Enforced changes improved some services say HSC.
HSC introduced new ways of working to enable as many services as possible to continue to be delivered. This included offering telephone consultations, meetings via Microsoft Teams and the introduction of helplines.
Now in Phase 5, staff have asked for feedback on these new ways of working to establish which ones were seen as improvements by services users.
COVID-19 meant that health visitors had to cancel the traditional well baby clinics, which were held on a drop in basis, and offered individual appointments to either have babies weighed or discuss any concerns parents may have had about their baby or child. These appointments have given parents more flexibility with when they could attend and more privacy.
Debbie Pittman, Service Manager Child Health said: ‘COVID-19 forced us to change how we work and, on reflection, these changes have made our services better.
'Changing the way we offer well baby checks has given the health visiting staff more time to focus on the parent and child, and feedback from both service users and health visiting staff has been positive. As a result the health visitors intend to continue with this way of working and hold clinics in this way at Lukis House.
'This means that community clinics in other parishes will no longer be held. Whilst we appreciate that this is a change of practice, we anticipate that the additional flexibility and privacy will be welcomed.’
The health visitor helpline, which also started in lockdown, will continue, and for any parent or carer who has a query about their baby or child can ring the health visitor hub on 01481 707368 for immediate help and advice about their child.
Clinic appointments can be booked for parents or carers to have their baby’s weight checked at the recommended time in a child’s life, for developmental assessments or for help and advice on issues such as feeding, sleeping, behaviour, parental mental health etc.
The helpline is available Monday to Friday 9-12. Parents or carers can ring Lukis House on 01481 725241 after the helpline is closed to book an appointment, or to request that a health visitor contact them.