Dr Cheryll Adams CBE steps back nine years after founding the Institute of Health Visiting

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Founding Director of the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), retires today after 40 years working in the health visiting profession.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Founding Director at the Institute of Health Visiting


Dr Adams spent three decades working as a health visitor and in research and policy, before launching the Institute in 2012. She established the Institute of Health Visiting with three academic colleagues, with a vision to improve the research base for the health visiting profession – and to promote the value of health visiting for improving children’s lives.

Since its launch in 2012, the Institute has enjoyed many successes, including developing a portfolio of highly respected, award-winning evidence-based training programmes; hosting regular conferences; producing many new products and publications to support the health visiting profession, as well as practice development resources; and, of particular note, are its academic programmes focused on perinatal and infant mental health, language development, nutrition, and leadership.

Entirely self-funded since day one, the Institute has become a respected and valued voice nationally for health visiting, as well as for babies and young families. The iHV’s reach is now both UK-wide and global, enjoying a wide range of effective partnerships across the sector.

Commenting on her retirement, Dr Adams said:

“I am very proud of all that we have achieved with the Institute over the past nine years. I am particularly pleased that so many health visitors have benefitted from our programmes. Starting out, many said that it was over-ambitious to set up a new professional body during a recession. Yet, with drive, determination and invaluable support, it worked out and the Institute has now developed a firm foundation to take forward its many work streams and strengthen health visiting practice into the future.

“’The health visiting role is such an important one. It literally changes the life course of many infants and their families. As such, with proper investment, health visiting has the power to ultimately change society for the better.”

Dr Adams added:

“Following the launch of the Leadsom Early Years Healthy Development Review last week, I feel confident that we will soon have a new policy platform from which to deliver desperately-needed investment into health visiting. The iHV will work closely with government to ensure that this happens, under the very able leadership of the Institute’s acting Executive Director, Alison Morton.

“Although I am retiring today, I will stay close to the work of the Institute, providing on-going advice as needed. I look forward to watching the Institute move forwards into its next exciting stage of development.”

Pamela Goldberg OBE, Chair of the iHV’s Board of Trustees, said:

“The Institute of Health Visiting, health visitors, and families across the UK owe a huge debt to Cheryll for the inspiration she has provided through her establishment of the Institute. She leaves it today in a stable position and in very capable hands. We wish her every enjoyment in her new chapter.”