In March 2022, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a new comprehensive quality standard designed to improve the diagnosis and assessment of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). The NICE guidance says midwives and other healthcare professionals (including health visitors) should give clear and consistent advice on avoiding alcohol throughout pregnancy, and explain the benefits of this, including preventing FASD and reducing the risks of low birth weight, preterm birth and the baby being small for gestational age.

The NICE quality standard highlights five key areas for improvement:

  • Pregnant women are given advice throughout pregnancy not to drink alcohol.
  • Pregnant women are asked about their alcohol use throughout their pregnancy, and this is recorded.
  • Children and young people with probable prenatal alcohol exposure and significant physical, developmental, or behavioural difficulties are referred for assessment.
  • Children and young people with confirmed prenatal alcohol exposure or all 3 facial features associated with prenatal alcohol exposure have a neurodevelopmental assessment if there are clinical concerns.
  • Children and young people with a diagnosis of FASD have a management plan to address their needs.

Updated GPPs

As a result, we have updated two Good Practice Points (GPPs) which now include links to the recently published NICE guidance:


Please note that GPPs 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!

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Our 6th iHV Insights webinar for iHV members takes place on Thursday 28 January 2021 3:30 to 4:30pm.

In support of #DryJanuary, this iHV Insights will cover the topic of: “Improving support for children with parents who are dependent on alcohol”. The consequences of growing up in a household where a parent is dependent on alcohol can be long lasting if left unaddressed. This session will provide an overview of the current evidence, as well as practical tips on ways that health visitors can improve the early identification and support for these children and families.

We are pleased to announce that our expert panel of speakers includes:

  • Patrick Myers, Senior Ambassador, Reducing Parental Conflict Team, Department for Work & Pensions
  • Dr Jo Lacey PhD FiHV, Subject expert in reducing alcohol harm and the delivery of alcohol brief interventions
  • Annie Clarke, HIA Specialist Health Visitor- Substance Misuse, Division for Children’s Services, Diagnostics & Outpatients, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

The webinar will also be recorded and will be available to iHV members on our website after the event, together with a FAQ sheet should we have a high number of questions.

Please join us.

How to book for iHV members

Go to our EventBrite booking page and please use your iHV membership number as your access code. If you have any problems or enquiries please email [email protected] and we will be happy to help.

Once you have submitted your details, you will be able to select your ticket and proceed to checkout – please note that this webinar is free to iHV members.

Previous iHV Insights

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

Click here to catch up on our 5 fabulous iHV Insights sessions so far.

During Dry January, the iHV is delighted to share two updated Good Practice Points (providing up-to-date evidence and references for our members) to reduce alcohol-related harm:

  • GPP – Reducing alcohol harm: Early intervention and prevention
    • Health visitors are well-placed to offer early intervention and support to reduce alcohol-related harm, and ideally placed to have meaningful conversations with parents about their level of alcohol use.
  • GPP – Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
    • Health visitors can be influential in changing drinking behaviour and in helping to reduce the incidence of alcohol-exposed pregnancies.

The launch of these GPPs coincides with Dry January which is the UK’s one-month booze-free challenge that helps millions reset their relationship with alcohol every year.

Please note that these GPPs are available to iHV members only. If you are not a member, please join us to gain access to all our resources.

Voices blog

In support of these updated GPPs and Dry January, we are delighted to share a Voices blog to support health visitors’ important work to reduce alcohol-related harm:

We are delighted to publish these Good Practice Points support health visitors working with families where a baby or young child may be at risk of harm from a dog.

Approximately 40% of households in the UK have pets (Pet Food Manufacturers Association, 2016). Working animals and livestock animals may also play an important role in many families. The most popular household animals are dogs and cats but people also keep more exotic creatures such as snakes and tree frogs.

Interaction with animals can have developmental and therapeutic benefits for children. However, interaction can also result in harm. For example, cat faeces can contain a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis infection, which can cause miscarriage or stillbirth in some pregnant women. A specific risk of harm to babies and children is from dog bites.


Please note that this GPP is 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!

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