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iHV launches updated COVID-19 professional advice for health visiting

19th June 2020

Following the publication of the “COVID-19 restoration of community health services for children and young people: second phase of NHS response“ last week, we launch updated versions of the COVID-19 professional advice documents that were originally published in March. The documents have been developed in partnership with Public Health England, and have been signed off by them, to support the safe and effective delivery of health visiting practice during the restoration of the health visiting service during COVID-19.

The advice includes a clear statement on the redeployment of health visitors by Public Health England that:

“Where services have been interrupted this requires the restoration of elements of the service that were stopped, paused or reduced during the earliest phase of the pandemic and the return of any redeployed members of the health visiting team where this has been the case”.

The refreshed advice also includes the reinstatement of the 6-8 week postnatal review which is particularly important to ensure families are supported and perinatal mental health conditions are identified.

Additional safeguards to protect vulnerable children have been included with advice that “Face-to-face contacts should be prioritised for families who are not known to services, or those with safeguarding concerns, to mitigate known limitations of virtual contacts and support effective assessment of needs/ risks”.

We have also included additional information on the use of virtual contacts – their benefits as well as recommendations to minimise their limitations

Our suite of refreshed documents Delivering the Health Visitor Healthy Child Programme during the COVID-19 pandemic – Professional advice to support best practice include:

Please note: As the COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing, the information in these resources may change. Please keep checking the Government and NHS websites for details.

Also, don’t forget our COVID-19 webpages for health visitors and parents – see details below:

COVID-19 webpages

  • For Health Visitors– These new professional advice documents can be found on our COVID-19 (coronavirus) guidance for health visitors webpage – https://iHV.org.uk/COVID-19
  • For parents and families– The iHV is dedicated to supporting the health and wellbeing of all families and we are putting together links and resources from trusted organisations and websites to support parents and families during the COVID-19 pandemic – please see our Parenting through Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage – https://iHV.org.uk/ParentingCOVID19

We have waivered our usual restrictions on resources for members so that the COVID-19 sections of our website are “free access” to all to support the national response to this pandemic.