0 - 6 months

COVID-19 update: Some of the appointments which are listed as face to face appointments may take place over the phone as a temporary measure. The 6-8 week check, provided by the GP’s, however, will normally be provided as a face to face appointment at the GP practice where you are registered.

Stay up to date with appointments and immunisations

During the first five years of your child’s life, you will be offered appointments to review how you and your child are getting on. Some of these appointments will include a review of your child’s health, growth and overall development, others will be to provide the recommended childhood immunisations.

Attending these appointments will help you and your child to stay healthy. Please register with a local GP as soon as you can. Find a GP near you

Why is it important?

Birth to age 5 years is a very important time when growth can be very rapid. For most children this will happen without any difficulties. The national Healthy Child Programme provided by the Health Visiting Service offers all parents a schedule of health and development reviews which provide an opportunity to talk about how your child is doing and explore any concerns you may have with a professional from the health visiting team. Getting early help (including information or a referral for your child) can support your child to be happy and healthy.

One of the best ways to protect your baby against diseases such as measles, rubella, tetanus and meningitis is through immunisation. Your GP practice will invite you to take your baby for the first injections by eight weeks of age.

Your GP can also help if you are feeling low or experiencing symptoms of post-natal depression or you can refer yourself to Talk Changes our local talking therapy service.

First point of contact

Before your baby is born (around the 28th week)

We know that being a parent or carer can be very hard, particularly if you have a medical condition, mental ill health or have family difficulties. If you are experiencing additional challenges or vulnerabilities you may be contacted by a health visitor shortly after your 28th week of pregnancy, and they will arrange to visit you at home to see what support they can offer you and your family.

COVID-19 update: virtual meetings/telephone calls will normally replace the face to face ones during this period.

Once your baby is born

The Health Visiting service works closely with your midwife to make contact with you shortly after your baby is born to introduce the service. The contact details for your local health visiting team can be found inside your Personal Child Health Record (red book). It is important to take your child’s red book to every healthcare appointment. The red book can help you to keep up to date with any appointments your child is due, including the recommended immunisations

Childhood immunisation 

The childhood immunisation programme is provided through your GP practice. If you would like to talk to a health professional about immunisations you can contact the nurse practitioner at your GP practice, they will be more than happy to answer your questions or respond to any concerns you may have. Remember, immunisations are really important to help keep your child and community safe, and should be given at the correct age, delaying them can put your child at risk.

Appointment timeline 0-6 months

Age What Why By whom Where
5–8 days (up until 1 year) Blood spot test (heel prick) To test for 9 conditions that include cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease Midwife/health visitor Carried out at home (if you are new into the UK or new to the area please contact your health visitor to discuss the blood spot test)
0-3 months Newborn Hearing Screen Early detection of any hearing problems – ideally to have the screening in the first 4 weeks) New Born Hearing Screening Babies with a GP in Hackney or the City can go to Homerton Hospital and local health centres
10-14 days New Birth Visit To assess that mother and baby are well and to introduce the Healthy Child Programme Health Visitor Carried out at home
4 weeks Family support visit Extra support for first time parents and those who may require additional health visiting support Health Visitor Various locations including; home, clinic or Children’s Centre
6 – 8 weeks Development Review To assess that your baby is developing well, review feeding and maternal wellbeing GP and Health Visitor GP Surgery, Child Health Clinic, Children’s Centre
8 weeks 1st Primary Immunisation 6-in-1 vaccine
Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine
Rotavirus vaccine
Practice Nurse GP surgery
3 – 4 month visit Family support visit For those who may require additional health visiting support Health Visitor Various locations including; home, clinic or Children’s Centre
12 weeks 2nd Primary Immunisation 6-in-1 vaccine (2nd dose)
Rotavirus vaccine (2nd dose)
Practice Nurse of Health Visiting Team GP surgery
16 weeks 3rd Primary Immunisation 6-in-1 vaccine (3rd dose)
Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine (2nd dose)
MenB (2nd dose)
Practice Nurse of Health Visiting Team GP surgery
This page was last modified on: 6 May 2021