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My fantastic health visitor – a mum’s heartfelt thank you

5th January 2016

Four years ago I received my initial home birth visit from my health visitor. I have had a roller coaster of a journey from start to finish, and I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Penny Dougan and the Health Visiting team at Shirley Road, Birmingham, for the support and advice received.

Nicola Byrne with her children

Nicola Byrne with her children

I did not realise when Penny (shadowed by a student) turned up at my house two weeks after the birth of my daughter, just what an important role she would play in the next few years of my life. I had no idea what to expect from this visit and thought it to be just another NHS tick-box exercise.  How wrong was I?!

Penny supported and guided me through the removal of a breast abscess following poor postnatal advice from midwives; she provided counsel and a shoulder to cry on when my father passed away and signposted me to further help; and was there on the day that my son came home from hospital following his week stay in the Special Care Baby Unit after contracting congenital pneumonia. Penny has been a pillar of strength for both me and my family.

Nicola Byrne's children

Nicola Byrne’s children

I was viewed as a person, not just a carrier of a red book and I felt that every visit and every contact was 100% dedicated. Penny went beyond the call of duty on many occasions and I have so much to thank her for – I am not sure where I would be without her.

My son has had his two and a half year check now so all of the official visits are now complete, but I know that if I ever need her she will be there. Thank you Penny.

Nicola Byrne with her two children

Nicola Byrne with her two children

Nicola Byrne