It's about time we had one.
So where shall we start? Lewisham's health visiting service....
I have had multiple whinges about them in the past (mostly in my head rather than on here) but I feel I must post about the 8 month check. Or in fact what should really be known as the non-existent 8 month check. I got a phone call from the surgery when James was 7 months old (so that's 5.5 months adjusted for those that remember he was prem) asking me to bring him in for his 8 month check. I refused on the grounds that he was only 5.5 months old so wouldn't be doing anything that they were supposed to be checking.
Fast forward to now - James is 9 months old. Last time I was at the baby clinic (after waiting 1.5 hours just to have him weighed) I spoke to the HV on duty, asking when I should bring James in for his 8 month check. "Oh we aren't doing them," says the HV. "We don't have the resources." Oh great. So she proceeds to ask a few questions but basically that's it. I asked for my Bookstart pack and she said they didn't have any but she would bring one round. This was a week and a half ago. To be honest, if I'd known they weren't going to be doing the checks any more I'd have gone at 5.5months. I only wanted the flippin Bookstart pack anyway! I am going to have to call into the clinic at some point and have a serious moan. Or get Mike to.
Anyhow, there is a serious part to this moan. For two reasons - 1. 8 month checks aren't for parents that have kept in touch with health services etc are they? They are for catching up with everyone and making sure their babies are ok. 2. Bookstart is not about giving books to relatively well off mummies. It is about making sure every baby has at least a couple of books. The Lewisham HV service is not helping Bookstart meet this aim in Lewisham.
One positive thing to end the post - I did think the postnatal group they ran was great. It wouldn't surprise me if they don't do them any more either.
And another thing - we haven't heard anything about James's referral for a follow-up hearing test, which he should have had at 8 months (or should have within the next 2 weeks if they are doing it on an adjusted basis).
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