There are many simple reasons for a one-off missed health appointment. This should not normally be a worry for health professionals.
More than one missed appointment without a reason can be cause for worry though and professionals working with your child or family may be concerned about your child's well-being.
What should I do if I can’t bring my child to their appointment?
If you cannot make it to an appointment and need to cancel or rearrange, contact the health team the appointment is with to let them know. You should be able to find their contact details in the appointment letter sent to you.
The health team will be able to offer support with the next steps, including booking another appointment or talking to you about different options.
If there are reasons you are finding it difficult to attend the health appointment, such as money worries or your own health worries, it is important that you let the health team know as they may have services that can support you and your child to attend.
If you do not understand what the appointment is for, please contact the health team to ask and they will be happy to talk to you about it.
What happens if my child is not brought to their health appointment?
You may be contacted to find out why your child was not brought to their appointment and be offered another date or time for your child to be seen. You might just receive a letter with a rearranged date.
Other professionals working with your child may also be contacted to let them know that you didn't attend.
If there have been previously missed appointments and there are worries about how this might affect your child’s health or development, then they may speak to other professionals regarding your child’s care. This could include Children’s Services to request some extra support for you and your family. Health services would always try to contact you if they were going to contact Children's Services.
Why is it important that my child attends their appointments?
There are many reasons your child may have an appointment with a health professional. Health appointments are arranged to make sure that your child receives the care they need to stay as well as possible. It is therefore important that you bring your child to their health appointment, because it may mean:
Any delay in care for your child may affect how they enjoy their life as a healthy happy child and stop them getting any extra help that they need. This could affect them into adulthood.
For health visiting, school nursing or speech and language appointments, you can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
For all other health appointments please contact the health team the appointment is with to let them know. You should be able to find their contact details on the appointment letter sent to you.
To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.
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