A summary of parents’ experiences of using the health visiting service in Northamptonshire

Healthwatch Northamptonshire volunteers interviewed 221 parents in 8 locations across Northamptonshire. We found that the majority of parents were satisfied with the service in general, especially when they had specific concerns.
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We did find variations in different parts of the county in relation to whether parents receive weaning and dietary advice and how mothers had been feeling before and after the birth. We have asked for a full review of the service, with further involvement of local parents, before the service moves to being commissioned by Northamptonshire County Council from October 2015. The review should ensure that all parents receive a consistent service, including weaning and dietary advice and psychological support.

The majority of parents we spoke to were positive about the advice and support they received from their Health Visitor in general and when there were specific concerns about their babies.

Some parents were critical about the quality of care, including a lack of consistent advice between health visitors and midwives and not enough visits at key stages in their child’s development.

Recommendations

Variations in care should be addressed so that all parents and their children have access to the same level and quality of advice and support in Northamptonshire. This should include ensuring that all parents and their children have access to the same level and quality of advice and support in Northamptonshire including ensuring full access to weaning and dietary advice, and psychological support for new mothers who may be experiencing difficult emotions.

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A summary of parents’ experiences of using the health visiting service in Northamptonshire

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