Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-visiting (MECSH) programme

This home-visiting programme is provided by our health visitors for families who may need extra support as your baby grows and develops
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There’s a lot to think about when you are having a baby and raising children and some people may need a little more help than others.

What is MECSH and how does it work?

MECSH is a voluntary programme which enables you to have more visits from a health visitor so that together you can identify and plan for your baby’s needs, your needs and your family’s needs.

A health visitor with specialist knowledge in child and family health will come to your home and provide support. They will share information about child development and give guidance around practical issues. They can also link you to other health services and family support services as well as activities (for example parenting groups) within your local area.

If mutually agreed, visits may be at places other than the home (for example a park or
playground) or be done by phone or video call.

How many home visits will I receive?

Visits will usually start during your pregnancy or soon after you bring your baby home.

After your baby comes home, we visit weekly for six weeks. The visits are then on a fortnightly basis until your baby is about three-months old. After this time, the visits are spaced further apart but we will continue to visit until your child celebrates their second birthday.

What happens during a home visit?

At each visit you will have the opportunity to talk with the health visitor about how things
are going and, when the baby arrives, how your baby is doing.

The health visitor will provide information about how to care for your baby and how to play and talk with your baby to help them grow and learn. They will also support you to identify and plan for your baby’s needs, your needs and your family’s needs.

The Health Visitor may also refer you to other health care or service providers. Each visit
will usually take an hour.

The Health Visitor may take photos or video with your permission.

Do I have to stay in the programme?

The programme is voluntary and if you choose to participate, you can change your mind
at any time and withdraw from the MECSH programme. From time to time your health visitor will ask you questions to find out how you, your baby and family are going, and whether the MECSH programme is helping you. The Health Visitor will discuss this in more detail during their visit with you. Any information collected will be kept confidential.

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