Validate your membership/access to the iHV Champion hub here to receive your password.
Not a member? Join here.

Dr Cheryll Adams awarded CBE in Queen’s 90th birthday honours

10th June 2016
Dr Cheryll Adams, founding director of the Institute of Health Visiting

Dr Cheryll Adams, founding director of the Institute of Health Visiting

Founding director of the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) recognised

for her contribution to improving children’s lives

iHV founding director, Dr Cheryll Adams, is to become a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) after being named in Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday Honours List.

Cheryll, who has been working in family and public health for more than 30 years, was selected for the honour in recognition of her contribution to the health visiting profession and the important role it plays in improving outcomes for children, families and communities.

She co-founded the Institute of Health Visiting in 2012 to raise standards in health visiting through education and research, and to reduce inequalities in health by ensuring every family receives a universally high quality of care.

David Cameron, the Department of Health and the Royal Society of Public Health supported its foundation, and Cheryll has since grown the organisation to more than 9,000 members.

Cheryll has worked with the government on a number of initiatives to improve children’s lives and currently sits on the NSPCC’s research ethics committee. She is also an adviser for UNICEF Europe: supporting the introduction of a health visiting-type role into 22 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She previously supported the government of Kazakhstan to introduce the profession there.

Cheryll began her career as a nurse at London’s St George’s Hospital, before qualifying as a health visitor and working in practice in Hampshire for almost 20 years. During this time, she championed the causes of vulnerable families, promoting emotional and social health in isolated communities and spending her weekends running community drives to improve child safety.

For 11 years, Cheryll worked for the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA), including as lead professional officer, representing 18,000 members in a national and international context. During her time there she regularly represented health visiting in the media and at conferences around the globe, as well as writing and editing six books and publishing more than 60 papers on key topics. She continues to be a regular contributor to a number of health journals.

Cheryll’s core professional interest is in infant and maternal mental health, as well as mental health promotion. Recently she pioneered the iHV Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) Champions programme through which almost 600 PMH Champions have cascaded the training to over 10,000 health visitors, NHS and local authority workers.

Cheryll’s previous honours include being named an ‘Inspirational Clinical Leader in Nursing’ (Nursing Times, 2015), ‘One of the 50 Most Inspirational Women in Healthcare’ (Health Services Journal 2014) and becoming one of the first six nurses to be inducted into the ‘Nursing Hall of Fame’ (Nursing Times 2010).

Former Chair of the iHV, Sally Russell, said:

“I am delighted that Dr Cheryll Adams has been honoured by the Queen in her 90th year. Cheryll has always been driven by the desire to help young families who so often find the first years difficult. In creating the Institute of Health Visiting, she has had a transformative effect on the profession. This Award serves to underline that she achieved it by inspiring those around her with a wonderful combination of determination, passion and humility.”

Interim Chair of the iHV, Professor Emeritus Rosamund Bryar, commented:

“The Board of the iHV is delighted that Cheryll’s long standing commitment to health visiting has been recognised. Cheryll has driven the development of the Institute of Health Visiting and, amongst other innovations, has instigated the recognition and development of iHV Fellows, the next generation of health visitor leaders committed to improving the lives of children and families.”

Professor Dame Sarah Cowley, a trustee of the iHV, added:

“This is a very well deserved honour for a committed champion of children’s public health and wellbeing.  Cheryll is a delightful and effective leader of health visiting and in primary care – her tremendous achievement in establishing and launching the Institute of Health Visiting was just the start of a whole, exciting new chapter in her already successful career.  Very, very many congratulations.”

Cheryll was educated at Ipswich High School for Girls, then at the University of Surrey. She has an MSc in Health Promotion and Health Education from the University of Southampton and a Professional Doctorate in Nursing from the University of Portsmouth. She lives in Emsworth, Hampshire with her husband and has two grown-up children and a border collie!!

—-ENDS —-

For more information and quotes please contact: Julie Cooper on 07508 344716 or [email protected]


Notes to editors

About the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV)

  • The Institute of Health Visiting is a UK Centre of Excellence supporting the development of universally high-quality health visiting practice. It was launched on 28 November 2012 to promote excellence in health visiting practice to benefit all children, families and communities. 
  • The aim for the iHV is to raise standards in health visiting practice, so improving public health outcomes for all children, families and communities.
  • For more information go to
  • Follow the Institute of Health Visiting on Twitter @iHealthVisiting and Facebook