We are delighted to announce the launch of our 6th annual Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (PIMH) Conference ‘Dismantling the Barriers: collaborative approaches to perinatal mental health care’, taking place on Thursday 19 September 2024 as a half-day virtual conference.

Anyone can experience mental health problems during pregnancy or after having a baby. Without adequate support these problems can impact negatively on short and long-term outcomes for the whole family. Stigma and fear of child removal remain significant barriers to families seeking support for perinatal mental health concerns. Some families are at greater risk of experiencing poor mental health, particularly where they face multiple disadvantages and systemic inequalities. They’re also less likely to be offered the care they need.

Evidence suggests that improved professional competence, closer multi-agency working and training, and collaboration with parents from diverse backgrounds can improve outcomes for families experiencing poor perinatal mental health, particularly where multiple adversity exists.

This conference will focus on raising awareness of families whose perinatal mental health needs are less well met and understood. It will be suitable for all practitioners working with families in the perinatal period as well as service leads, commissioners, researchers and policy makers.

We are delighted to have expert speakers sharing their experiences about:

  • Young parent families
  • Gypsy Roma and Traveller families
  • Families with mothers in prison
  • Asylum-seeking families

By considering recommendations from recent research, reflections on best practice examples and powerful accounts from parents, we’ll think about how we can work together to improve experiences and dismantle barriers for these families in receiving equitable, high quality perinatal mental health care.

If you are passionate about improving the emotional health and wellbeing of all families, then book now and join us for what promises to be a dynamic and inspiring event!

Don’t miss our special early bird ticket rates, available until 19 July 2024 – book your place today! In addition, group bookings of 5 or more will receive a 15% discount off the total order when booked at the same time.

We are delighted to announce that we will be back in Manchester at King’s House Conference Centre on 3 July 2024 for this year’s iHV Evidence-based Practice (EBP) Conference ‘A Healthier Future’ – with options to join us in-person in Manchester, or online, to give you flexibility.

The focus of this year’s EBP conference is on addressing health inequalities, a topic that has never been more poignant, with more babies and children experiencing poorer outcomes and living in poverty than ever before. How can we ensure a healthier future, where all babies and children can thrive? How can we use the best available evidence and research to reduce health inequalities and strengthen health visiting practice?

Our conference will provide a platform for local, national, and international experts and speakers to come together and share excellence in health visiting practice, public health, innovation, and the latest research focused on improving outcomes and reducing inequalities for babies, children and families.


We have a fabulous line up of speakers, including but not limited to:

  • Dr Allison Felker, Senior Researcher, MBRRACE-UK – who will share the findings from the MBRRACE-UK Report with a focus on inequalities in women’s health.
  • Dr Ngozi Edi-Osagie, National Clinical Director neonatal Critical Care, NHS England, Arnie Puntis,Research and Policy Manager, NHS Race and Health Observatory and speakers from the RHO Maternal and Neonatal Health Advisory Group (to be confirmed) – who will be presenting on tackling inequalities for babies, children and families with black and brown skin.
  • Professor Helen Bedford– who will share her expertise on the world of childhood vaccinations, highlighting the current measles surge and falling rates of MMR vaccine uptake.
  • Dr Erica Gadsby and Professor Sally Kendall– who will present their RREHOPE study – an evaluation of the impacts of the pandemic (and service work arounds) on health visiting.
  • Alison Morton,CEO, Institute of Health Visiting – speaking about radical health visiting and driving change.
  • Michele Lawrence,Head of Safeguarding, Chief Public Health Nurse Office, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities – who will be presenting about the new Working Together to Safeguarding Children 2023 Guidance.
  • Ana María Narváez, Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer, The Food Foundation –who will be sharing The Food Foundation’s annual flagship report, The Broken Plate, and sharing vital metrics revealing the health of our food system and its impact on our lives.
  • Sharin Baldwin, Senior Health Visitor Research Lead, iHV/MECSH, and Hilda Beauchamp,iHV Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Lead – who will be sharing the findings from the Alarm Distress BaBy Scale (ADBB) feasibility study.
  • Plus, more to be announced soon!

Our conference programme also includes a wide range of interesting topics and presentations drawn from the highest scoring submissions to our call for abstracts from researchers and leaders in practice. We will be adding their details to our programme soon, once final confirmation is received.

See our fabulous ticket offers!

Don’t miss our special early bird ticket rates, available until 19 April 2024 – book your place today! In addition, group bookings of 5 or more will receive a 15% discount off the total order when booked at the same time.

It is great to see that supporting children with SEND is a key priority across government and the healthcare system in 2024. The year will get off to a flying start in parliament with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Special Needs and Disabilities (SEND) meeting on Tuesday 9 January.

We are delighted that Alison Morton, iHV’s CEO, has been asked to provide a keynote presentation on the vital role that health visitors play, supporting both parents and babies and young children during the earliest years of life.

The session is being hosted by cross-party MPs, Olivia Blake MP (chair) and vice chairs Sally-Ann Hart MP, Marsha De Cordova MP, James Sunderland MP, Andy McDonald MP, with secretariat provided by the National Association of Head Teachers. The APPG session will concentrate on the critical importance of early intervention in the context of SEND. This includes:

  • The significance of early identification of SEND.
  • Ensuring timely and appropriate support for those identified.
  • The barriers in place and proposed solutions.

Other speakers on the panel are: Claire Bithall – Parent of a 9-year-old autistic son; Allison Walker – SENCO at Lloyd Park Children’s Charity; Alex Dale and Phil Haslett – f40 Group; Beatrice Merrick – Chief Executive, Early Education; Cath Lowther – General Secretary, Association of Educational Psychologists; and Natalie Browne – 0-5 Team Manager Havering Council.

In 2024, the Institute of Health Visiting will be leading and engaging in a number of other programmes of work to improve the support for babies and young children with SEND and their families. This is an area that will demand increased attention from health visiting teams and we encourage all health visitors to keep abreast of the latest evidence and policies in this space.

iHV SEND conference

To support health visiting teams, we are hosting our very first iHV SEND conference on 14 March 2024 just outside London in Hertfordshire. The one-day conference will be jam-packed with updates from across a breadth of SEND priority areas and is available as an in-person or online delegate options.

Providing better joined-up support to improve the outcomes for children with SEND is a national priority and requires a multi-agency approach. Our SEND conference aims to equip health visitors and early years practitioners (and anyone looking to improve outcomes for babies and young children with SEND and their families) with new knowledge and skills to support better early identification of need and joined up support.

We have a fantastic line-up of high-profile national speakers including: Dame Rachel de Souza – The Children’s Commissioner for England; and Professor Simon Kenny OBE– national clinical director for children and young people and national cerebral palsy pathway group chair. With a breadth of experience, our speakers will present on the current national SEND priorities and encompass evidence-based practice and the latest research on a wide range of SEND topics from experts in their field, including experts with lived experience.

Our conference will also provide an excellent opportunity to network with multi-agency professionals and leading SEND experts from across the UK, as well as charities and exhibitors to support your work in this area.

Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to enhance your health visiting practice and make a difference to babies and children with SEND.

All our conference tickets are subsidised to keep ticket prices as low we can and ensure that as many people as possible can attend. Our early bird ticket sales are open – book at further discounted rates by 31 January 2024.


Last week, health visiting leaders, practitioners, policy makers and partners joined together in London for the Institute of Health Visiting’s annual Leadership conference. The event was held at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists/ Royal College of Midwives’ headquarters at 10 Union Street in London. Despite significant travel disruptions caused by the rail strike, 162 delegates were able to attend in-person, with a further 102 delegates registered online – with many saying that they wouldn’t miss it for the world! Thank you, we really value all your support.

The title of the conference was “Leading in a complex world” – if we have ever needed strong leaders, we need them now! With so much rapid change, it is even more important that we take time out to take stock, and learn, and reflect together. The aim of the iHV Leadership conference is for everyone to leave the conference feeling proud of the work that they do, valued, inspired, connected and energised with lots of new ideas to lead health visiting into the future.

iHV Leadership Conference 2023

The conference had a stellar line-up of national expert keynote speakers and panellists who skilfully covered an extensive breadth of topics including the impacts of child poverty, preconception care, preventative approaches to address the pressures on urgent care, health visiting research and education priorities (read the programme here). We were also delighted to be joined by Dame Ruth May DBE, the Chief Nursing Officer for England, who shared her new Vision for Nursing and Midwifery (including health visiting), hot off the press after it was launched at the CNO Summit a couple of weeks ago. Whilst this Vision is aimed at health visitors in England, a number of the priorities that the Vision is addressing will be similar priorities for all UK nations, with lots of transferable principles wherever health visitors are working.

Dame Ruth May DBE, CNO England, addressing iHV Leadership Conference 2023

In her keynote address, Dame Ruth said:

“I’ve been wanting to set out a Vision for nurses, midwives – and now health visitors – going forwards into the future… the Institute of Health Visiting has played a real part in that, wanting to make sure that health visiting, and school nursing, and public health nursing were definitely part of it.”

Dame Ruth went on to explain that it was “no accident” that “Prevention, protection promotion and reducing health inequalities” is the first priority area in her Vision. When the order of the priority areas were being decided, amongst 6 other competing important priorities, Ruth explained that it was important to highlight the “step change” needed to prioritise this area by putting it first. The remaining six ‘priority areas’ of Ruth’s Vision will also need to be translated into key actions for health visiting to ensure that they are achieved. The seven priority areas are:

  1. Prevention, protection, promotion and reducing health inequalities
  2. Protecting our planet
  3. Person-centred care
  4. Public and patient safety
  5. Professional leadership and integration.

With two additional enabling areas focused on:

  1. Professional culture
  2. People and workforce development.

Ruth called on health visitors to join with her in delivering this Vision, which would start with understanding the data on health visiting workforce and service delivery – Ruth made a plea for help with this. The keynote address concluded with Ruth reiterating her commitment to health visiting, her desire to work with practitioners and the iHV, and to use her voice with the government of the day, stating, “I look forward to working with you – I look forward to working for you – and look forward to you challenging me, making sure we make this a reality”.

Ruth’s keynote address was then followed by an interesting panel discussion which included reflections and comments from Dr Helen Duncan (National Lead for Lifecourse Intelligence, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities), Liz Fenton (Deputy Chief Nurse, Workforce, Training and Education Directorate, NHS England) and Nicky Brown (Senior Nurse/Public Health Specialist Babies, Children and Young People, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities).

iHV Leadership Conference 2023

Overall, the conference has received excellent feedback in the post-event evaluations received so far. There was an incredible buzz in the room as delegates connected with old friends and made new ones – there is something very special about meeting together as a health visiting community in London in the festive season.

The conference was recorded and all delegates will have received links to access all conference materials today that we have received permission to share to support further reflection and learning (if you have not received these, please do get in touch with [email protected] who can help).

Posts from #iHVLeadership2023


We are delighted to announce the launch of a brand-new national SEND conference: ‘A Different Journey – The best life from the start’. This conference is being co-delivered by the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) and Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust on Thursday 14 March 2024 at Hertfordshire Development Centre in Stevenage.

The SEND conference aims to equip health visitors and early years practitioners with new knowledge and skills to support babies and young children with SEND, with a focus on early support and early identification of need.

Our conference programme includes inspirational local and national guest speakers and will encompass a wide range of SEND topics from experts in their field including:

  • Overview of national picture and SEND policy
  • Improving seamless support through Integrated Care Systems and pathways
  • Reaching underserved communities with SEND
  • Enhancing communication
  • Understanding Cerebral Palsy
  • Supporting a child with a cleft palate
  • Understanding Down’s Syndrome
  • Neurodiversity in the early years
  • Safeguarding is everyone’s business

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust previously hosted a SEND Health Conference in October 2022 which attracted national interest and requests for a national SEND conference. In collaboration with the iHV, and in response to demand, we are delighted to launch our first national SEND conference. This has been made possible through a partnership collaboration between the iHV and Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust. Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust received excellent feedback from delegates stating that it was ‘unique’, and they left feeling ‘inspired’ and had ‘new knowledge and tools to improve their practice’!

Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to enhance your health visiting practice and make a difference to babies and children with SEND.

Our early bird ticket sales are now open – book at discounted rates by 31 January 2024.

We are delighted to share an exclusive recording of the ‘Lads Like Us’ keynote session at our recent Evidence-based Practice Conference: ‘Hope for the Future’, held in Manchester on 21 September.

‘Lads Like Us’ was set up by Mike Hurst and Danny Wolstencroft who both experienced trauma, including sexual abuse, as children. They now deliver highly acclaimed training all over the country to multi-agency professionals, considering the impact of childhood trauma on mental health, substance misuse, offending behaviour and parenting.

The recording includes a short presentation by Mike followed by a group discussion between Mike and his former health visitor, Louise (Lou) Hamer, who he credits as being the person who ‘turned his life around’. Lou is now the Designated nurse for safeguarding children at Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB).

In his presentation, Mike speaks about how he was unexpectedly reunited with Lou when she attended their ‘Million Pieces’ training session as a delegate. During the training Mike shared the difference that his health visitor had made to him – and then Lou realised that he was speaking about her! Mike describes how Lou’s professional curiosity looked beyond the challenges he faced to understand the ‘why’ in his story and this was the catalyst for change.

Lou shared how much it has meant to her to be reunited with Mike – it has helped her make sense of her career, to see the difference that she had made – although in Lou’s words, she was only doing her job.

We hope that by sharing this story, every health visitor will take encouragement from knowing that they will have their own examples of people like ‘Mike’, whose lives they have impacted for good. However, only a few will have the privilege to meet up again like Mike and Lou.

The session was very impactful and is captured in this comment from one of our delegates:

“The parent voice session with Mike Hurst and Louise Harmer will stay with me for a long time. I will always ‘ask why’ from now on and think of them”.

Watch Mike and Lou’s session below (Advisory: this video contains adult/offensive language):

All iHV conferences set out to encourage and inspire. We are in the final stages of preparation for our annual Leadership Conference: ‘Leading in a complex world’ on 6 December in London and hope you can join us.

We always like to ‘do something different’ within the programme at our conferences to help us connect with the purpose of our work and think ‘outside the box’. At the Leadership conference, we are delighted to be able to showcase a short excerpt from a theatre production developed by the Champions Project to address the invisibility of children living in homeless accommodation. No spoilers – but this powerful production is breaking new ground in driving policy change using innovative approaches. It really is a ‘must see’.

We have a fantastic line up of high-profile speakers including but not limited to:

  • Dame Ruth May DBE – Chief Nursing Officer for England: A Nursing Strategy for Health Equity
  • Dr Camilla Kingdon – President RCPCH: Child health challenges: what are the solutions in a cost-of-living crisis?
  • Professor Bola Oluwabi – Director Health Inequalities NHS England: Tackling inequalities in child health
  • Toni Estevez – Lived Life Solutions Expert, Shelter: Temporary housing, poverty and health.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity for professional development and also connect with practitioners from across the UK.

Book your early bird tickets today! Available until 31 October.

See the full programme here.

For more details on Lads Like Us please see: https://www.ladslikeus.co.uk/ 



What an amazing and packed day we had yesterday at the iHV Evidence-based Practice Conference 2023: Hope for the future. We had a full house – with more than 300 people including delegates, exhibitors and speakers!

Held on Thursday 21 September 2023 at King’s House Conference Centre, Manchester, it was the must-attend event in 2023 for those interested in health equity and a brighter future, where all babies can thrive and live healthy lives. We looked to see how can we use the best available evidence and research to promote health equity and strengthen health visiting practice.

The conference showcased the very best of health visiting practice and research. From start to finish, the event was packed with examples of the difference that health visiting can make, led by practitioners with the vision to make the most of the opportunities, and navigate a path through the challenges, to a better future.


Long-standing health care disparities and inequities have been illuminated and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent cost of living crisis. Systemic inequities, such as poverty and economic disadvantage are preventing babies, children, and families from achieving optimal health, leading to avoidable differences in health outcomes.



Our conference programme brought together local, national, and international experts and speakers who are focused on strengthening health visiting practice. Our speakers focused on how we can build on the present to help shape the future of health visiting and tackle inequalities and improve outcomes for babies, children and families.


With 4 concurrent sessions running during the morning and another 4 concurrent sessions in the afternoon, in addition to the morning and afternoon keynote sessions, there was plenty for the delegates to listen to and learn about.

Some early comments and feedback:

Thanks for a great conference. My head was buzzing all night thinking of ways to introduce all the learning from yesterday.

All great – I have left conference feeling newly committed to make a difference.

Very impactful

Parent voice session with Mike Hurst and Louise Harmer will stay with me for a long time. I will always say Why? from now on and think of them.

Overall the whole day was jam packed and engaging with lots to take away and reflect on.

The whole day was inspirational and interesting.

We travelled a long way to the conference but it was worth every hour to talk to others from all over the country, share ideas and good practice and also know we are all in it together improving families lives.

Excellent day! Thank you

A brilliant day.

What a fantastic day.

Very informative conference – I will very definitely like to attend the next one.

Posts from #iHVEBP2023

We are delighted to announce that we will be back in Manchester at King’s House Conference Centre on 21 September 2023 for this year’s iHV Evidence-based Practice Conference.

The focus of this year’s EBP conference is health equity. How can we ensure a brighter future, where all babies can thrive and live healthy lives? How can we use the best available evidence and research to promote health equity and strengthen health visiting practice?

Long-standing healthcare disparities and inequities have been illuminated and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent cost-of-living crisis. Systemic inequities, such as poverty and economic disadvantage are preventing babies, children, and families from achieving optimal health, leading to avoidable differences in health outcomes.

We very much look forward to welcoming you to this popular event.

Don’t miss our special early bird ticket rates, available until 30 June – book your place today! In addition, groups bookings of 5 or more will receive a 15% discount off the total order when booked at the same time.

Programme & Speakers

Our conference programme brings together local, national, and international experts and speakers who are focused on strengthening health visiting practice. The presentations and workshops will reflect the breadth of health visiting practice, within a “whole system” public health approach, with the aim to equip health visitors with new knowledge and skills to address key challenges in prevention and early intervention work with babies, children, and families.

Featured speakers include:

  • Professor Flora Douglas, Professor of Public Health, Robert Gordon University – Maternal and infant food insecurity
  • Greg Fell, Director of Public Health in Sheffield – Nanny State
  • Professor Monica Lakhanpaul, Professor of Integrated Community Child Health Population, Policy & Practice Dept, UCL GOS Institute of Child Health – Homelessness research
  • Nicky Brown, Senior Nurse and Public Health Specialist BCYP Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, Department of Health and Social Care – Pan-London SCPHN workforce development
  • Sally Shearer OBE, Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel – Messages for clinical practice
  • Nicola Jay, Reducing urgent care admissions – a whole systems approach
  • Mike Hurst, Parent Voice – Lived experience of homelessness 
  • Vicky Gilroy, iHV Head of Projects & Evaluation – Building Research Capacity
  • Victoria Jackson, iHV Senior Programme Manager – Projects and Evaluation – Strep A, Flu and Respiratory Illnesses
  • Sally Shillaker, iHV Practice Development Lead – Genomics
  • Alison Morton, iHV CEO
  • Vicky Gilroy and Victoria Jackson, iHV Projects Team – Cardiovascular disease, using the Family Partnership Model
  • Plus, more to be announced soon!



Exciting and unique local opportunity with the Institute of Health Visiting

Events Manager
Based: Home-based and the Emsworth Office, Hampshire

Do you have events management experience? Are you hardworking, flexible, highly organised and efficient? Are you an excellent communicator, reliable and focused on promoting high quality in all you do, with good attention to detail?

Do you want to take the next step in your career at the Institute of Health Visiting, a highly successful and growing UK-wide charity with a clear vision and positive values that make it a great place to work?

If yes, then come and join us. The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) is seeking to appoint a full-time Events Manager with a proven track record of the planning, management and delivery of face-to-face and online events across a broad range of activities from workshops and network meetings to conferences.

The iHV is a fast-paced organisation that operates with a blended working model with team members distributed throughout the UK. The post holder will work predominantly from home, with an expectation to come into our Emsworth office at least 1-2 days per week, with occasional UK travel for meeting and conferences that may require overnight stays.

The post holder will require a high level of both efficiency and initiative, excellent communication skills, and a willingness to plan and manage a number of events at any one time. The successful candidate will have strong project planning, organisational, administrative and IT skills, with a keen eye for detail and a positive attitude to teamwork, learning and development.

The iHV’s portfolio of events and conferences is growing. This is an exciting opportunity for someone to really make their mark in supporting innovation and growth by planning events to meet the needs of the people we serve and improve their experience. You will be rewarded by the opportunity to join a unique and vibrant national charity, with a welcoming and supportive team, where two days are never the same. We know that the people who work at the iHV are its greatest asset and have made it the successful organisation that it is today. We believe that when everyone who works at the iHV is happy and feels supported to do a great job, then they care about the work that they do, which in turn is good for the iHV. You will also be rewarded knowing your work is making a real difference to babies, young children, families and communities, and the health visiting teams that support them.

You will work closely with our Head of Operations, Executive Director and Administrative Team.

If you have the skills and experience required and would relish the opportunity of working within a growing organisation, we would like to hear from you.

Applications close: 12 noon, Monday 12 December 2022

Interviews: Week Commencing 19 December 2022 via Zoom

We had a wonderful day at iHV’s annual Evidence-based Practice Conference – Together, Fairer, Stronger – #iHVEBP2022

The iHV EBP conference, held on 15 September 2022 at King’s House Conference Centre in Manchester, was our first face-to-face conference since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was fantastic to see so many delegates in person!

The focus of this year’s conference was on reducing health inequalities and strengthening integrated working. We explored the learning from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as opportunities to promote health visiting and its role in tackling current public health priorities and improving outcomes for babies, children and families.

Programme and Speakers

Our packed programme brought together local, national, and international experts and speakers, all focused on strengthening health visiting practice through sharing the latest evidence, research, and practice examples.

Our inspirational and passionate speakers included:

  • Tash Oakes-Monger, National LGBT Project Manager
  • Kenny Gibson, Deputy Director for NHS Safeguarding
  • Jim McManus, President Association of Directors of Public Health UK, and Director of Public Health
  • Alison Morton, Executive Director, iHV
  • Clare Worgan, Head of Training and Education, Sands
  • Dr Karen Whittaker, Education and Workforce Lead, iHV
  • Sammie McFarland, CEO and Founder, Long Covid Kids Charity
  • Pilar Cloud, Project Lead, Action Cerebral Palsy
  • Louise Wileman, Health Visitor and CONI Co-ordinator
  • Dr Kate Abbott, Clinical Psychologist
  • Dr Lisa Marsland, Consultant Clinical Psychologist
  • Martha Sercombe, Specialist Perinatal Mental Health, Health Visitor
  • Jo Claessens, BBC Tiny Happy People
  • Annalea Staples, Dental Therapist, University of Leeds
  • Dr Elizabeth Camacho, Health Economist, University of Manchester
  • Plus many, many more!

A big thank you to all our speakers, presenters and exhibitors for helping to make the day such a success!

Conference poster winner

Many congratulations to our best poster presentation winner: Tracey Long – with her poster Transition to adoptive parenthood: a conceptualisation

Best poster presentation winner: Tracey Long receiving her award from Alison Morton

Some of the Feedback

“It was my first iHV conference and it was much better than I expected. Having gone through covid it was lovely to hear people’s positive attitudes to health visiting and the information that was shared by all.”

“It was a fantastic conference, the quality of the speakers and range of topics was excellent. I feel reinvigorated in my purpose and have made some useful connections from other areas to link in with to progress programmes of work. Inspiring, welcoming and meaningful. Well done iHV!”

“Thank you for producing such an informative conference. The passion for the role shone though for me and inspired me as student at the start of my health visiting career.”

“Great venue, great speakers. Thank you for reinvigorating my HV Practice!”


Please note that the conference presentations are available to conference delegates only and they will have been sent the password required to access this page:

Tweets from #iHVEBP2022

For those of you who could not either join us on the day or could not follow the #iHVEBP2022 hashtag on Twitter, we’ve collected and made a little “Wakelet” collection of the day’s tweets so you can follow some of what was shared. Please see below.