There’s a special message for parents from Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust as England settles into its second national COVID-19 lockdown.

Angela Smith, Oxford Health’s Professional and Clinical Lead for Health Visiting, is keen to let parents know that health visiting teams are still working hard and are here to support them.

The service, which has more than 30 teams operating across Oxfordshire, employs health visitors who are all registered nurses or midwives and their wider skill mix team of staff nurses and community nursery nurses.

They work with parents/carers of new babies and preschool children, offering support and evidence-based advice from before the birth of their baby, until their child becomes 5 years of age. The team helps with any concern that affects a child’s health and development. They also support parents’ own emotional health and wellbeing.

Face-to-face appointments are continuing with strict safety measures that include social distancing and PPE. They are also supporting parents by virtual appointments or by phone. There are appointment only face to face well baby clinics across the county.

The community staff nurses, and nursery nurses are running virtual health promotion groups for new parents and regularly update their facebook page with health promotion advice and messages. On their website you can also find useful evidence-based information. https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/health-visitors/useful-links/

Angela said: “First and foremost I want to let parents know that our teams are very much there for them and willing to help, support and advise.

“Each health visiting team has a contact line which any parent can use to get support and advice from their health visiting team.

“It is important that if your child has not had their, 6-8 week, 1 year or 2 ½ year review during the pandemic, and if you have any concerns about your child’s emotional or physical health or development, or your own emotional health that you contact your health visiting team.

“We are here for you.”

All the contact numbers for Oxford Health’s health visiting teams can be found on the Trust’s website here: www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/health-visitors/contact-us/

You can also follow their Facebook page @OxfordshireNHSHealthVisitors