The iHV is delighted to have been commissioned by the HEE London SCPHN Project to kick-start the development of a Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (SCPHN) recruitment pathway. This is the beginning of the Capital Nurse Programme for health visiting and school nursing services in London. The project will address the recruitment challenges of SCPHN training and inform a strengthened pathway to support nurses who are interested in becoming a SCPHN in London.


The latest national data in England show that health visitor workforce numbers in England have dropped by almost 40% since 2015. It is estimated that school nursing has also lost a similar proportion of its workforce. London has been one of the hardest hit areas and services are struggling to fill significant gaps in their SCPHN posts. Across London, services have also reported that they are struggling to recruit to student SCPHN places, which is exacerbating the problem.

How can I help?

If you are working in London and are:

  • a SCPHN HEI (university) programme lead
  • a SCPHN provider lead (including SCPHN practice educators/assessors/supervisors)
  • a student SCPHN health visitor/school nurse

Then we would love to hear from you!

You can help by completing our short survey. We are also looking for volunteers to join one of our focus groups . Places are filling up fast for our focus groups, so don’t delay – contact us today!

Dates available for focus groups:

  • Fri 17/2/23 9:30am – 10:30am (Student HV/SN)
  • Tue 21/2/23 9:30am – 10:30am (HEI leads and provider leads)
  • Mon 27/2/23 9:30am – 10:30am (HEI leads and provider leads)

*Please note we are also holding 1:1 Interviews but these are now fully booked. If you would like to be added to a waiting list should a place become available – let us know.

For information about this project or to register for a focus group, please email [email protected] and [email protected].

Your knowledge and experience really matter!

If you are unable to attend a focus group, don’t worry, you can still have your say through completing one of our surveys:

  • Survey 1: HEI and provider leads
  • Survey 2: Student SCPHN health visitors/school nurses

All answers are anonymous, and findings will be presented as aggregate data, so you can be honest about how things really are. Tell us what’s working well and what the challenges are that need to be addressed.

How do I complete a survey?

Please email [email protected] advising of your role and where you work and request a link for the survey. Please share the link for the survey with your colleagues in London who are:

  • HEI SCPHN programme leads
  • Provider leads
  • Student SCPHN health visitors/school nurses

What will be the key outputs of the project?

The key findings will be presented in a report with infographics highlighting key themes and recommendations for practice and the current pathway on how nurses find out about becoming a SCPHN in London.

We know that London is not isolated with the challenges they face, so our findings will be published and made available to other areas across the UK who will benefit from the shared learning of this project.

What are the benefits of being part of this project?

  • The study aims to add to the current knowledge on student SCPHN (HV/SN) recruitment – you may experience some benefits from the questioning and reflection, knowing that this is adding to the body of knowledge in London and may have wider system impact across the country.
  • Participating in a pan-London project which you can add to your personal CV and use for NMC revalidation.
  • The iHV will send all focus group and 1:1 interview participants an electronic certificate of participation. This will include a short statement of your contribution to this project.
  • All participants will be entered into a prize draw with the opportunity to win a free ticket to attend one of our prestigious iHV conferences.

We would like to say a huge thank you to those of you who have already responded to our call for help with this project. Please carry on spreading the word with your colleagues!

Together we can help create a clearer pathway and build a sustainable SCPHN workforce for London!


A really successful HV Research Champions networking event for London was held yesterday.

Three pan-London Research Champions held the event to raise awareness about the importance of research and research opportunities available to health visitors.

Thirty health visitors attended and the three research champions had organised the event so that they could raise awareness about research, the NIHR and their posts. It went really well, and they were very pleased with the event.

Very exciting new global development!

Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced that the UK will host the first ever Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit in London this October.

The summit will aim to help countries work together to increase the evidence for different treatments, and to ensure healthcare systems around the world value mental health as much as physical health.

Ministers, leading academics, policy makers and patients from more than 30 countries will be invited to attend.

The iHV is delighted to have been invited as a panel guest to attend today’s London Assembly Health Committee which is currently investigating healthy early years in London.  Dr Robert Nettleton, iHV’s Education Advisor, attended to represent the impact and role of health visiting in the early years.

Dr Robert Nettleton, iHV Education Adviser, at the London Assembly health Committee

Dr Robert Nettleton, iHV Education Advisor, at the London Assembly Health Committee

The Health Committee reviews health and wellbeing across London, with a particular focus on public health issues and reviewing progress of the Mayor’s Health Inequalities Strategy.

In the draft Health Inequalities Strategy, the Mayor outlines two key aims around healthy early years:

  • The first is for London’s babies to have the best start to life. This ranges from supporting expectant parents through pregnancy, breastfeeding and vaccinations and their general understanding of child development.
  • The Mayor’s second aim is for early years settings and schools to support children and young people’s health and wellbeing. To support this aim, the Mayor is piloting a new Healthy Early Years Awards programme, which is an extension of the Mayors Healthy Schools programme.

Within London there are variations in breastfeeding rates. Women from black ethnic backgrounds and mothers born outside of the UK are significantly more likely to breastfeed despite many living in deprived circumstances.

The London Assembly Health Committee is investigating healthy early years and how we can give children in London the healthiest start to life.

  • Breastfeeding rates are lower in London than England as a whole
  • 9 in 10 children aged 2-4 years do not meet recommended levels of physical activity
  • 105 per 10,000 0-4 year olds per year were admitted to hospital with unintentional or deliberate injuries [1]
  • London has a slightly higher average of low birthweight than England as a whole (7.1 per cent and 6.8 per cent respectively).
  • Children in London are least likely to receive the required number of health visits.[2] Recent surveys have highlighted increased workloads for public health nurses.

The following guests attended the Health Committee to answer questions:

  • Dr Robert Nettleton, Education Advisor, Institute of Health Visiting
  • Emily Arkell, Head of Health Policy, RCPCH
  • George Hosking OBE, Founder, CEO and Research Co-ordinator, Wave Trust
  • Geraldine Butler, Locality Manager West Haringey Health Visiting Service, Hornsey Central Health Central
  • Kim Roberts, Chief Executive, HENRY
  • Shabira Papain, Deputy CEO, Best Beginnings

The meeting took place today, Thursday 11 January, in the Chamber at City Hall – details here


The Curriers’ Company Millennium Healthcare Bursary is a funding opportunity for established primary healthcare professionals to undertake research or further professional study.

The Bursary provides an opportunity for established primary healthcare professionals to enhance the healthcare of disadvantaged individuals and families in Inner London. It can:

  • Provide funding for either, small research projects or further personal development.
  • Support a pilot study, prior to a more definitive research project, by providing protected time for the researcher or short‐term funding for a research assistant.
  • Fund further training or study likely to benefit the applicant’s patients. Examples might include a Master’s or Doctorate in Primary Care, relevant clinical training or other recognised postgraduate and post‐qualification courses.

The following are all examples of projects funded by the Curriers’ Company Healthcare Bursary ‐ a funding opportunity for primary healthcare professionals to improve the delivery of healthcare to the disadvantaged communities of Inner London:

  • A holistic approach to the referral of refugees with mental health problems.
  • Improvement in the delivery of treatment for TB amongst the homeless.
  • A study of language skills of multi‐ethnic children in East London.
  • Improving primary care workers’ responses to Intimate Partner Violence.
  • Antenatal care for traveller women settled in Hackney.
  • An audit of mental health issues amongst South Asian women in Tower Hamlets.
  • A series of training courses in palliative care for hospice and community care workers.

The Curriers’ Company, one of the ​1​10 Livery Companies of the City of London, marked the beginning of the 21st Century in a number of ways, one of which was to establish a Bursary for primary healthcare professionals to enhance the health care of families and children in Inner London who, through socio-economic deprivation or other adverse social factors, are at increased risk of physical and psychological illness. The Bursary provides funding for pilot research projects and professional development training courses. Applications are welcomed from any qualified practitioner in Primary Healthcare.

Completed applications are required not later than noon on 31 March 2017.
Interviews of short-listed applicants will be held on Thursday, 22nd May 2017 in the City of London. will give prospective applicants all they need to submit an application.

London Perinatal Mental Health Network

London Perinatal Mental Health Network

We are thrilled to announce the continuation of our fantastic partnership working with the London Perinatal Mental Health Network.

Following on from our earlier pilot training programme for 22 champions during early 2015 in the London Boroughs of Barnet, Enfield and Haringey, this week sees the start of the roll-out of a further 68 Multi-agency Perinatal Mental Health Champions receiving training provided by the Institute of Health Visiting, with practitioners drawn from both maternity and multi-agency backgrounds.

Jo Maitland, London Perinatal Mental Health Network Coordinator, and her team have recruited over 40 new multi-agency participants and more than 20 participants from maternity backgrounds as Perinatal Champions for this new training commission.

Throughout October, we will be delivering three two-day training events of our newly-updated Multi-agency Perinatal Mental Health Champions training programme. The programme has been designed to equip champions to provide awareness training, cascading information in pairs to cohorts of multi-agency colleagues via a flexible onward-cascade of half and one day awareness training sessions as part of the network’s wider plan.

This will help ensure that all practitioners involved in the care of women during the perinatal period have the skills and knowledge to recognise, detect and support perinatal mental health problems, in recognition that multi-agency working is central to providing coordinated care during the perinatal period and is crucial to better outcomes for women and their families.

The London Perinatal Mental Health Network’s objective for their Champions mirrors the Institute of Health Visiting’s own aim in the development of the role, that Perinatal Mental Health Champions are:

  • ambassadors for perinatal mental health within their local area;
  • involved in developing integrated perinatal mental health care pathways;
  • act as a central resource to colleagues;
  • empower colleagues to raise parity of esteem for perinatal mental health;
  • and promote evidence-based practice at all levels.

The training has been funded by Health Education North Central East London (HENCEL), which covers 12 Boroughs.

For more information on our Perinatal Mental Health training programmes and options for bespoke training please contact: [email protected] or phone Philippa Bishop – iHV Training Programme Manager on: 07539 117775.