Health visiting

COVID-19 service update

Due to the continuing COVID-19 situation, staff shortages and demand on the service, we are experiencing significant challenges at this time.

We remain committed to giving every child the best start in life and will be prioritising contact at antenatal and 6-8 week reviews face-to-face for those with additional needs or specific requirements.

Please be assured that we are doing our very best to offer all our families alternative support via telephone and virtual contacts, where possible. If you would like to speak with a member of the health visiting team to discuss any concerns or support required, please do not hesitate to call your local health visiting hub.

  • All expectant parents will be offered either a face to face or virtual contact ante-natally
  • All families with new babies will be offered a face to face contact
  • We will be prioritising contact at 6-8 week reviews with face to face contact for those with additional needs or specific requirements
  • 10-12 month development check will be offered to those where additional needs are identified or on parental request
  • All children will be offered a 27 month development check either face to face or virtual contact
  • Additional face to face and virtual contact for children and families as indicated by need or on parental request

Newborn Screen Hearing Programme: service running as normal in clinics and maternity units


COVID-19 message for parents

When your child is ill or injured, it is very difficult to decide if/when to call your child's GP, NHS 111 or go to the accident and emergency department (A&E). During the current situation, it can be confusing to know what to do.These posters include guidance on what to do and which service to use:

Many families will be concerned about how to access health advice at this time and many parents may be feeling very anxious about the changes to our day to day lives. COVID-19 is particularly difficult for those who already struggle with anxiety or depression. Click here to view helpful advice and links.



ParentLine is a new confidential text messaging service providing parents and carers of 0-5 year olds in Dorset to seek advice from our Health Visiting team about their child’s health and development via text message.

Parents and carers can seek advice about a range of issues such as breastfeeding, bottle feeding, weaning, sleep, toileting, minor illness, behaviour, parenting and more.

ParentLine will run 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding weekends and bank holidays) with a ParentLine Practitioner responding to messages within one working day. If a text is sent outside these hours the parent/carer will receive an automated message with advice on where to get help if they require it urgently. This new messaging service is being provided in addition to the current Health Visiting service offer.

Text 07312 277162 for confidential advice and support from a member of the Health Visiting team

ParentLine is not an emergency service, for urgent medical attention contact your GP, 111 or 999.


Click on the relevant section below or use the search for health visiting advice, guidance and information


Children playingOur health visiting teams work with families, early years and other health colleagues and agencies to support the health and well-being of pre-school children across Dorset.

Health visiting sits within the children and young people’s public health service 0 to 19, alongside school nursing.

The teams comprise health visitors, public health staff nurses and community nursery nurses. As a training trust, we are committed to supporting the training of student nurses and other allied practitioners and so students may accompany us and be present during appointments.

The service provides information, advice and support to pregnant women, expectant fathers and parents/carers of new babies and young children. This advice includes antenatal support, physical and emotional wellbeing of children, the immunisation schedule, parenting support, health and developmental reviews.

We provide services across Dorset, visiting children and families in their home or in community settings. We also provide a digital offer which enables video calling options using the Attend Anywhere platform.

All expectant parents/carers will be offered a visit from a health visitor at around 28- 30 weeks of pregnancy. Parents/carers with babies and children under the age of five who transfer into the area will be invited to access our service.



If you are pleased with the care we offer and think we are doing something well, or would like to suggest improvements to our service, let us know by filling out this form.

If you feel that we have not given you the care you expected or needed, our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can help. They can also help if you wish to make a complaint. You normally have about a year to do this*. Making a complaint will not have any adverse effect on your current or future care and treatment.

Please follow this link for further information and the ways in which a complaint can be made

*Under the NHS Complaints Procedure, complaints are usually investigated only if they are made within 12 months of the event


Health visiting and school nursing