"There was no offer of advice or even a simple positive comment"

About: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

(as a parent/guardian),

I feel I need to write about my experience I had when my son had his 30 month review with the Health Visitors at a surgery in Paisley. We were apprehensive to attend the appointment as we have found the health visitors to be of little help when offering advice in the past. However, for the sake of our son we decided to go along to the appointment.

It quite simply a disaster from the start, on asking about potty training, we were asked where how this was going, we explained we had attempted it on one occasion, but he clearly wasn't ready. The pressure and the judgement we felt was unreal. There was no offer of advice or even a simple positive comment of ‘he’ll get there’.

The Health Visitors then asked us if we both worked. Wow - you may as well have spat on the three of us to show you disgust at the fact as a mother, I work full time and have a career.

They filled in your useless questionnaires and then proceeded to tell us my son was showing signs of hyperactivity, and left it at that. The reasoning, because the questionnaire said so and because he was curious about the room he was in and didn't sit still for longer than a few minutes. They should have looked at my son as the individual he is and not what a piece of papers says. There was no advice or support. It was a disgrace. The whole review was of no help whatsoever. I feel it was just health visitors making a job for them.

However, what angers me the most, and why I have decided to tell my story on here is the impact this review has had on my confidence as a mother. I know I am a good mum, and my son is the centre of my world. He is well cared for and attends a local nursery for his social and educational development. However, I often feel like I am just not up to being a good mum after attending this review. I continually refer back to my experience of the review and think what did I do wrong up to then. I constantly question myself as a parent.

I know if I did not attend this review I would have much higher confidence in myself, or perhaps if the review was better constructed, and not just an opportunity to be looked down on by two women who did not know my son or my family. Considering they had never met my family, how could you make any decisions in a 30 minute review?

They did not look to my son as an individual and not ONCE did they look at what he CAN do - like the fact he is very good at numbers, is getting to know his alphabet, colours and shapes or the fact he was using his imagination during the review.

I have no intention of engaging with these health visitors again and if I have any concerns I will be making an appointment with my GP instead.

I sincerely hope that my story is published and staff can learn how such a disgusting attitude can really impact on individuals.

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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear Unicorn1980,

I’m really sorry to read that you feel your confidence has been affected by your experience and I think it’s important that I look into this in more depth. I’d like to take some time to look into this properly but wanted to make sure your post was acknowledged and to let you know that I have seen it. I may also need to come back to you for some more specific information, but in the meantime if there is anything you would like to add, please do not hesitate to contact me via Lorna at Lorna.gray@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.

Best Wishes,

Liz Daniels,

Clinical Services Manager,

Children & Families,

Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership

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