The universal health reviews – 5 key visits

As part of the transformation of the health visiting service, all families will receive 5 key visits from their health visitor. 

You will also be offered a range of advice and support on everything from breastfeeding and weaning to immunisations and minor illnesses.

First visit: When you are around 28 weeks pregnant

This first visit is an opportunity to meet your health visitor and discuss how you’re feeling about having a baby. The baby’s father is very welcome at this visit, which usually takes place in your home.

As part of the visit, your health visitor will ask you about your plans for having your baby and answer any questions you may have. They will provide you with information on infant development, feeding, parenting, and the Healthy Start programme.

They will also give you their contact details and explain how they will support you following the birth of your baby.

Your midwife will provide immediate care and support to you for the first few days after you’ve had your baby.

Second visit: 10-14 days following the birth of your baby

Your health visitor will visit you in your home to see how you’re getting on and support you with feeding and caring for your baby. The baby’s father is very welcome to be present at this meeting.

Your health visitor will ask you how you are feeling and how your family is adjusting to the new arrival. They will also ask if you have any questions and listen to any concerns you may have about your baby’s health or your health.

Examples of issues that you may wish to discuss include interacting with your baby (e.g. songs and music, books); feeding; diet and nutrition; colic; sleep; crying; establishing a routine; safety; car seats and the immunisation programme.

They may also weigh your baby during their visit.

Remember that you can contact your health visitor if you have any questions, concerns or ever feel that you need some extra reassurance.

Third visit: When your baby is 6-8 weeks old

At this visit in your home, your health visitor will see how thing are going and how you’re feeling. This visit is in addition to your GP medical visit which takes place at around the same time at your GP surgery.

The Health Visitor may weigh your baby, review their general health and discuss their immunisations.

They will also give you contacts for your local health clinic or children’s centre where you can get your baby weighed and access a range of support.

Fourth visit: A review of your child’s development at 9-12 months

This visit may take place in your home or in your local clinic and is an opportunity to assess and discuss your child’s physical health and development.

This includes lots of things, such as your child’s diet, dental health and safety issues.

As part of the visit, your health visitor may weigh and measure your child and discuss their immunisations.

If you wish, your health visitor can also put you in touch with local mother and baby groups, children’s centres or activities in your area.

Although the next scheduled visit isn’t until your child is 2-2 ½ years, you can always contact your health visitor or your GP if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s development.

Fifth visit: A review of your child’s development at 2-2½ years

This is the fifth and final scheduled visit from your health visitor or nursery nurse, which can take place at your home, local clinic or children’s centre.

This visit is an opportunity to talk about any issues you have regarding your child’s health. This may include their hearing and vision, language development, behaviour, sleeping or toilet training.

Your child will also be weighed and measured, and you can discuss their immunisations and the various options for childcare and early years education.

Although this is the last scheduled visit, remember that your health visitor is on hand to offer you advice, information and signposting until your child is five years old.

If you have any queries please speak to your health visitor or GP.