Family life and bringing up children are rewarding but can also be challenging. It has been widely recognised that your child’s early years are really important and will influence their development and future achievements.

Health Visitors are nurses or midwives who are passionate about promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing illness. They work with pregnant women through to a child’s fifth birthday. Their role is to help families adjust to being new parents, and provide information and reassurance to support a baby or young child’s health, wellbeing and development.

Health visiting is a free service and each family will have a named Health Visitor but might sometimes be seen by someone else in the team. Health Visitors may link with other professionals and provide additional support where families need more help.

How Health Visitors can help

Health visitors can help and support you to make healthy choices for yourself and your family. Health Visitors are based locally and visit families at home or through a clinic.

The Health Visitor will use something called the Personal Child Health Record or Red Book. The Red Book is given to parents at birth and offers lots of information about immunisation, developmental assessments and lots of general information about children’s health. Any health professional who comes into contact with a child can record things in the Red Book.

Other things they can help with

  • Infant feeding and breastfeeding advice
  • Child development
  • Immunisations
  • Healthy weight and physical activity
  • Emotional health and wellbeing
  • Parenting and local support groups
  • Behaviour
  • Sleep

They can also signpost to guidance on

  • Safeguarding children
  • Access to education and employment
  • Smoking, drug and alcohol misuse
  • Access to housing
  • Sexual and contraceptive advice

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Autism and ADHD Pathway Assessments

The pre-assessment pathway documents for Autism and ADHD can be found here. These documents have been developed in collaboration with education, health and care colleagues as well as parent carers, children and young people (CYP). They have been developed to support education settings, practitioners, and parent carers so that everyone better understands the pre-assessment pathway.

Contact the team


Chat Health Confidential help and advice for parents and carers of under 5's poster

West Somerset and Taunton

Taunton 0300 323 0115

Minehead and Williton 0300 790 6837

Wellington 01823 357499


Bridgwater 0300 323 0116

Highbridge 0300 790 6836

Axbridge 0300 790 6836


Glastonbury and Street 0300 790 6836

Shepton Mallet 0300 323 0118

Frome 0300 323 0118

Wells 0300 790 6836

Coleford 0300 323 0118

South Somerset

Yeovil 0300 323 0119

Crewkerne 0300 790 6839

Chard 0300 790 6839

Ilminster 0300 790 6839

South Petherton 0300 790 6838

Wincanton 0300 323 0119

Langport 0300 790 6838

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Local Offer Live: introducing health visitors and school nurses

Rachael from Public Health Nursing shares information about health visitors and school nurses in Somerset – the different health and wellbeing reviews and contacts you can expect. They also cover their involvement in the Multi-Agency Identification and Support in the Early Years (MAISEY), continence and constipation pathway and national child measurement programme.

Last reviewed: June 5, 2023 by Paul

Next review due: December 5, 2023

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