Letter: Help at hand for new parents

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Help at hand for new parents

Sir: Jack O'Sullivan has some interesting points in his article "Back To School For Mum and Dad" (14 November). However, I am puzzled by his lack of awareness of existing support services for parents of children under five.

All children in this age group have a named health visitor, who provides care and support from birth to when the child starts school. The frequency of contact, which includes home visits, is determined according to the needs of the parent and child, but advice is always available. Help and support is offered, which covers all the topics covered by the New York project quoted in the article (health, nutrition, child development, parenting), but is available to all, not just those on low incomes.

Health visitors are employed by NHS Trusts, but work as part of the primary healthcare team. They can easily be contacted via the local Trust or through the GP surgery. No parent need find themselves in the position of saying "Oh God what do I do now?"

ANNE HAWKINS

Health Visitor

Plymouth

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