iHV responds to the House of Lords’ Public Services Select Committee report published today into how public services support children and families – Children in crisis: the role of public services in overcoming child vulnerability.

Baroness Armstrong of Hill, Chair of the Select Committee, reports:

“We found a crisis in child vulnerability. Over a million children are now growing up with reduced life chances, too many ending up in care, too many with poor health outcomes… The crisis has grown worse during the pandemic, but it’s been building for many years, partly due to large cuts in early intervention funding.”

This important report is a stark reminder that underinvestment has created worse outcomes for children and higher costs for the taxpayer, as children slip through the gaps between services and do not get the support they need. The report includes clear recommendations for a national strategy for child vulnerability, and also recommends that ‘health visiting’ should be key partners in delivering Family Hub provision.

Responding to the report, Alison Morton, iHV Executive Director, said:

“Today’s hard hitting ‘Children in Crisis’ report lays bare the preventable suffering and misery that has been caused to our nation’s children whose needs have been largely overlooked.

“Cuts have consequences and the poorest children have been hit the hardest. It is time for the Government to prioritise children in their plans to ‘Build Back Better’, particularly babies and young children who have been overlooked the most.

“We call on the Government to make good their pledge to ‘rebuild health visiting’. Health visitors provide a vital infrastructure of support for all families, and a crucial safety-net, identifying vulnerable babies and young children.

“The Government say that they will maintain the Public Health Grant, but this is being maintained at a level that is too low to fund the number of health visitors needed to support all families and identify vulnerable babies and young children. Following years of cuts since 2015, there is now a national shortage of 5,000 health visitors in England and the profession faces its biggest workforce challenge in living memory. As a result, despite health visitors’ best efforts, the service is now so stretched that many families are not getting the support they need, and vulnerable babies and young children are being let down.

“Investment in health visiting is needed to provide the prevention and early intervention support to stop this growing tsunami of children in crisis. This cannot wait any longer – our nation’s children deserve better.”

We are delighted to open bookings for our Associate members for 3 Masterclasses/Workshops.

This is a rare opportunity for health visitors to book their own place at an iHV-hosted training event with our own fabulous training team, who have been engaged in delivering these well-evaluated programmes across the UK on behalf of organisations who have commissioned us.

Bookings are open to Associates from today, with bookings being opened to non-members next week.  There are limited places available on each date, so don’t delay, book your member’s place today!

Bookings for non-members open on Monday 29 May with a special early bird rate available for only one week!

See more detail on Aims and Learning Outcomes for each programme by clicking on the individual event links above.

To book your place: click on the individual event links above.

For group bookings or any booking queries, please contact [email protected]

We are delighted to announce that we have revamped the Outcomes and Evaluation Toolkit (published in September 2016) – bringing together all the sections of the toolkit into one, easy to use document.

The Outcomes and Evaluation Toolkit supports the measurement of outcomes in health visiting – to help health visitor service leads to develop outcome measures for their local health visiting service.


Please note that this Outcomes and Evalutation Toolkit 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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Improving early years services from pregnancy to age 5

The new Best start in life knowledge hub from PHE brings together information and evidence in one place to help commissioners, providers and professionals in commissioning for better outcomes during pregnancy and in the early years.

It supports Public Health England’s national priority of ensuring every child has the best start in life: every woman experiencing a healthy pregnancy; every child ready to learn at 2; every child ready for school at 5; and a reduction in child obesity.

The hub provides easy access to key resources, including government policy, guidelines and guidance, reports, data, evidence summaries and examples of what works in practice. You can search or browse resources by topics such as healthy pregnancy; good health and development; healthy weight; speech, language and communication; relationships and resilience; and safe from harm.

Health visiting and the future for the Healthy Child Programme was the subject of a presentation by Dr Cheryll Adams, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), at today’s Westminster Health Forum – Improving children and young people’s health outcomes: Integration, public health and policy priorities.

Dr Cheryll Adams addressing the Westminster Health Forum

Dr Cheryll Adams addressing the Westminster Health Forum

Held in Whitehall, London, delegates met to consider next steps for improving service delivery for children and young people, and the role of NHS England, Clinical Commissioning Groups and local authorities in promoting positive wellbeing.

There was also a discussion on the early impact of new funding for child and adolescent mental health services, and progress made by Public Health England in ensuring every child has the best start in life as one of seven priorities outlined in their five year strategy.