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Updates to our services and information for families during COVID-19

This page updates you about changes to our services due to COVID-19 and provides useful information, resources and advice for families.

The NHS website has advice about COVID-19, including symptoms, testing, vaccination and self-isolation.. 

Some of the ways our services work have changed due to COVID-19. If you have any questions, you can contact us by calling the number on your appointment letter or contacting our Surrey-wide 0-19 Advice Line.

Your safety

Domestic Abuse Helpline: 01483 776 822 (open 9am to 9pm, 7 days a week). 

Domestic abuse affects many families especially during additional times of stress such as pregnancy, having a baby, financial worries and increased isolation especially due to the  pandemic.

If you and/or your children are scared, frightened, being controlled or hurt by someone you know or live with please contact the Domestice Advice Helpline on 01483 776 822, our Health Visiting team through the Advice Line or your GP to get further advice and support. In an emergency, call 999.

If it is safe to do so, you can download the Bright Sky App or visit the Bright Sky website which is for anyone experiencing domestic abuse, or who is worried about someone else.

No one should have to experience or live with domestic abuse and there is help available

You can visit the Healthy Surrey website and chat online on Your Sanctuary website for advice, advocacy, practical help and support.

​Child health clinics, breastfeeding support groups and other group activities

We offer:

​Please visit the Infant feeding section below and the Infant feeding page to find out more.

If you have any queries concerning your child’s progress or would like to talk to a health professional, please contact our Surrey-wide 0-19 advice Line for support, information and advice on parenting and infant feeding. 


Health visiting

Our Health Visiting team continues to support families and new babies.

  • New birth visit (10-14 days) after the birth of your baby you will receive a telephone call to book a home visit with your health visitor where we can discuss how you and your baby are, share information you may need and plan together how we can support you and your family. Your health visitor will book your 6-8 week review appointment.
  • One yearParents/carers may receive a virtual or telephone appointment to discuss your child’s progress or returned completed 'Ages and Stages Questionnaire'.
  • 27 months development review: Parents/carers may receive a telephone call to book a virtual or telephone appointment and will email/post you an Ages and Stages Questionnaire to complete ready for your child’s appointment.

Please call our Surrey-wide 0-19 Advice Line if you would like to book an appointment at a Child health clinic or discuss your child’s health and progress.

Visit the 'For Families' section on our website for more information and resources.

Safer sleep information

The Lullaby Trust have advice on COVID-19 for if you are pregnant or have a young child. More information on the Lullaby Trust can be found on their website

The Institute of Health Visiting also has advice on coping with a crying baby. Visit their website to find out more. 

Healthy Start vitamins

Healthy Start vitamins are available to buy or exchange with vouchers at family centres across Surrey. Please ask your health visitor for more information. 

You can find details of local foodbanks on the Trussell Trust website

Home safety

You can read top tips, fact sheets and activities to help keep children safe during COVID-19 restrictions and beyond.

Infant feeding (including breastfeeding) and Covid-19

Breastfeeding and Covid-19 vaccination

The benefits of breast-feeding are well-known. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has recommended that the Covid-19 vaccines can be received whilst breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations from the USA and the World Health Organization. You can read more on the website.

Should I continue to breastfeed my baby?

UnicefThere is a wealth of evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of babies developing infectious diseases. To facilitate breastfeeding, mothers and babies should be enabled to stay together as much as possible, to have skin-to-skin contact, to feed their baby responsively and to have access to ongoing support when this is needed. 

What do the experts say?

Public Health England (PHE) guidanceIf you are breastfeeding while infected, there is currently no clinical evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through breastmilk. Infection can be spread to the baby in the same way as to anyone in close contact with you. The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breastmilk or by being in close contact with your child, however, this will be an individual decision and can be discussed with your midwife, health visitor or GP by telephone.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists make the following recommendations

If you wish to breastfeed, take precautions to limit the potential spread of Covid-19 to the baby by:

  • washing your hands before touching the baby, breast pump or bottles
  • avoiding coughing or sneezing on the baby while feeding at the breast
  • cleaning any breast pump as recommended by the manufacturer after each use
  • considering asking someone who is well to feed your expressed breastmilk to the baby.

Can I get back to exclusive breastfeeding?

If you are breastfeeding and using infant formula, and considering replacing formula feeds with breastfeeds, please talk to a health professional first about how to do that safely. If breastfeeding has been stopped, it is possible to re-start breastfeeding (contact the National Breastfeeding Helpline  for assistance or speak to your health visitor or contact our Surrey-wide 0-19 advice Line.

If you are feeding with formula or expressed milkfollow sterilisation guidelines carefully before each use. You should not share bottles or a breast pump with someone else.

I am concerned about supplies of Formula milk – what should I do?

The UK government has advised that people should plan ahead on what is needed for self-isolation in the specified time frame only and not to stockpile essentials like infant formula.

If you are concerned, or require specific information, all infant formula companies can be contacted via their careline services. To order milk if you are unable to obtain in in the supermarket you can phone your local pharmacy or you can contact the infant formula milk companies and order online.

There have been claims that some infant formula companies are making free provisions to those unable to gain access to infant formula. This is not the approach of any infant formula company in the UK currently.

Tips to help:

  • Speak to your health visitor if you have problems accessing formula, or have any questions. Please contact the Surrey-wide 0-19 advice line on 01883 340 922.
  • You can change between brands of first infant milk; they all have to meet the same strict rules on composition.
  • Only make up as much milk as you need, and ensure you pace the feed.
  • Do not give follow on milk to babies under 6 months old
  • Never water down your baby’s milk to make it last longer as this will not provide sufficient nutrition to your child.

Healthy Start vouchers 

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods.




Please visit the COVID-19 vaccination page and the Immunisations page for further information.

Developmental Paediatric service

As a service we are continually reviewing the Developmental Paediatric service and the provision we can offer at this time. In the efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in line with Government, NHS England and organisation specific advice/guidelines, we are making changes to service provision that we offer.


  • We have prioritised work and identified what is essential face to face work and what can be completed by video consultation using 'Attend Anywhere'. High priority work will remain face to face.
  • For all other consultations, these will be risk assessed and where face to face appointments continue to be indicated, these will be offered. For all other appointments, these will be undertaken by video consultation using 'Attend Anywhere'. However, if during this consultation a face to face contact is identified as being required this will be arranged.
  • If families/carers have an appointment booked with a Developmental Paediatrician there will be communication about how this appointment will be offered, unless already planned via 'Attend Anywhere'.
  • The appointment will go ahead at the same appointment time as offered, so it would be appreciated that parents/carers are available at this time.
  • All families/carers where this will impact are being contacted by phone and/or by post.

Developmental Paediatric Service queries:  

  • For families who are known to the service and have any queries about their child/young person’s developmental paediatric needs during this period of time, we request that you email rather than phone on: quoting your child’s NHS number. This email will be staffed and queries addressed on a daily basis county wide. However, we do need to alert you to the fact that although the email is secure, we cannot guarantee this for emails from personal accounts.

Developmental Paediatric service prescriptions

  • For families who are known to the service and need to request a repeat prescription, please email: quoting your child’s NHS number. This email will be staffed and prescriptions addressed on a daily basis county wide. However, we do need to alert you to the fact that although the email is secure, we cannot guarantee this for emails from personal accounts.

Schools and educational provision

School nurses and therapists are supporting children with vulnerable and urgent needs as a priority, other appointments are being providing via the telephone or video call as an alternative although this does depend on our staffing levels.

Resources for families

Health, Wellbeing and Emotional Wellbeing Support for Children in Surrey

Back to school guide for children to tell them some of the changes they might see at school and tips on how to cope if they’re feeling worried or nervous and helpful resources to stay safe.

Webinar presentations for families in supporting children with understanding anxiety, and some strategies to manage anxiety.

Resource pack for families for the transition back to school following COVID-19 restrictions.

How to wash your hands: a child friendly song explaining how to wash your hands.

Therapy services

Our therapy teams are continuing to support schools and families, we are prioritising children with urgent and complex needs. We are providing appointments via telephone or video calls unless it is absolutely essential to visit face to face.

Therapy teams will use their reasonable endeavours to ensure that provision continues to be available for families, including those with an EHCP.

To support families to meeting their children’s therapy needs at home we have added to our online therapy resources.

The team has also created a useful resource with information links on self-care, learning and play.

Our Occupational Therapy Helpline for practical occupational therapy advice, strategies and support to schools, parents/carers and other professionals in relation to a child’s/young person’s functional and independence skills is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 2pm to 4pm on 01932 558 570. 

To support families who use specialist equipment we have produced an Equipment Advice Sheet with contact information.

Please be advised routine equipment reviews by  therapy services cannot be guaranteed due to our need to support the COVID-19.

Please continue to monitor equipment for safety and should issues with equipment be identified use the contact information in the equipment advice sheet.

Support, advice and information for families including emotional wellbeing

Children and Family Health Surrey support

  • Our Surrey-wide 0-19 Advice Line for support on all aspects of child health, development and parenting is available on 01883 340 922 – open from 8am to 5pm on weekdays.

  • Occupational Therapy Helpline
    Our helpline for practical occupational therapy advice, strategies and support to schools, parents/carers and other professionals in relation to a child’s/young person’s functional and independence skills is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2pm to 4pm on 01932 558 570.

  • Chat Health: our text service is available to all secondary school children in Surrey on 07507 329 951 - open from 9am to 5pm on weekdays. For anyone aged 11-19 looking for confidential advice on a wide range of issues such as bullying, emotional health and wellbeing, sexual health as well as illnesses. 

  • Safe Space Healtha health and wellbeing website created by school nurses for Surrey students aged 11 to 14.

  • Online guides for parents: free guides to understanding your child.

  • Our website also has a wide range of advice, information and resources in the For Families section.

Other organisations

  • You can find details of local foodbanks on the Trussell Trust website

  • Kootha free, safe and anonymous online support for young people Monday – Friday 12pm – 10pm Saturday – Sunday 6pm – 10pm
  • Mindworks Surrey  
  • Wellchild: advice for families with care packages
  • World Health Organization and Early Years Story Box: advice on how to talk to children about Covid-19.
  • Surrey Local Offer: the online hub for 0-25 year olds with special educational needs or a learning disability.
  • One You Surrey: for support on quitting smoking during the coronavirus pandemic 
  • Jigsaw: information, advice and guidance to help support bereaved children and young people and those facing the loss of a loved one during the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust: a range of useful videos are available on their You Tube channel.
  • Family Learning provides free online parenting courses for parents and carers, including grandparents, who lack confidence or are struggling to support their children with school, homework or behaviour issues.