COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and iHV Evidence-based Practice Conference 2020

We’re very sorry to announce that our annual Evidence-based Practice Conference “Creating Healthy Children, 2020 and beyond”, which was scheduled to take place on 12-13 May 2020 in Manchester, will now be postponed in light of public health concerns caused by COVID-19.

We are very disappointed that we will be unable to showcase the latest research and practice developments in health visiting as planned – we had a fantastic line-up of speakers, poster presentations and exhibitors as part of the global celebration of Florence 2020.

We would like to thank everyone who had committed to join us at the conference and hope to be in a position to announce alternative arrangements in the near future – please keep a close eye on our website and social media channels for further information.

iHV Evidence-based conference: Creating healthy children: 2020 and beyond

12 and 13 May 2020, Manchester

The iHV is delighted to offer you the opportunity to present your practice development or research at our latest evidence-based conference – Creating healthy children: 2020 and beyond.

This 2-day conference is being held on 12 and 13 May 2020 in Manchester. International delegates will be made very welcome.

Our conference programme brings together local, national and international speakers focused on sharing best practice examples and research to improve health visiting practice for babies, children and families. The presentations and workshops will reflect the breadth of health visiting practice and service development reflected primarily in the 15 High Impact Areas and 8 Key Principles set out in our recently published “Vision for the Future”.

The conference will also coincide with the 2020 anniversary celebrations of Florence Nightingale’s birth and we are keen to incorporate advances in public health nursing in recognition of Florence’s founding role in this field of nursing.

Abstract topics

Abstracts should be centred on public health, families, health visiting and relationships and aim to address at least one of the key elements of excellence in practice: personalised, collaborative, effective, evidence-driven, responsive, accessible, fairer and professional autonomy.

Abstracts will be considered on the following areas:

  1. Transition to parenthood, including preconception care
  2. Breastfeeding
  3. Perinatal mental health (mothers, fathers and partners)
  4. Infant and child mental health
  5. Healthy nutrition, physical activity and healthy weight
  6. Managing minor illnesses, building health literacy and prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  7. Reducing unintentional injuries
  8. The uptake of immunisations
  9. Primary prevention and health promotion in oral health
  10. Child development 0-5 years, including speech, language and communication and school readiness
  11. Sleep
  12. Children with developmental disorders, disabilities and complex health needs
  13. Tobacco, alcohol and substance misuse in the perinatal period
  14. Healthy couple relationships
  15. Teenage parenthood

Abstract Submission and Timeline

Abstract format:

  • The abstract should be no more than 300 words and provide an overview of your practice development or research, clearly indicating the impact on health visiting practice.
  • Please structure your abstract as follows:
    • aim
    • objectives
    • method
    • results
    • conclusion
    • recommendations
  • Also, please tell us whether you would like to present this as an oral presentation or e-poster.
  • Please submit your abstract as a Microsoft Word document to [email protected]

Abstract Timeline:

  • The abstract submission deadline is 17 February 2020.
  • After an iHV peer-review process, participants will be informed of acceptance of abstracts for either oral presentation or a poster by 9 March 2020.

Full guidance on the e-poster and oral presentation delivery format will be provided if your abstract is successful.

Update – 20 January 2020 – Bookings now open!

It is important that you book to secure your conference place on or before accepting your offer to present and at the latest by 1 April 2020.

Earlybird tickets (for iHV members and non-members) are available until 20 March 2020, so please book early to secure your ticket at this highly popular event! Limited student places also available. 

Please book early to secure these great discounts and avoid disappointment. 

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) calls for Evidence from GPs and Paediatricians on how reductions in health visiting numbers since 2015 is affecting their workloads and patients.

The iHV is asking for GPs and Paediatricians to contact them with personal evidence of how the reductions in health visitor numbers since 2015 have affected their workloads and patients.

2015 was when commissioning of health visiting was moved to local authorities, accompanied by significant cuts to the public health budgets.

GPs and Paediatricians, please email your feedback to [email protected] 


Wow – what an amazing and packed day we had yesterday at the iHV Evidence-based Practice Conference 2019: Health for All Children Now. Sold out a few weeks ago, we had a full house – 300 people including delegates, exhibitors and speakers!

Held on Thursday 9 May 2019 at King’s House Conference Centre, Manchester, it was the must-attend event in 2019 for those interested in evidence-based infant and family public health and health visiting to come together to hear the latest guidance and recommendations included in the newly-published fifth edition of Health for All Children.

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

Photos of the conference

We have made a short video of some of the photos taken during the conference:

Tweets from #iHVConf19

For those of you who could not either join us yesterday or could not follow the #iHVConf19 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.



Following the collation of evidence for their Evidence-based early-years intervention inquiry , the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has published their report and is calling on the Government to draw up a new national strategy for early intervention approaches to address childhood adversity and trauma.

The Evidence-based early years intervention Report urges the Government to capitalise fully on the opportunity that early intervention provides to transform the lives of those who suffer adversity in childhood, while also saving long-term costs to Government.

This is a very important and hugely interesting report which includes the call for secure funding for early interventions and also cites the Institute in one of the recommendations:

Recommendation 9.

The Healthy Child Programme is the only mechanism in place through which all children in England should receive early years practitioner support before the age of five. Its coverage is therefore critical for identifying ACEs and other child development issues early. The Government should review the current provision of the
Healthy Child Programme across England and set out, as part of the new national strategy, a date for achieving complete coverage in the number of children who receive all five mandated health visits. Given existing workforce pressures, the Government must ensure that this required increase in coverage does not negatively impact the quality of health visits. It should consult the Institute of Health Visiting on how this can be managed, and be ready to recruit additional health visitors as required.
(Paragraph 54)

The Committee’s Report identifies examples of early intervention working well around the country, but also the challenges that local authorities and their partners currently face in delivering effective, evidence-based early intervention. It concludes that the overall provision of early intervention in England is fragmented, with varying levels of support, focus on evidence, and success.

The Committee calls for a new national strategy to be drawn up to ensure that the opportunity provided by early intervention—to transform lives and save long-term costs to Government—is seized fully, and by all local authorities in England.

Yesterday, 13 November 2018, Dr Cheryll Adams CBE joined a fantastic group of leaders from the sector to give oral evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee into the First 1000 Days inquiry.

There were lots of discussions about the important role that health visitors can play and also lots of support from others giving evidence to the committee – making the case for early intervention, prevention, relationships and  babies in the First 1000 days. But key was that as a society we need to value early childhood and encourage and support parents in their role.

Cheryll’s oral evidence starts from 15:46 on the link to Parliament TV.





This oral evidence session follows the submission of written evidence from iHV to the committee earlier this year and published on the inquiry website.




The Institute of Health Visiting welcomes Public Health England’s new Health Profile for England published on Tuesday 11 September.

This report summarises the health of people in England in 2018 and provides an update to the first Health Profile for England (published 2017). A new addition for this year’s report is the inclusion of forecast data for several key indicators, for the 5 years up to 2023 and a separate chapter on the health of children in the early years.

As a society, people are living longer but often in poorer health and stubborn inequalities persist. Good health is about much more than good healthcare – a high-quality education, a warm home, and a good job are just as important to a healthy standard of living.

The future trends, data and evidence contained in Health Profile for England will help shape the forthcoming NHS long term plan and its renewed focus on prevention as well as treatment.

The report covers life expectancy; major causes of death; mortality trends; child health; inequality in health; wider determinants of health; and health protection. The report also links to further PHE tools to allow local policymakers and commissioners to see how they compare with the national picture.

The Health Profile for England report’s 7 chapters are:

  1. Population change and life expectancy
  2. Trends in mortality
  3. Trends in morbidity and risk factors
  4. Health of children in the early years
  5. Inequality in health
  6. Wider determinants of health
  7. Current and emerging health protection issues


The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Media and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing has today (29 June 2018) launched an inquiry to establish what actions must be taken both to tackle the negative impacts of social media use, and to maximise the positives for young people.

The inquiry aims to build on the work of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH)’s 2017 report, #StatusOfMind, which found that although social media use has many potential positives for mental wellbeing, such as maintaining friendships and providing a source of emotional support, for young people the impact is primarily negative, fuelling feelings of anxiety, depression, and ‘fear of missing out’.

Polling conducted by RSPH in April 2018 on behalf of the new APPG found that more than half of the UK public (52%) say not enough is being done by social media companies to address the impact of social media on mental health and wellbeing, with two in five (41%) also saying the Government is not doing enough. Four in five (80%) say tighter regulation of social media companies is needed, with almost half (45%) saying this should be done through a self-regulated Code of Conduct, and more than one third (36%) saying it should be legally enforced by Government.

The APPG’s inquiry aims to determine what should be contained in any such Code of Conduct, and how it should be enforced. It will also seek out and recommend other progressive and practical solutions that can help maximise the positives and mitigate the negatives of social media for young people.

The inquiry will be open to receive written and recorded evidence until 13 August 2018, with a number of oral evidence sessions to be held in Parliament in the autumn. The APPG hopes to engage with expert stakeholders including academics, charities, government officials, social media industry representatives, parents and young people themselves, in order to answer four broad questions:

  1. What is the latest evidence of the impact of social media on mental health and wellbeing?
  2. What constitutes a ‘healthy’ and beneficial relationship with social media for young people?
  3. What should be done by government and by the social media industry to address these issues?
  4. What solutions can be provided in terms of technological innovation and education?

Organisations and individuals interested in submitting evidence to the inquiry should download the Call for Evidence from the APPG website at

iHV submitted evidence to the Science and Technology Committee for their Evidence-based Early-years Intervention and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) inquiry and this is now published on the inquiry website.  iHV highlighted the current challenges health visitors face in responding adequately to the needs of vulnerable children.

Thank you very much to all those who recently shared the status of practice where you work – we used some of this evidence in our submission to highlight the many challenges the profession is facing in delivering its work for children and families.  All quotes are anonymised for person and place so can’t be traced to any individual or area, but collectively they give a powerful message.

You may like to use some of the contents of our submission for local lobbying.

We’ve received some great abstracts already – why not send in an abstract yourself?

With only 5 days for you to submit your abstract, time is short!

Gain the opportunity to present your innovation, practice development or research at our evidence-based conference on 7 March 2018 in Manchester – with exciting prizes for best poster/presentation.

Abstract submission deadline is Wednesday 24 January – so don’t miss out!

With the conference focused on giving every child The Best Start in Life, abstracts will be considered on the following key areas:

  • Health visitor prescribing
  • Role of health visitors in immunisation
  • Childhood nutrition
  • Oral health and sugar reduction
  • Getting families active
  • Atopic conditions in early childhood
  • Early identification of childhood disorders
  • Speech, language and communication delay
  • Non-specific learning difficulties
  • Safeguarding for The Best Start in Life
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sleep
  • Working with couple relationships

Abstract Submission and Timeline

Please submit your abstract as a Microsoft Word document to [email protected].  The abstract should be no more than 250 words and provide an overview of your innovation, practice development or research, clearly indicating the impact on supporting “A Best Start in Life for all children.”

  • 24 January 2018 – Abstract submission deadline
  • 24 January – 7 February – iHV peer-review process on subsmissions
  • 7 February 2018 – participants informed of acceptance of abstracts for either oral poster presentation or a poster.  Full guidance on the poster format and oral presentation will be provided if your abstract is successful.

It is important that you book to secure your conference place on or before the final registration deadline for accepting your offer to present.

Earlybird tickets (for members and non-members) are available until 11 February 2018, so don’t miss them!