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We are very keen that people who use our services tell us about their experiences, good or bad to enable us to learn and improve. If you have used one of our services please visit our services pages, find the service you have used and leave a comment.

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I am writing to express my disappointment and concern at the recent deterioration in service provision for health visiting in my local area of Bromley.

I have 6 months old twins and had excellent care with home visits initially and regular clinic checks for weigh in's and chances to get questions answered and support from the previous service providers. Clinics were always busy but efficient and I felt they allowed the chance to discuss issues relatively privately.

Since the switch to Oxleas NHS Trust, there are fewer staff (from my understanding) and fewer clinics. These changes have meant my options to attend the local clinic at my gp practice (Bromley Common Practice) has reduced to once a week and therefore when I attended last Thursday, there was no clinic. On attendance this Monday morning I was met with a massive queue of parents with babies and stressed staff and therefore a worse service.

I had to wait over 40m to get the twins weighed and as it was so busy, had to leave my buggy with one baby outside whilst I went in to weigh the other. Fortunately other waiting mums looked after the one outside and one staff member was also pulled out of clinic to supervise the baby outside.

I don't think this is an acceptable option. All mums were waiting patiently but some decided to turn away and not bother as waits were so long.

The staff were trying their best but were too busy, squeezed for space and struggling to be efficient and organised making the whole experience unsatisfying. I had several questions I wanted to ask but felt I was taking up too much time. (That was my impression and not the impression the health visitor I was seeing was giving me.) She tried to be as attentive as possible.

I hope you will consider reviewing the recent changes.

Dear Margarida

Thank you for sending an email telling us of your concerns.

Bromley Local Authority have commissioned us to provide a new health visiting service particularly asking us to work more closely with Children and Family centres, and so we have ensured that most of our Baby Clinics are in these settings.

We have not reduced the staffing in the clinics, although we have reduced the number from 11 to 9 across the borough. When Oxleas took over the Health Visiting service we were advised that the previous provider wished to keep the Thursday Baby Clinic room at Crown Medical GP practice for another purpose and so the Thursday is not available to us anymore.

The room is not available on any other days for us to use so we are looking for an alternative venue with some urgency. I agree that at the moment the service at Crown Medical is not acceptable and my staff are trying hard to provide a supportive service there while we secure another venue As soon as we have secured a new venue we will advertise this widely.

I'm very sorry you have been inconvenienced by this.

Kind regards

Helen Day Barnes
Service Manager
Public Health Nursing Services

Please please sort out additional HV sessions at the crown medical centre. it was ridiculous this morning queuing outside in the cold for nearly an hour with my 3 week old baby. This is not going to be sustainable as we head further into winter. There used to be an additional Thursday session at this venue why has it been stopped?

Dear Theresa

Thank you for sending in your comment.

When Oxleas took over the Health Visiting service we were advised that the previous provider wished to keep the Thursday Baby Clinic room for another purpose, and so the Thursday is not available to us anymore. The room is not available on any other days for us to use so we are looking for an alternative venue with some urgency.

As soon as we have secured a new venue we will advertise this widely. I'm very sorry you have been inconvenienced by this.

Kind regards

Helen Day Barnes
Service Manager
Public Health Nursing Services

I am shocked to find this clinic closed without due regard to the health and well being of parents and babies. I know this clinic was extremely busy and well used every week and a good central point for the community around Beckenham and West Wickham. For any public service funded by tax payers to withdraw a very busy service without any public consultation is disgraceful compounded by a complete failure to inform parents - the users of the service and all connected professionals.To fail to provide a local alternative before closure is beyond belief.

I will contact Bromley Healthwatch to advise.

Dear Linda

Thank you for sending your comments about the service from Beckenham Beacon.

Oxleas started delivering the Health Visiting Service from 1st October. The rooms in Beckenham Beacon were not made available to us and were retained by another provider, and so we are actively searching to provide a replacement venue. We are confident that we will secure a new local venue in early November.

In the meantime please do access any of the clinics held in the borough, the timetable which you can find on our service page:

You can also contact your local Health Visiting team via our new central telephone number - 020 8836 8621.

I'm very sorry you have been inconvenienced by this. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me on 020 3260 5185.

Kind regards

Helen Day Barnes
Service Manager
Public Health Nursing Services

I would like to thank Mr Macfarlane, Mr Ballerino and their team at Queen Mary's Hospital for the outstanding care they took of me before, during and after the foot surgery I underwent on the 6th of October 2017. Whenever I saw either Mr Macfarlane or Mr Ballerino before the surgery, they ensured my needs as a patient would be met at all times for a successful outcome. On the day of surgery, I was genuinely welcomed on the Mottingham Ward at Queen Mary's by a lovely nurse called Heather, who then looked after me for the rest of the day. Before and after surgery Mr Macfarlane and Mr Ballerino explained very clearly what was going to happen and answered all my questions patiently. The operating theatre team all deserve a mention for their kindness and good humour too; unfortunately, I only remember the name of one of the lovely nurses, Tina! We often hear how the NHS is failing its patients, but I can honestly say this was the NHS at its very best! Many grateful thanks to all involved!

I've had two separate trained therapists through the GTTT service and cannot thank either of them enough for the above and beyond support they had both offered me. Unfortunately, the service wasn't equipped to resolve the exact nature of my condition, but they still did everything they could before my referral to a separate service to try and help me improve my quality of life.

The reception staff too always made me feel at home, so a big thanks to you!

Dear Becky

We are very pleased to hear that the service provided by Greenwich Time to Talk was helpful, thank you for taking the time to let us know.

We wish you every success for your ongoing treatment.

Best wishes

Iain Dimond
Director of Greenwich Adult Community and Mental Health Services

Awful awful awful health visitor session.

How can cramming a small room with 20 mums and babies make it easy to talk about concerns you have about your child or your mental health?
I am a mum to twins and feeling flustered to hurry up as there is an ever growing queue behind me, means that I definitely didn’t get the same level of service as mums to only 1 baby.

The whole Health Visitor system needs to be reviewed as this does not work!

Dear Hazel

Thank you for raising your concern, our Head of Service is making contact with you by email.

We are actively seeking additional venues for two health advice sessions in Bromley, as you will see from previous responses not all venues or times were available to us when we started to deliver the new service and this has resulted in some of our sessions becoming very busy.

We will be reviewing the service and talking to parents to resolve these issues.

Kind regards

Helen Day Barnes
Service Manager
Public Health Nursing Services

I am trying to contact a Health visitor in my area because of my daughters 2.5 years health review. I was told by St. Michael's Community Centre Health visitor that I will receive a letter for 2.5 years health review appointment however almost 3 months past since my daughter became 2.5 year and I still didn't receive any letter. I walked to St. Michael's Centre to ask why we still didn't get a letter. Unfortunately Centre has been closed from 1 of September. I found an information online that nearest clinic is in Danson Youth Centre. So I walked to Danson Centre to see a health visitor. It was 4th of September. I left my details and I was told that I should receive a letter in two weeks. Today is 20 of September and I am still waiting for letter or any call because of my daughter's health review. Can you help me to solve this problem out, please? Thank you

Dear Jovita

The Health Visiting service in Bexley is now being provided by Bromley Healthcare.

For information about the services available to you please look in their website by following the link

Best regards

The Oxleas Communications Team

I am shocked and appalled to hear this news. Since having my daughter (so within the last two years), my local drop in clinic was cut from my doctors surgery, to only at the beacon. Then the beacon cut their 3 drops ins down to 2 and now they are cut completely!

Even when I was able to attend the drop in clinics (except the one at my doctors), it was completely at capacity, extremely uncomfortable and there was not a private space offered for those willing to discuss sensitive matters

Having suffered with bad post natal depression all this has had a HUGE negative impact on myself and my family. There is simply not enough support for families with young children, breastfeeding and PND.

I have read that Oxlea are now considering finding alternative venues to replace the Beckenham drop in clinic. Well here are my suggestions off the top of my head. I’m sure there are other suitable venues.

- Christ Church Beckenham
- Venue 28 Beckenham
- City Gate Church Beckenham
- Bromley Town Church (Bromley town centre)
I would expect there are several suitable church halls in the area!

Even with a Beckenham drop in re established there still needs to be more services offered in other surrounding areas!

Please do something about this as it is simply unacceptable and damaging to families in the community.

Dear Charlotte

Thank you for your comments about Beckenham Beacon, and for your very helpful suggestions.

We are currently looking for a new venue to replace Beckenham Beacon, and we are confident that we will secure a new venue very soon; we are talking to landlords at the moment.

We will look for a venue which also has the facility to allow private conversations within the setting.

Kind regards

Helen Day Barnes
Service Manager
Public Health Nursing Services

As a Clock House councillor I have been contacted by parents in the BR3 area who are very concerned at the loss of the service at the Beacon. The closest alternative at this end of th borough is now Community Vision, but presumably this is over-subscribed as the number of sessions have been reduced over all. It makes sense to have this service in a community medical facility such as the Beacon. What is the space now being used for? A solution is urgently needed.

Dear Councillor Allen

Thank you for your comment on our webpage. The use of the rooms at Beckenham Beacon is no longer available to us and these premises are being retained by the current tenant.

We understand that there are no suitable rooms available at Beckenham Beacon. We are therefore searching for new premises. To support any increase in demand we have lengthened the session times in our remaining sessions and increased the staffing.

We would be delighted to work with you to find local solutions.

Kind regards

Helen Day Barnes
Service Manager
Public Health Nursing Services

Just turned up to the Beacon to see the health visitor didn’t know until I got here that it was no longer run by Bromley NHS and has now been taking over by Oxleas NHS. Midwives at the Antenatal clinic didn’t even know where it had been changed to was told to check at the front desk where they gave me a piece of paper telling me to look at this website. What I am most annoyed about is like Jenny, I live in BR4 and there is no where around us to visit the health visitor. I have been meaning to come to the Beacon’s Health visitor for the last few weeks but trying to get here and find parking and get back in time to pick up my elder son from school is a mission, I made sure I got to the Beacon today an hour early to be first on the queue what a waste of time that was!
Looking at the new timetable you have gone from 11 drop in sessions to only 7! And lost Beckenham Beacon! When my eldest was a baby there was a session at Addington Road surgery which was ideal! The fact that West Wickham has such a large population of families with babies and young children, I would think it would be important to find a suitable loctation closer to West Wickham/shirley/Hayes!

Dear Lisa

Thank you for your comments, you might be able to read my previous response to the closure of Beckenham Beacon. The clinic room at Beckenham Beacon is not available to us and so we are searching for another suitable venue nearby.

It is our intention to hold nine health advice sessions across the borough and we are therefore looking for two new venues, and ideally within the Beckenham/West Wickham area.

We will advertise the new venues on our website as soon as they are available.

Kind regards

Helen Day Barnes
Service Manager
Public Health Nursing Services

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