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Sharing Information & Health Visitors!


kristina
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Hi

 

I work in a Pre-School and was just wondering what info people share with Health Visitors!

Had a rather upset parent approach me this morning (first day back for us!!), over the break I received a call from our Health Visitor who was looking for a space for a child. Whilst on the phone she made an appointment to come in and visit and we talked about children within the setting. This may ramble but bare with me on this!! I spoke to her about a family (parents have split up) where the younger sibling is with us and the older at the school where we are based, there have been issues where I did have to involve the SCB (Iput a post on here a while ago about it), I enquired if she had any involvement with the family and explained (briefly) about said incidents.

Mum came in this morning and asked why I have phoned the Health Visitor as they had knocked on her door saying that the nursery had called expressing concerns about her childs behaviour in the setting!!

I was lost for words, didn't know what to say as it had been a general conversation and I hadn't called them they had called me!!

I never said I had concerns and feel surprised that this has happened.

I did call the Health Visitor and she apologised and said that a colleague had visited the family and that she had been unaware they were going to go round!

Needless to say damage already done and not sure what to say to mum tomorrow.

Do you allow the Health Visitors access, and if so what do you tell them and how much do you tell them?

Feel really let down at the mo as thought it was a conversation from one professional to another!!

 

Kris

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Goodness! That does seem a bit 'over the top' and needless to say I'm sure you won't be as forthcoming with information in the future!

 

We don't have any contact with health visitors, so can't offer any comments on that front, I'm afraid. She must have discussed your conversation with her colleague, and it probably gained something in the telling, I suspect!

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Have only two incidents with Health Visitors over the years. One rang me about a child we have at the moment who has been diagnosed with ASD, (which we picked up I might add, not the GP or HV's) - very forceful type of person, can't say i warmed to her very much, also told her I didn't have parental permission to talk, but she said she did have parental permission to talk and kept on pushing me for a comment - made very vague comments in the end just to get rid of her.

 

18 months or so ago we had a child whose parents were particularly young when he was born and had obviously had a lot of input from care teams and his HV visited our setting and to be honest I was thankful for her because I found out so much family background which made some of his inconsistent behaviour make sense!

 

I am very guarded in my comments to HV's they seem to be a law unto themselves!

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we are HUGELY lucky with our local H/V, who happens to be a man.He is always very approachable and keeps a confidence if asked to..............and manages to find ways of 'just happening to be in your area, so I thought I'd pop in to see how things are going', if we say we think a family is experiencing problems.Lovely man,worth his weight in gold!

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narnia you are lucky

 

ours is totally useless

 

see her once in a blue moon, she sits there, have you any concerns, i say no, never warmed to her at all

 

she did refer a child to us, we then had a cp issue which she said was not happening!!!grrr, so cp was dropped, child now at school cp has been started again, so annoyed with her

 

she asked if i needed anything once and i thought some leaflets would be good, she said she didnt have any and to contact our gp????

 

 

also we are in a 3 roomed village hall, the clinic for babies use one room once a fortnight and we now have to lock the connecting door, as they didnt notice someone coming in from outside and wandering straight into us, they had no baby! luckily was a comittee emember who should have known better! grrr again. HV there said was not her business to monitor who was going in and out,

 

so no dont have high opinion of them, and dont get me started on not doing checks on the kids after 1 i think

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I've never had HV contact and dont think the playgroup do now either. I would hope though, that any off the record comments would be treated professionally and not blabbed around. I know we should ask parents permission, but sometimes just a friendly chat with another professional can help clarify any concerns or worries we have, so to lose trust in that person is awful.

You also dont need your parents to think they cant confide in you or share their thoughts. I'd have mom in to explain just what the conversation was about, how it came about and what was discussed.

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I've never had HV contact and dont think the playgroup do now either. I would hope though, that any off the record comments would be treated professionally and not blabbed around. I know we should ask parents permission, but sometimes just a friendly chat with another professional can help clarify any concerns or worries we have, so to lose trust in that person is awful.

You also dont need your parents to think they cant confide in you or share their thoughts. I'd have mom in to explain just what the conversation was about, how it came about and what was discussed.

 

 

I agree! Mum is probably feeling a bit let down and needs to be reassured that it wasn't by you!

 

I've not had good experiences with HV for my minded children :o

 

I had written permission from Mum to talk to her HV but was made to feel I was over-reacting and a bit of a nuisance. She didn't follow up on our discussion, as she'd agreed, and eventually I left a message that, unless she acted within 48 hours, I'd contact Ofsted for advice instead!

 

She soon contacted Mum then and got the child in for a review!

 

Nona

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Does the permission parents give enable you to speak to a health visitor about their child without the parent's prior agreement, ie in response to a worry about the child's development etc? It is one thing to speak generally and anonymously about children's progress or a situation that might be worrying you, but if the health visitor then visited the family names must have been mentioned and that makes the nature of your conversation very different. Also if you said something during your conversation which worried the health visitor sufficiently, then she would have a duty to follow it up. She will have to justify her own actions in how she proceeded from there, but inevitably it is you that is having to deal with the fall out. Are you going to take any formal action with the health visiting team over this issue?

 

Before you see mum tomorrow maybe you could look at your information sharing policy, and see whether your conversation with the health visitor about this child complies with it. Have a think about what your reason was for talking with the health visitor in the first place, and if you can justify your reasoning to the parent then I'm sure you won't have a further problem (although I think it might take time to regain the trusting relationship you previously enjoyed).

 

It will also take some time for you to trust this health visitor again, and I can see why you feel so let down. It will certainly make you much more circumspect about what you say to her in future.

 

Good luck - this is one of those tricky situations that will take careful handling but hopefully with a bit of honest and open discussion you'll soon put it all behind you.

 

Take care,

Maz

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Guest Spiral

Would it be an idea to bring this up with the HV? Maybe stating that you would like a clarification of her confidentiality aspects and that your trusting relationship with this parent has changed as a direct result?

 

I know it's a strong thing to do, but I have had a negative experience twice with a HV and I am concerned that this is becomming nationally common.

 

Our roles are similar to the HV, in terms of safeguarding and placing the child at the centre, but we have much more contact on a regular basis and that does warrant our not needing to jump in and make referrals. We get to build up a good picture and to act on stronger evidence.

 

Hope that whatever you do, it goes well

 

Spiral.

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We had this exact problem in a previous nursery I worked in, we had expressed concerns about a child and the HV went to the family without even warning us. Cue the dad ringing us up and screaming down the phone.

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Guest jenpercy

Excuse me but this is against policy on confidentiality. you should speak to the parent and ask their permission. you cannot refer a child to anyone else without permission except on Safeguarding concerns.

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I have spoken to mum and she has been fine about it all which is a relief!!

I have also spoken to the Health Visitors and they apologised for what happened.

The thing is the family in question are quite new to the area, the parents have split up and the SCB have been involved with the family!! The older sybling has more CAF assessments than I've had hot dinners and the father creates even more problems! I do feel sorry for mum as she tries really hard but doesn't get much support!!

Still at least mum still feels she can talk to us!!

 

Kris

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Excuse me but this is against policy on confidentiality. you should speak to the parent and ask their permission. you cannot refer a child to anyone else without permission except on Safeguarding concerns.

 

I didn't refer the child, I was asking if they had any further background info as the Dad had mentioned that there had been a child protection issue previously which we were unaware of.

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I have spoken to mum and she has been fine about it all which is a relief!!

I have also spoken to the Health Visitors and they apologised for what happened.

The thing is the family in question are quite new to the area, the parents have split up and the SCB have been involved with the family!! The older sybling has more CAF assessments than I've had hot dinners and the father creates even more problems! I do feel sorry for mum as she tries really hard but doesn't get much support!!

Still at least mum still feels she can talk to us!!

 

Kris

 

That's really good news! :o

 

Hope things work out for the family..........really difficult to 'get it right' isn't it ....... I think Safeguarding is uppermost in everyone's minds just now and that can't really be a bad thing........your original post was a timely reminder to us all though, conversations may not always treated as we would wish - so thank you!

 

Onwards and upwards and I'm sure this mum will benefit from having you 'in her corner' xD

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Guest jenpercy
I didn't refer the child, I was asking if they had any further background info as the Dad had mentioned that there had been a child protection issue previously which we were unaware of.

 

Well actually this is also against confidentiality - although we all do it. Would have thought they would know that it is against rules and cover your back.

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