12th September 2022
The team at the Institute of Health Visiting wants to express our heartfelt condolences to King Charles III, The Royal Family and anyone affected by the passing of Her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen was a global figure whose impact and presence will be missed by many. She was also a strong supporter of charities – her service and duty are a legacy which will endure as charities continue their work supporting people in many guises across our communities.
There will be great sadness for many over the coming days, and across the nation people will want to show their respect for The Queen and pay tribute to her. We are all different, and grief will impact each of us differently – please do reach out for help and support if you need it at this time (details of organisations that can provide extra support with grief are listed below).
As the country passes through a period of national mourning, the senior management team at the iHV met at the end of last week to agree our position in light of this news. As a professional body and charity, the iHV will be following the guidance published by Buckingham Palace, as well as the guidance published by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), during this period of national mourning. We are very mindful of treading a careful line between showing our full respect for Her Majesty The Queen, being sensitive to the public mood, and managing our business as a small charity. It is of the utmost importance to us that we are respectful of the preferences and needs of iHV members and the iHV team at this time.
We are therefore following the directive of the Palace for business and public service, that:
“Public services will continue as usual, although there may be some changes to service availability on the day of the State Funeral.
“There is no obligation on organisations to suspend business during the National Mourning period.
“Businesses or other organisations wishing to pay their respects by half-masting flags or holding silences can follow the guidance that has been issued”.
The country faces significant social, public health and economic challenges, and guidance from NCVO is clear that stopping all of our activities would not be in the best interests of the people that we serve (namely babies, children and families, and the health visiting services that support them). The impacts of the pandemic on families have been significant, and the health visiting profession has been through a turbulent time, facing numerous challenges recently.
We have therefore taken a decision to go ahead with our planned conference on 15 September. Although this is a heart-breaking time for many people, we would not like to impact the work and organisation made by our speakers, delegates and exhibitors. We have also heard from many of our delegates that they are looking forward to meeting together again to learn from experts, and find energy, strength, and inspiration for the important work that they do.
Out of respect for Her Majesty The Queen, we will join with delegates and observe a minute’s silence at the start of our conference to pay tribute together to our late monarch Queen Elizabeth II.
In terms of other iHV activities, we have taken the following position:
- Out of respect for The Queen, we paused all communications and social media activity on Friday 9 September and over the weekend (10 and 11 September).
- The week commencing 12 September will be ‘business as usual’ although we will postpone some activities, and in particular our public facing policy work, until after the funeral of Her Majesty The Queen on 19 September.
- On 19 September, the day of the state funeral, we will pause all iHV activity.
Look after yourselves and each other. Please see details of information on bereavement, where to go for support, and suggestions for helping yourself and others through grief, below:
- How to provide culturally sensitive bereavement support
- How to make sense of how you’re feeling right now
- Supporting Children and Young People
Wishing you a peaceful few days, and I look forward to being able to meet together at the iHV conference in Manchester later this week.
With best wishes
Alison Morton, Executive Director, Institute of Health Visiting