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The iHV

Is the iHV affiliated to the Journal of Health Visiting ?

The iHV is not affiliated to any commercial journals.  Members of the iHV do sit on the editorial boards of commercial and other journals in their own right.  Commercial journals make their commercial decisions completely separately to the editorial advice given by professionals who are members of editorial boards. These professionals seek only to ensure that high quality editorial content reaches the reader and professional practice benefits as a result.

Why is this organisation needed?

All professions need their own professional body and the iHV is the only UK wide organisation that is specifically concerned with health visiting. Its core purpose is to raise professional standards in health visiting practice.

How will it raise professional standards?

By promoting and supporting a strong evidence base for health visiting and offering CPD and professional training. In time the iHV will also offer a pathway through which health visitors can develop their personal practice and academic profiles. As a Centre of Excellence for health visiting practice, the iHV will have a unique focus on the academic as well as the professional development of health visitors.

Why set up the iHV now?

Current policy interest in the health visiting workforce and the part that health visitors can play in improving the public health outcomes of families and children has provided an important opportunity to invest in the health visiting service. The iHV can support this by providing a Centre of Excellence for health visiting practice, through which the collective strength of the revitalized health visiting workforce can be channelled into ensuring we safeguard the future of health visiting.

Who set up the iHV?

The iHV was established by four senior health visitors, academics and policy experts:  Dr Cheryll Adams, Professor Sarah Cowley, Professor Sally Kendall and Professor Rosamund Bryar.

How can I interface with the iHV?

It helps us if people interface with us electronically via our website: or email using our contact form here. As we become more financially secure we will establish a physical base and secretariat.

What will the iHV do?

The iHV will support the development of high quality and consistent health visiting practice for the benefit of all children, families and communities.

Will the iHV regulate health visitors?

No. It is the role of the Nursing and Midwifery Council to regulate health visitors.

What is the iHV for?

Primarily the iHV is about strengthening health outcomes for children and families and, in turn, for the whole community.  The overall purpose is to improve long-term personal health, public health and social outcomes through maximising the potential of the health visiting service.

What will the iHV do for me as a health visitor?

The iHV will provide a one-stop shop of easily accessible information to inform your practice. Over time it will become a place where you can network, share good practice and take advantage of the opportunities to strengthen your practice and leadership skills.

How can I support the iHV?

Please champion the work of the iHV to help it grow and deliver its ambitions. To do this we require local champions and access to regular funding and expert help, whether within or outside the profession. If you are a health visitor, you can

become an Associate of the iHV,
become a local iHV Champion
engage with our professional activities.
consider fundraising on our behalf with colleagues, perhaps doing a fun run.
If you are a potential funder who shares our values and ambitions for every child to have the best chance in life, do please get in touch so that we can develop work together.

If you employ health visitors consider funding their membership of the Associate scheme to be able to access evidence-based resources via the web wherever they are and give the iHV a regular source of income to develop more resources.

If you are a journalist please write about our activities so others understand this key area of work.

If you are a policy maker engage us with your activities so that the voice of health visiting is heard in policy generation.

Will I be able to network with other health visitors and health professionals through the iHV?

Yes we hope that you will soon.  The Burdett Trust for Nursing has funded the development of a Virtual Community of Practice for health visitors which is being developed and tested by the University of Hertfordshire in association with the iHV. If it proves a good model, as we think it will, it will be made available to all health visitor Associate members of the iHV.

I'm interested but I'm very busy. What can I do to find out more about how iHV can help my health visiting practice?

Become an Associate of the iHV, which means you will get regular professional newsletters, email alerts and full access to our resource base, which is being developed to support your practice.

What can the iHV offer to local health organisations/bodies?

We can offer consultancy, access to locally delivered training, and a reduced cost corporate associate membership for your staff.

What is different in how the iHV will work?

We will work with a range of government, professional and third sector partners to deliver our work programmes to strengthen the services which health visitors provide rather than directly providing membership services. In particular, we will work closely with the Royal Society for Public Health and Netmums.

How is the iHV different from other professional organisations that health visitors are members of?

The iHV is an Institute, not a membership body.  Its main objective is to improve health outcomes for children, families and communities through a single professional focus on health visiting and health visitors. It is also not a trade union or professional organisation with a remit to represent and support a membership.

What can the iHV do for parents?

The iHV can ensure that health visitors give consistent advice and information based on up-to-date research. There will also be some information for parents on the iHV website about health visiting services with signposting to reliable sources of parent information. By working with Netmums we aim to ensure we address issues that are important to parents.

Is the iHV a membership organisation?

Not as such, but during the iHV planning and scoping stages it became clear that health visitors wanted to play an active part in our development. We have established an Associate scheme, which any health visitor can join and which will give direct access to our products. Others will have to pay for these products. This will help the iHV to generate essential core funding.

How does the iHV fit with school nurses?

Health visitors and school nurses have a shared interest in promoting the public health of all children from 0-19, so the iHV wants to work closely with school nurses. Together we must ensure that every child and family has timely access to consistent and high quality public health services, whether in the home, community or school setting.  A professional body specifically focused on school nursing activity, the School and Public Health Nurses Association, SAPHNA, is one of our supporters.

Can Nursery Nurses become associates?

No, not at the moment, although they can become friends and register for our news letters. Perhaps in the future as the iHV develops there will be scope for the wider HV team to affiliate.

What is the legal model for the iHV?

The iHV is being set up as a charity as its objectives are charitable.

How is the iHV funded?

Through income generation for all of our activities.  Our set up was supported by ministers at the Department of Health and a section 64 grant, but we have no core funding or grants moving forward.

Will the iHV offer consultancy?

Yes this will be one of the iHV’s activities and income streams.  We have access to a range of experts.

Yes. This is one means of disseminating best practice and improving the consistency of practice.

Can the iHV run training in my organisation?

Yes, we will be developing different training programmes which can then be commissioned.

What will it cost me to use the iHV’s services?

This will vary depending on the services, but we have to income generate and will be working with national experts to deliver our products

Is the iHV a campaigning organisation?

The iHV will campaign for health improvement and public health. It is not a trade union and will not campaign on behalf of health visitors’ conditions of service etc.

What is the iHV's relationship with government

The iHV is an independent charitable organisation. However, it has worked with the Cabinet Office and Department of Health during its set up and expects to continue to do so, providing its expertise to policy generation.

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