visitor will make sure your baby has received all their checks and assessments and advise you about immunisations. At all visits/meetings the Health Visitor will ask how you and your baby/child are doing, listen to any concerns you may have and advise appropriately. This could be anything related to feeding, sleeping, health, behaviour and development.
What is the Personal Child Health Record (red book)?
Known as the ‘red book’ due to its red cover, the Personal Child Health Record will be given to you by the Health Visitor at the first visit following your baby’s birth. It is where the Health Visitor will record your baby/child’s height and weight, vaccinations, and other important information, along with their name, NHS number, date of birth and useful contacts. You can write in the red book yourself about any illnesses or accidents your baby/child has, and about their development milestones such as their first words and the first time they walked.
You can also register to use the eRedbook which helps parents find out more about their baby’s development through nhs.uk guidance articles tailored to their baby’s age and allows parents to record and track their baby’s weight and create a safe, long term record of their baby’s health and development. Find out more about the eRedbook.
What if I want advice between visits?
You can either phone on 0300 330 5777 or use the live chat function on our website, whichever you find easier. You are also welcome to attend our Well Baby Clinics where you can weigh your baby (and record it in the red book) and see a Health Visitor.