A team from the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (SHFT) have been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent charity, to be part of the latest round of its Advancing Applied Analytics programme.






The programme aims to improve analytical capability in support of health and care services. In this fourth round of the programme, the Health Foundation is providing funding to 10 teams in the UK that are working on innovative projects that demonstrate the value of improving analytical capability in health and care.

For the first time, this round of the programme will be supported by NHSX, which is driving digital, analytical and tech maturity in local NHS organisations. NHSX will provide support to the project teams to help them deliver sustained improvement and spread innovation across health and social care.

Each project will run for up to 15 months and will start by September 2020.

The project from the iHV aims to improve analytical capability by:

  1. Enabling a better understanding of challenges and opportunities within the field of health visiting analytics and greater clarity on user needs.
  2. Applying this learning to practice using rapid cycle improvement methodology within the SHFT pilot site to improve understanding of how analytical capability can be maximised locally and for wider system benefit. Specific focus will be given to improving data quality and analytics for “missing children” and those with additional needs.

Alison Morton, Director of Policy and Quality at the iHV said,

“The health visiting service provides a vital “safety net” for our most vulnerable children. As we look to the future, it is clear that the opportunities afforded by data and analytics will be important enablers for this work. This study aims to improve analytical capability in health visiting to “move beyond bean counting”, exploring ways to use data as an enabler of clinical practice and service transformation. We are delighted to be working with leaders in the field of applied analytics at the Health Foundation and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust on this important project”.

Sharon Hargreaves, Chief Clinical Information Officer at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, commented:

“I am really excited that the Health Foundation has given us the opportunity within this project to explore how we can engage clinicians in working more closely with technology, to develop analytical tools and easy-to-use dashboards that will help drive quality improvements to deliver more effective care to the children and families within Hampshire.”

Ginny Taylor, Deputy Director Operations Children and Family Services at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, added:

“This is a very challenging time for health visiting and our families.  This project will support our efforts to ensure that we really focus on those that need our help most by helping practitioners use data to inform decision-making and assessment.”

The iHV is delighted to be partnering with The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) to tackle the serious consequences of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), as part of the Health Foundation’s programme on the social determinants of health.

This project will bring together key partners – including the police, public health professionals, healthcare professionals and children’s social services – to inform the development of resources on what good practice looks like, share and build on the work already underway in Scotland and Wales, and encourage more collaborative working on ACEs locally.

It is estimated that 50% of the UK population experience at least once ACE. Experiences such as physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence or parental separation can have a negative impact on a child’s mental health, physical health, education outcomes, future employment and involvement in crime.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, said:

“Health visitors visit every family with a new baby giving them a unique opportunity to recognise and support parents, who may be taking the trauma of ACEs experienced as children, into their new role as a parent. We know that ACEs can affect how parents respond to their own children but, also that with the right training and a trusting relationship, health visitors can help these parents to manage this early trauma either through direct work, or by referring them onto other local partners, thereby helping to reduce the risk of ACEs for the next generation.”

ADPH Chief Executive, Nicola Close said:

“We know the impact of ACEs can be severe and long term, which is why they are increasingly recognised as being an important social determinant of health. No single agency or organisation can provide the solution – a whole system approach should be adopted which requires engagement from services across the life course. This funding will help us work with local partners to scale up approaches to tackling ACEs and push forward the case for national action.”