iHV welcomes yesterday’s publication of PHE guidance on Care continuity between midwifery and health visiting services: principles for practice.

The PHE guidance document is designed to act as a tool to support local practice implementation and improvements in the care continuity between midwifery and health visiting services. It was developed based on a literature search of current research, an examination of current UK guidance and policy and interviewing midwives and health visitors working in Local Maternity Systems. The document provides evidence and practice examples to consider when improving quality of care through effective transition of information and collaborative practice between midwifery and health visiting services.

Alison Morton, Executive Director at the Institute of Health Visiting, commented:

“We support and welcome this new guidance from Public Health England on the care continuity between midwifery and health visiting.

“We know from our iHV annual surveys that continuity of care and building trusting relationships with parents is critical for delivering good support in the first 1001 days. Improving the quality of care for parents and their babies throughout their maternity journey, through the effective sharing of information and collaborative practice between midwifery and health visiting services, will help ensure that consistent and evidence-based information is given. Continuity of care, as well as continuity of carer (they are not the same thing), between midwifery and health visiting is crucial to ensure that health visitors provide safe and personalised care – tailored to each family’s individual needs.”

Clare Livingstone, Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said:

“This will be a valuable resource for midwives and health visitors in facilitating women to have the smoothest possible journey throughout and beyond their pregnancy. The point at which women’s care is transferred from midwives to health visitors, at around 10-14 days after the birth, is a critical point in that journey. This toolkit will support a better and more efficient handover of care, joining up the two services and ensuring care continuity for women and their babies.”

Today’s #HVWeek topic: Transition: Midwife to Health Visitor, Health Visitor to School Nurse. Now that we are more reliant on electronic communication how effective are these key service handovers. What do you do to facilitate them?

Welcome to Day 5 of national #HVweek

Hard to believe, but it is already Day 5 and the end of the national #HVweek for this year!

It has been a fabulous opportunity to hear from you and see you in action. What you have shared continues to demonstrate the variety, complexity and added value of the work of health visitors nationally.

Don’t stop yet – we are keen to extend the reach of last year’s #HVweek, so please continue to tweet and retweet and send us your final contributions for this excellent #HVweek17.

In turn, we will retweet and share as many of them as we are able – to demonstrate the tremendous energy and significant work of a fabulous profession from across all UK regions. Let us all continue to be #ProudtobeaHV.

Here’s a video of Professor Dame Sarah Cowley on the value of the health visiting service – explaining the unique contribution of health visiting and how to market health visiting to other agencies.

Transitions and electronic communication

It is the Institute’s core mission to strengthen the profession by promoting excellence in health visiting practice. To do this we collaborate and work in partnership in many different ways. Our resources are just one example; produced with subject experts and key individuals who can support us to support you.

Whilst we prioritise meeting face-to-face with many of these partners and having a presence where needed, we also increasingly use technology to work remotely and meet virtually. Our use of electronic communication mirrors the increasing reliance on electronic communication in clinical practice, and our collaboration and partnerships also reflect those sound inter-disciplinary relationships that underpin good transitions between Midwife and Health Visitor, and Health Visitor and School Nurse – with the resulting better outcomes for children, families and communities.

For our contribution today, we are continuing to highlight some of the resources and materials we have produced with the aim of promoting those that align with today’s theme. Do take a look in case you missed any when we originally published them.

Midwife to Health Visitor

We have an insightful statement written by researchers at City University (Dr Ellinor Olander, Ryc Aquino and Professor Ros Bryar – COPE Research team) on electronic communication as part of their original research programme incorporating Midwife and Health Visitor collaborative relationships – with links to their published work. Do take time out to have a look at their work and tweet them.

Health Visitor to School Nurse

PHE Updated 4-5-6 integrated infographic for health visiting and school nursing

In November 2016, Public Health England (PHE) published a new integrated 4-5-6 model for health visitors and school nurses.

PHE – Refreshed High Impact Areas 0-19

This cover refreshed High Impact Areas for early years (health visiting) and the High Impact Areas for school aged years (school nursing).

These documents support local authorities and providers in commissioning and delivering children’s public health services aged 0 to 19 years.  They are mainly intended for use by commissioners of health visiting and school nursing, and local authorities, to ensure that health visiting and school nursing services are commissioned effectively.

These documents identify 6 areas where health visitors have the highest impact on the health and wellbeing of children aged 0 to 5 years and a further 6 areas for school aged children from 5 to 19 years.

Some useful blogs previously published:


Resilience relates to the ability to recover and bounce back from adversity and hardship. Resilient individuals demonstrate great flexibility, high energy levels, first rate mental agility and consequently can consistently perform at their highest level. They have strong relationships and robust support networks that help them to amplify their productivity and results.  As health visitors, we need to be resilient!  Below are some resources to help you:

  • helps health visitors to build their own emotional health and stay resilient in what are often challenging and complex work environments. Click your way through the tree to find the answers you need.
  • Based on the iHV’s Developing Resilience with Compassion training, this e-learning helps health visitors to update their knowledge and skills for developing resilience with compassion in practice.


Please note that some of these resources are available to iHV members only.

Many of the products highlighted will be those that are freely accessible on our website to non-members. However, as a not-for-profit organisation we are reliant on our members to contribute and to support us in our journey supporting you.

Remember, if you do like what you see and you would like to access the full range of resources you can join us as an Associate member or Friend for just £6.50 a month. Your subscriptions for professional membership will attract tax relief as the iHV is now HMRC approved. As a basic rate tax payer, this could mean relief of over £15 a year on your annual subscription.

So do join us now!

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The National Maternity Review Report, published today, sets out to improve maternity services across the country for women, their babies and families.

Dr Cheryll Adams, Executive Director of the iHV, said:

“We welcome the report and the improvements it will bring to maternity services.  We are particularly pleased at the attention given to  the need for closer working and improved training, communication and transitions between the team around the mother including with health visitors and for enhanced postnatal care. Where community midwives have been able to be based in children’s centres with health visitors, they find together these professionals can be very responsive to mothers’ needs so it is helpful to see this model being endorsed.”

The National Maternity Review report finds that despite the increases in the number of births and the increasing complexity of cases, the quality and outcomes of maternity services have improved significantly over the last decade.

  • The stillbirth and neonatal mortality rate in England fell by over 20% in the ten years from 2003 to 2013.
  • Maternal mortality in the UK has reduced from 14 deaths per 100,000 maternities in 2003/05 to 9 deaths per 100,000 maternities in 2011/13.
  • The conception rate for women aged under 18 in England, a key indicator of the life chances of our future generations, reduced by almost half, between 1998 and 2013.

However, the review also found meaningful differences across the country, and further opportunities to improve the safety of care and reduce still births.

Prevention and public health have an important role to play, as smoking is still the single biggest identifiable risk factor for poor birth outcomes. Obesity among women of reproductive age is increasingly linked to risk of complications during pregnancy and health problems of the child.

The framework highlights seven key priorities to drive improvement and ensure women and babies receive excellent care wherever they live.