"Community Child Health Nurses"

About: Child and Adolescent Community Health

(as the patient),

I have found in the last two years, with the birth of my first child, my local Community Child Health Nurse an invaluable resource. With no grandparents or immediate family living in Perth, the regular appointments every few months have allowed me to the opportunity to ask all the questions relating to hitting milestones, progress and ways forward with my little one - first time parenting is not easy after all, and babies don't come with an instruction books as such! It was also vital in those early days with breastfeeding issues. I was horrified and saddened to learn recently that the appointment structure has recently changed. I have welcomed the 2 year meeting which has been added to the schedule, but saddened to learn that the 8 month meeting has been removed. As a first time parent, I feel having a 6 month and then a 12 month meeting too wider gap between Child Health appointments. So much happens developmentally in those fist 6 months.

Please re think this move and changes.... this invaluable resource is a life line for some parents and needs to be maintained, and not reduced.

Responses

Response from Lisa Brennan, Executive Director, Child and Adolescent Community Health, Child and Adolescent Health Service - WA

Dear First-Time-Mum,

Thank you for taking the time to share how positive and valuable your experience with your child health nurse has been.

One of the benefits of the recent changes to the routine Purple Book appointment schedule is that child health nurses now have more flexibility to offer extra appointments and services in between the Purple Book checks to families when they would like extra support. This will cater for those times when you wish to have added checks. For parents who feel their child needs an eight month check or a check at any point in time they are more than welcome to bring child into their child health nurse.

You are able to contact your child health nurse at any stage you may have child health concerns or queries. Your child health nurse can then offer the service that best suits your needs – this might include giving over the phone advice; inviting you to a group session (such as parent talks on starting solids or sleep); booking in a one-to-one appointment; or putting you in touch with other services that can help.

Drop-in sessions are also run regularly at various child health centres across the metropolitan area and offer an opportunity for families to talk to a child health nurse about queries or concerns.

Please be reassured that the changes are aimed at providing a flexible and supportive service to all families and we hope that you will continue your positive relationship with your Community Child Health Nurse.

Best wishes

Lisa Brennan
Executive Director
Child and Adolescent Community Health

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