Yesterday, health visiting featured in an exclusive ITV news story about potentially unsafe baby products. ITV News completed an investigation which found that items being sold online may pose a risk to babies.

You can watch the news piece and read the online story with extended interviews here.

ITV Reporter Lauren Hall shows a selection of baby products to a panel of experts

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) supported ITV News with its investigation. We provided exclusive early access to data from our annual survey which highlighted health visitors’ concerns about the availability of these unsafe products in the UK. We asked health visitors across the country (n=1,186) to share their frontline practitioner intelligence on how widespread this problem is and their level of concern.  Our findings were shared in the news item yesterday, aired at 6pm on ITV News Regions across the country:

  • The majority of health visitors (88%) said they had come across parents using unsafe baby products.
  • Nearly all health visitors (97%) said they are concerned about the availability of these products in the UK.

Georgina Mayes, iHV Policy and Quality Lead, joined an expert panel with Jenny Ward, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust, and Katrina Phillips OBE, Chief Executive the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT). In the news piece, they aimed to raise awareness of potentially unsafe baby products and examined a range of products from sleep accessories to certain types of dummy clips and teethers. There were collective concerns from all panel members about the risks posed to babies from the products shared.

On reviewing the table of unsafe products, Katrina Phillips OBE, Chief Executive of CAPT described them as ‘potential tragedies waiting to happen’.

ITV News also shared Lisa Gee’s story. Lisa has been campaigning for ten years to raise awareness of the dangers of cot bumpers. Her son, Preston, tragically died when he was nine months old, linked to a baby cot bumper. Lisa shared how concerned she was by ITV’s findings which found that a range of products that are linked to increase risk of death and harm are still available to purchase in the UK. Lisa wants to prevent other families from facing similar tragedies and is keen to continue to raise awareness among parents.

The ITV News story was aired at a particularly important time of year, as many families are buying Christmas presents for their babies. These products may look appealing to families who are not aware that the dangers that they pose to babies. The news piece warns that positive reviews from consumers or promotion by celebrities does not mean that a product meets basic safety tests or is recommended to help create the safest sleep environment for a baby.

Following the ITV News investigation, two online marketplaces have now withdrawn items discussed during the panel but some of the other sellers and manufactures have chosen not to comment on ITV findings.

Katrina Phillips OBE, Chief Executive of CAPT, said:

“It’s hard enough being a new parent. Parents should be able to trust that the things they buy for their baby are safe – whether from sellers on online marketplaces or shops on their high street.

“In our recent research, three-quarters of parents thought that, if they were buying for their baby from an online marketplace, the product would have been fully tested and certified safe by an independent body before it could be sold online. That’s simply not the case.

“In reality, if an online seller is based overseas, and sells through an online platform, they can evade their safety responsibilities – even for nursery products for your baby. Check out our advice on how to choose safe sellers on online marketplaces.”

Jenny Ward, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust, said: 

“With so many baby sleep products on the market, it can be hard for parents to know which products are right for their baby. Not every baby sleep product sold conforms to safer sleep advice and it’s vital that parents know what to look for. We strongly recommend parents ensure that any product they buy complies with British Standards and that they carefully follow all instructions included with the product.

“When choosing sleep items for a baby there are just a few key essentials parents need. To help with this, we have put together a useful guide on how to choose the products or items your baby needs:”

Georgina Mayes, iHV Policy and Quality Lead, said:

“Parents just want to do the right thing for their baby. Clever online marketing and promotion of unsafe baby products, lures parents into a false sense of security, because the items are sold as ‘being able to make babies sleep better’. As an exhausted parent, who wouldn’t want their baby to sleep better? You can understand why parents buy these products.

“Our survey showed, when health visitors explain the risks posed to babies, parents are shocked that unsafe baby products are allowed to be sold online. Health visitors have a vital role in supporting families to access the right information on how to keep their baby safe. Just one conversation could prevent an accident or tragedy.”

Health visiting practitioners all play a crucial role in raising awareness of these potentially unsafe products and supporting parents through their work to reduce unintentional injuries. Please promote this story and the guidance on child safety through your networks.

For further advice and guidance on baby and child safety, visit:

We would like to say a huge heart felt thank you to all the health visitors, practitioners and families who shared their experiences so generously and enabled on location filming of this very important news story. We are particularly indebted to Lisa Gee who bravely shared her tragic personal story about her son Preston, in the hope that this will prevent further tragedies.

With special thanks to Jenny Ward, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust, and Katrina Phillips OBE, Chief Executive of CAPT, for their support and expert guidance with this news story.


The iHV provides multi-agency training programmes (not just for health visitors) which are highly acclaimed and well-evaluated, with an established reputation for our training, particularly in the field of perinatal mental health.

We are looking to extend our administrative capacity with this brand-new role designed specifically to provide high quality technical support and online meeting platform expertise, so that our specialist trainers can continue to focus on the delivery of the content of our training programmes. You will be a key part of the administration team, providing much needed support to a very busy training programme. As the host for our commissioned events you will be representing the organisation in this important area of our work, so we are looking for someone who enjoys being public facing.

We require someone to work 24-hours per week – typically across three days.  You will need to be a little flexible in your hours to meet the demands of our current training dates.  Your working hours for training dates will be 8:00am to 4:30pm.

Your key area of responsibility will be to set up and participate in virtual training (and practice) events using agreed settings on agreed online platforms for set commissioned dates.  Supporting these events will typically include:

  • Admitting and welcoming participants and keeping records of attendance
  • Communicating well with participants with access issues at start, and with any issues throughout the day
  • Supporting the trainers by seeking solutions and problem-solving technical glitches that arise calmly and efficiently
  • Creating breakout rooms and managing attendees transfer to those breakout facilities (where available)
  • Sharing PowerPoint presentations on screen for the trainers and stopping presentations at key points
  • Playing films at key points

You will need to take a proactive approach to ensure you remain up to date with Zoom and MS Teams programme changes and improvements, and reflect this in written and verbal communications both internally and externally.

You will be confident in hosting online events – welcoming and engaging with our delegates whilst able to remain calm under pressure in the event of technical difficulties.  You will largely be working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic but will have some days in the Emsworth office so you can benefit from being part of our wonderful office team.

Applications close: Friday 4 December 2020

Interviews:  Thursday  10 December 2020 and will take place online

The QNI has launched a new online learning resource to improve nursing care for young people who are in the ‘transition’ process from children’s services to adult community services.

The learning resource can be viewed here: . It includes a short video recording the views of young people in transition and of practitioners working in the field.

The resource is a key outcome of a two year project, led by Queen’s Nurse Dr Candice Pellett OBE.

Candice commented:

“Young people who are born with, or who have been diagnosed with a long term health condition during childhood, are supported by dedicated children’s services, working with their parent(s) or guardian(s). Once people reach young adulthood, they normally need to transition to adult health services. This process can be stressful and confusing for young people and their families, if for example there are gaps in communication or lack of joined up working. This can lead to gaps in care delivery and adverse health impacts.

“The new resource has been developed following an in depth consultation process with nurses, educators, young people and parents. The resource is designed to help nurses understand the issues that young people (and their families) face, improving practice in this key area and the experience of young patients.”

To produce the resource, the QNI held ten focus groups in different parts of the country and conducted three online surveys, as well as undertaking wider stakeholder involvement. In all, the views of around 900 people were used to inform the resource.

The QNI also carried out a review of academic literature in this area, which is also available on the QNI’s website at . The literature review confirmed that there is currently a dearth of knowledge in this specific area.

It is hoped that the new online resource will help to share and embed good practice in transition from children’s to adults’ community health services.


NICE has just launched an online learning tool – Children’s attachment – that uses interactive activities and case studies to support the implementation of NICE guidance.

The tool sets out how the guideline can be applied in a practical way to support children and young people who may have attachment difficulties, as well as their carers and families.

This e-learning tool has learning activities to help you to implement the guideline “Children’s attachment: attachment in children and young people who are adopted from care, in care or at high risk of going into care” and improve outcomes by focusing on some of the key implementation challenges identified. It is divided into four sections:

  • Understanding attachment
  • Causes of attachment difficulties
  • Recognising possible attachment difficulties
  • Supporting children and young people who may have attachment difficulties, their carers and families.

It will take around one hour to complete and you can undertake it in more than one session if required. The tool will resume where you left off.  You will need to login to the NICE system to access the e-learning.

This free online tool has been developed by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE).

It’s aimed at staff who have contact with children & young people who are adopted from care, in special guardianship, looked after by local authorities or on the edge of care.


Health Education England’s Technology Enhanced Learning Programme is working on the Department of Health mandate to find digital solutions to some of the challenges presented in accessing, creating and sharing online teaching and learning resources.

HEE is conducting a short survey looking at the current use, attitudes and views toward online learning resources. The findings from this research will go towards improving access to learning resources, greater collaboration and sharing of information, and the avoidance of costly duplication.

Please can you spare 15 minutes to undertake this survey?

This survey is part of a wider user testing exercise that is cross-checking existing research. All data you provide in your answers remains anonymous, and you will not be asked to provide your name or your specific place of work. They would ask you to answer all questions to the best of your ability. You do not need to spend very long on each question and there are no right or wrong answers. It may seem that some questions are asked more than once but this is part of the chosen methodology.

Please forward this email to your colleagues across any/all of your networks as HEE want opinions from as wide an audience as possible.

Your help is very much appreciated.

If you would like to find out more about the programme, please visit the website or email [email protected]