On 13th June 2018 Jon Cruddas MP wrote to NELFT (North East London NHS Foundation Trust) regarding Rainham Village Health Clinic and the loss of health visitors at the weekly weigh-in clinic. Jon received a detailed response a month later, after the issue was reviewed with Havering Council’s Integrated Care Director.

Firstly, it was stated that the decision of a weigh only clinic is a pilot scheme that will last three months and will be reviewed at the end of the three month trial.

Due to the increasing birth rate in the London Borough of Havering it was essential to schedule additional sessions to accommodate both the 1 and 2 year Child Health Reviews. In order to implement additional sessions a review was carried out on all the Child Health Clinics currently being provided by NELFT in Havering.

Data collected from the review showed evidence that Rainham Child Health Clinic was identified as having the least number of babies attending weekly with 15 babies on average compared with 50-70 babies in other clinics. Rainham Child Health Clinic was also presenting problems as a place to work from. Lifting and moving challenges were presented each week as furniture had to be moved to provide the clinic. This was noted as having an impact on the health and safety of staff and an inspection by the Health an Safety Officer was carried out.

NELFT are aware that families will still require support in the Rainham area and that a weigh only clinic with a Nursery Nurse will be offered weekly. Families who are identified during the clinic as requiring additional support will be offered a face to face contact or a telephone conversation by a health visitor.

An additional service has been created at Rainham Child Health Clinic which will see the launch of an ‘Infant Feeding Café’ alongside the weigh only clinic as it is known that a high percentage of the queries at the Health Clinic are generally focussed on weaning/ feeding enquiries.

In order to commence the new pilot scheme it was agreed that the pilot should run in the morning rather than the afternoon staffed with a Community Nursery Nurse and an Admin staff.

South Hornchurch Child Health Clinic will be running a full clinic with health visitor. You can find out more information on dates and times of the clinic by phoning 01708 576500.

Jon Cruddas MP said: “I am grateful for the detailed response from the Chief Executive of The NHS Foundation Trust. I hope the services provided at both Rainham Child Health Clinic and South Hornchurch Child Health Clinic will help new mothers and fathers living within Rainham. I am interested to hear the results of the pilot scheme and will keep in contact with NELFT regarding the outcome.”