Making sure that babies and young children grow up in creative, nurturing environments and are able to thrive is at the heart of recent changes to transform Well Baby Clinics in Tower Hamlets.
Since the beginning of the year, drop-in Well Baby Clinics, which were previously delivered from GP surgeries, have been transformed into Healthy Child Clinic Drop-ins and are now being delivered at local Children Centres across the borough. Joint appointment-based clinics for babies at GP surgeries are continuing.
The reason for the change links back to a review by Tower Hamlets Council and the GP Care Group, which delivers the Health Visiting service in the borough. Evidence shows that it's in the best interests of the child for local Health Visiting staff and Early Years practitioners to work together with parents to work together with parents to discuss the child's health and developmental needs at both planned health and development reviews such as the two year contact as well as opportunistically when parents have something they wish to seek advice on.
Moving this important discussion to Children's Centres ensures families also get full integration with facilities and activities that go well beyond just "weighing" the child.
So far, 33 Well Baby Clinics have moved from GP surgeries to become Healthy Child Clinic Drop-ins within Tower Hamlets. Local communities have been supportive about the changes, but a number of concerns have been raised within the Wapping local area about the planned move, mainly due to access issues to the proposed location at Bigland and Wapping Children Centre.
The Care Group prides itself on being a listening organisation and we have surveyed parents using the current facility to understand their views so that these are taken into account.
We also scheduled a community event to hear the views of local residents directly. Although the meeting venue was scheduled months ago, the General Election announcement caught everyone by surprise and the meeting had to be cancelled due to Purdah.
The Care Group will soon be announcing the rescheduled community event, which is expected to take place on a weekday evening toward the end of January 2020, to ensure many local residents can attend.
We encourage as many local residents as possible to attend the community event in January to learn more about the Healthy Child Programme delivery, healthy child clinics including health reviews and improvements to the system.