Health visitor

Health visitors are nurses or midwives who are passionate about promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing illness. They work with families to give pre-school-age children the best possible start in life. 

Working life

Health visitors are qualified and registered nurses or midwives who have chosen to gain additional training and qualifications as specialist community public health nurses (SCPHN - HV). Their additional training in public health enables them to assess the health needs of individuals, families and the wider community to promote good health and prevent illness.

As a health visitor, you’ll be working mainly with children from birth to five years and their families. You may also work with at-risk or deprived groups such as the homeless, addicts or travellers.

You'll have a crucial role in making sure that children have the best start in life. In partnership with parents, you'll assess:

You may then offer and agree with parents any further support that may be needed, and arrange to meet with them in their own home, clinic or community setting. 

You'll need to work together with a range of different health care professionals including community nursing staff, school nursesnursery nurses, GPs, social workers and allied health professionals.

Where will you work?

Health visitors are generally employed by the NHS or by community interest groups. Health visitors may work in a variety of settings depending on the nature of the work including:

What will you do as a health visitor?

The role varies considerably from area to area, and occasionally there may be a specialist component to the role. The day-to-day work of health visitors typically includes:

Safeguarding and protecting children

As a health visitor, you’ll have an important role in working with other organisations to safeguard and protect children. You’ll be trained in recognising the risk factors, triggers of concern, and signs of abuse and neglect in children. You’ll often be the first to recognise whether a child is at risk of harm, and know whether action needs to be taken, and what should be done to protect them. You’ll also ensure families receive the best possible support during formal safeguarding arrangements.

Real-life stories

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