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Health visiting

What the service does

Health visitors are registered nurses or midwives who have gained additional qualifications through further specialist training. Their additional training enables them to:

  • assess the health needs of individuals, families and the wider community
  • promote good health and prevent illness

Health visitors play a crucial role in making sure children and young people have the best start in life.

The daily work of health visitors typically includes:

  • providing antenatal and post-natal support
  • supporting parents to bring up their young children
  • providing advice on feeding babies and children
  • assessing the growth and development needs of young children
  • supporting children with special health, development or educational needs
  • advising on behavioural management techniques
  • advising on all aspects of accident prevention, including reducing risks
  • providing information on local services

A list of resources is available below to provide families with additional information on a wide range of topics.

Opening hours and contact details

There is a dedicated health visiting helpline available from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Useful links


  • Antenatal resources

    Belfast Trust maternity services

    Our maternity services sub-site provides a range of information on Belfast Trust maternity services.

    Public Health Agency (PHA) maternity website

    The PHA website on maternity and parenting during Covid-19 provides a range of important information for pregnant women and mums in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Mental health and emotional support during Covid-19 pandemic

    The Health and Social Care Board has provided details of the mental health and emotional support available during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The Pregnancy Book

    The Pregnancy Book provides information on many aspects of pregnancy and a list of useful organisations. It is available to pregnant women resident in Northern Ireland through primary care services (antenatal clinics, GPs or health visitors). The book can be downloaded as a single document or as separate chapters.

    Family support

    The Community NI website has an interactive map and information about family support services available in the Belfast City Council area.

    The Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership website has details of family support hubs, which provide access to early intervention family support services for families and children/young people aged up to 18 years.

    Women’s Aid

    Women’s Aid is the leading voluntary organisation in Northern Ireland addressing domestic and sexual violence and providing services for women and children. Women’s Aid is also on Twitter at: twitter.com/WomensAidNI

    Sign language interpreting

    Interpreter Now is a free remote interpreting service for British Sign Language (BSL) and Irish Sign Language (ISL) users in Northern Ireland.

  • Infant feeding resources

    Off to a good start

    Off to a good start is a very useful booklet that presents the reasons why mothers and babies benefit from breastfeeding. It also explains how to breastfeed successfully.

    First Steps Nutrition Trust

    First Steps Nutrition Trust is an independent charity that provides information and resources to support eating well from pre-conception to five years old.

    Bottlefeeding

    The Public Health Agency’s Bottlefeeding leaflet has information to help you bottlefeed you baby as safely as possible.

    Weaning made easy

    The Public Health Agency’s Weaning made easy booklet has lots of information on moving your child from milk to family meals. The information and advice in this booklet is based on up-to-date scientific evidence. It will help ensure your child is getting a good start. This booklet has been updated to include new advice on halving small fruits and vegetables like grapes and cherry tomatoes.

    Getting a good start

    The Public Health Agency’s Getting a good start booklet has advice on many key nutritional issues for children aged one to five years.

  • Postnatal resources

    Immunisation for babies up to a year old

    The Public Health Agency’s Immunisation for babies up to a year old booklet provides information on the routine immunisations that are given to babies up to a year old to protect them from serious childhood diseases.

    Birth to five

    The Public Health Agency’s Birth to five book provides a lot of information on caring for children up to five years old, as well as contact details for useful organisations. It is available to new parents resident in Northern Ireland through primary care services (antenatal clinics, GPs or health visitors).

    The Birth to five book can be downloaded as a single document or as separate chapters. Please note this book was published before the COVID-19 pandemic and should be read along with the guidance at www.pha.site/coronavirus and www.ni-maternity.com

    Potty training

    The ERIC children’s bowel and cancer charity has information and tips on potty training. This will guide you through the process of getting your child out of nappies and into pants.

    Keeping kids safe

    The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) has a range of information on keeping children safe as they grow up. Occasional bumps or scrapes are part of growing up. However, accidents involving children continue to devastate lives, with those aged under five years particularly at risk.

    Window blinds (legal requirements)

    This leaflet on the legal requirements for internal window blinds was produced by the British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA). The BBSA launched the Make it Safe campaign in 2009 and has campaigned for safer blinds.

    Safer sleeping

    The Public Health Agency’s Safer sleeping leaflet has guidance on reducing the risk of sudden infant death.

    The Lullaby Trust also focuses on safer sleep for babies and support for families by raising awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

    New baby and the family dog

    Dogs Trust has produced a leaflet on preparing your pet dog for the arrival of a new baby in the family home.

    Slings and carrier safety

    The T.I.C.K.S rule for safe babywearing.

    Family support and childcare

    The Family Support NI website helps you find:

    • local services and information to support you and your family
    • registered childcare
    • financial support

     

    Benefits advice

    NI Direct has information on benefits and financial support. To make sure you’re getting all the benefits, services and support you’re entitled to, call free on 0800 232 1271.

    Healthy Start

    Healthy Start allows you to get free vouchers every week to spend on milk, fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins.

    You may qualify for these vouchers if:

    • you are pregnant and aged under 18 years
    • you are pregnant or have children under the age of four and you are on benefits
  • Mental health resources

    We Are Pangs

    We Are Pangs wants to ensure that every parent has access to safe, timely and appropriate mental health support, as well as access to specialist services.

    AWARE

    AWARE has an established network of 23 support groups in rural and urban areas across the country, which are run by trained volunteers. Support groups welcome people with depression and/or bipolar disorder, as well as their carers.

    Zero To Three

    Zero To Three works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their wellbeing and development.

    Parenting NI

    Parenting NI is a leading charity for parenting support in Northern Ireland.

  • Translations

    Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) Translation Hub

    The CYPSP Translation Hub provides important information on health, Covid-19, education, housing, employment, contacts for support and much more.