Did you miss our 2nd iHV Insights webinar on “Domestic Violence and Abuse: Keeping victims and children safe during a pandemic” that was held yesterday?

We were joined by a fabulous panel of experts who were able to provide an update on the evidence and lots of helpful tips on supporting families experiencing domestic violence and abuse when face-to-face contacts are limited.

The great news is that all the iHV Insights webinars will be available for iHV members to access as a free member benefit after the event.

Click here to catch up on our 2 fabulous iHV Insights sessions so far:

  • 21 May 2020 – COVID-19 in children and managing minor childhood illnesses
  • 18 June 2020 – “Domestic Violence and Abuse: Keeping victims and children safe during a pandemic” (please note: there was a minor very short technical break in recording during this session in a transition between speakers)

Over time we hope that this library of iHV Insights will grow into a valuable “bite-sized” CPD resource for all members to use as part of your ongoing learning and revalidation.

What are iHV Insights and what do they cover?

All iHV Insights focus on current priorities for health visitors in their role supporting children and families achieve the best start in life. Currently, we are focusing on the impact of COVID-19 and how we respond to the challenges that we face. COVID-19 has also shone a spotlight on the specialist skills of health visitors and your ability to drive change and innovation despite these challenges – these iHV Insights webinars provide an opportunity to share best practice and learn from others.

The 1-hour sessions are led by leading experts in their field who share the latest evidence and their experiences of practice. They also include a live Q&A session which provide an opportunity for you to have your questions answered.

If you are unable to join the live event, after the event, you can access the:

  • Recording of the live iHV Insights webinar
  • The webinar slides
  • Responses to the Q&A session – key themes to unanswered questions provided by our expert panel (we aim to publish these within 1 week of the event)

The sessions will be of interest to frontline health visitors and student health visitors, as well as service leads, commissioners and wider members of the health visiting team, both in the UK and with lots of transferable learning for our international members too.

If you are not an iHV member, join us today to access these resources and many other member benefits.

Next iHV Insights

Look out for booking details for our next iHV Insights webinar: “Health Visiting during a pandemic and beyond” on 16 July.

We are delighted that we will be joined by Viv Bennett, Chief Nurse at Public Health England, and a panel of experts in practice.

This session will outline the cross-government definition for children’s services of three types of vulnerability, with a focus on how we can ensure that needs are not missed, and families are supported using virtual methods.

Further details,  including how to book, coming soon.

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has been working with the Institute of Health Visiting to add new content to the Domestic Violence and Abuse e-learning programme.

The planned updates to the existing e-learning programme are particularly timely due to the expected rise in domestic violence and abuse cases as a result of the considerable social and economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A leading domestic abuse charity in the UK has already reported a 25% increase in contacts after the start of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Alison Morton, Director of Policy and Quality at the Institute of Health Visiting, commented:

“We know that COVID-19 is putting pressure on all families and we need to heed the stark warning from other countries like China and Italy, as well as emerging data from the UK, which shows that domestic violence increases during “lockdown”. It is therefore vitally important that victims of abuse are identified and supported at this time when their needs may be hidden. We hope that these timely resources will be helpful for practitioners working with children and families experiencing domestic violence and abuse; the content has been developed by experts in the field to support best practice.”

The Domestic Violence and Abuse e-learning package aims to equip health visitors and nurses with the skills and knowledge to enable them to provide a proactive, responsive and safe service to families experiencing domestic violence and abuse.

The new content covers four new introductory modules to complement the existing sessions.  The e-learning has been developed following a refresh of the evidence, policy and legislation on domestic violence and abuse. Each of the four e-learning modules last around 30-45 minutes.

The following sessions are now available:

  • Understanding domestic violence and abuse
  • Identification of domestic violence and abuse
  • Risk assessment for victims of domestic violence and abuse
  • Safety planning and support for families

For more information about the Domestic Violence and Abuse programme, including details of how to access, please visit the link below:

The link to this e-learning programme is also on the iHV e-learning resource page:


Here at the Institute, we pride ourselves on our history of collaboration and partnership working, with our involvement in national #HVweek as a clear example of this.

The quality of our current partnerships and valuable working relationships mirror those that we previously enjoyed as practising health visitors; our relationships with our families, our colleagues, supervisors and most importantly our multi-agency relationships and partnerships with other professionals all central to reducing risk and improving outcomes for children and their families.

Today’s #HVWeek theme focuses on Safeguarding and the importance of good relationships and multi-professional working – and here are some of our resources to support you:


In 2014, we delivered over 250 Domestic Violence and Abuse Champions and almost 200 Contemporary Issues in Safeguarding and Child Protection Champions, supported by the Department of Health. Our e-learning for both programmes is still open access to all practitioners who would like a refresher to support authoritative practice in these areas.  In addition, this year we have developed new e-learning to support a government campaign to reduce domestic slavery – this is also open access to all.

iHV Professional Guidance

For those short of time why not read our excellent iHV Professional Guidance (for iHV members only) –  Serious Case Reviews (SCRs): messages for health visiting practice by our expert Dr Catherine Powell, originally published in January this year.

Learning from SCRs plays a critical role in improving practice and in the prevention and early identification of children who are at risk of significant harm and many of the messages revolve around relationships and seamless working. Succinct, brilliantly collated and well-received, do look again if you missed it the first time around.

Good Practice Points

We have a wide range of Good Practice Points for Health Visitors – a few a listed below to support today’s #HVweek theme around Safeguarding:

Other resources

SAFER Communications Tool

These are guidelines for communications between health visitors and local authority children’s social care teams using the SAFER process when a child may be suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm*.
All verbal communications can be carried out using the SAFER process. It can also be used for ‘no name consultations’. The use of SAFER will ensure a uniform approach to communicating the level of risk to a child/children.

Please note that some of these resources are available to iHV members only.

If you’re not a member, please join us to get access to all of our resources.

The iHV is a self-funding charity – we can only be successful in our mission to strengthen health visiting practice if the health visiting profession and its supporters join us on our journey. We rely on our membership to develop new resources for our members.

So do join us now!

button small_200

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) are highlighting the need for domestic violence and abuse (DVA) to be treated as a public health priority, at a conference on the issue being held today (Thursday 15 September 2016). The call comes as a survey of health visitors by the iHV reveals that more than two in five (42%) think services to support families affected by DVA in their area have got worse in the past two years, with less than a third (32%) say they had not got worse.

The iHV survey of health visitors in England also found:

  • Almost half (47%) of health visitors believe a challenged couple relationship between parents is impacting on their children in more than one in five (20%) of the families they work with.
  • Almost two thirds (62%) of health visitors say the families they work with affected by DVA are not empowered to do anything about the situation.

With the country having recently been gripped by the story of Helen Titchener in BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers, awareness of DVA in the UK is at an all-time high. Today’s conference will help policy makers and health professionals do more to support affected families and reduce the associated health and wellbeing risks for children.

If you couldn’t make the conference, follow the day’s proceedings on Twitter by using the hashtag #DVAconf16

The iHV and RSPH are delighted to announce a new one day conference on domestic violence and abuse – Domestic abuse – a public health priority for babies, children and families.

This conference will take place on Thursday 15 September 2016 at 28 Portland Place, London, W1B 1LY.

This conference will consider the latest evidence of the public health consequences from domestic violence and abuse and how intervening early can reduce risks to children’s health and social outcomes, and the burden of safeguarding work.

Domestic violence and abuse affects not only adults but also their children and has consequences for the community and for society. Reducing its effects and reach should be a major public health priority.

The conference will examine this hidden epidemic and consider the evidence for how it can be identified early, and who should be doing what to reduce its negative consequences.

Who should attend?

The programme is designed to be of value to policy makers, directors of public health, health visitors, GPs, midwives, local authority children’s service staff, those working in mental health and those commissioning these services.

Fees (no VAT payable)

  • RSPH/iHV Members £135 (early bird £115)
  • Public sector and charities £175 (early bird £150)
  • Private sector (Non-Members) £235 (early bird £211)

Book before 15 August 15 2016 to get early bird rates on all fees.  Places are limited and on a first come, first served basis.

For any enquries please call Jess Davies on 020 7265 7314 or email [email protected]

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) welcomes the publication of the NICE domestic violence and abuse quality standard (QS116), published today.

At least 1.4 million women and 700,000 men aged between 16 and 59 experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales in 2013/14 – 8.5% of women and 4.5% of men, according to the Office for National Statistics (2015) Crime Survey England and Wales, 2013–14.   Another survey conducted on behalf of the Home Office states that at least 29.9% of women and 17.0% of men in England and Wales have experienced domestic abuse at some time.

Dr Cheryll Adams, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Visiting, said:

“We know that domestic violence can be a significant factor in mental illness and that, even if perpetrated just against the mother, her children will suffer consequences too.  Having a quality standard to audit local services against will be very helpful.”

Dr Adams continued:

“I hope that investment into training for all those working with young families, when domestic violence and abuse might most easily be identified, will follow.  The iHV trained over 300 health visitors in domestic violence and abuse during 2014, with their training then being cascaded to colleagues. This was really welcomed by health visitors.”

We are pleased to announce that NICE’s Public Health Programme Guidance on Domestic violence and abuse – how services can respond effectively (PH50) has been published today, 26th February 2014.