Exciting and unique opportunity with the Institute of Health Visiting

Research Associate

Based in North East England

We are seeking an ambitious, enthusiastic fixed-term, part-time Research Associate with experience in perinatal mental health / public health research to support the evaluation of the Stockton Perinatal Support Service. The post holder will work as part of a team at the iHV to deliver this work.

The individual would need to be dynamic, proactive, flexible and have the ability to work independently. They will be required to contribute to all elements of the evaluation, this will include: helping to conduct literature reviews and evidence syntheses; develop study protocols and materials (e.g. interview topic guides and questionnaires); supporting applications for ethical approvals; conducting data collection and analysis; and contributing to research write up. Given the mixed-methods nature of the planned evaluation, this post would suit someone with strong and demonstrable qualitative and quantitative research skills.

Key Requirements

Applicants should have completed or nearly completed a PhD in Health Sciences/Psychology/Public Health/related discipline or related area and a Bachelor’s degree in health or social science.

The successful candidate must have experience of collecting and analysing qualitative and quantitative data. Excellent interpersonal skills, willingness and ability to work collaboratively and effectively as part of a team remotely and in person, in-depth knowledge of research design and methods relevant to applied health research, the potential to publish in high quality journals, and excellent oral and written communication skills are essential.

This role does not meet the eligibility requirements for a tier 2 certificate of sponsorship under UK Visas and Immigration legislation. Therefore, the iHV will not be able to sponsor individuals who require right to work in the UK to carry out this role.


We particularly welcome applications from black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates, LGBTQ+ candidates and candidates with disabilities because we would like to increase the diversity of the workforce within the Institute of Health Visiting to be more representative of the community.

Applications close: Closing date anticipated to be 9.00 am on Monday 8 November 2021, but application may close early due to the urgency in commencing this work. Candidates are recommended to apply as soon as possible.


iHV is delighted to announce that our Mental Health Lead, Melita Walker, has been nominated for, and accepted, the role of President of the United Kingdom and Ireland Marcé Society (UKIMS).


Melita Walker, iHV Mental Health Lead

The International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health is an international, interdisciplinary organisation dedicated to supporting research and assistance surrounding prenatal and postpartum mental health for mothers, fathers /partners and their babies. The iHV has been a longstanding supporter of the International Marcé Society and the regional branch. The overall mission and aims of the Society are strongly aligned to the charitable objectives of the Institute of Health Visiting and the work of the iHV, its 5 pillars and the workstreams progressed as part of the iHV Mental Health Department.

In accepting the position, Melita Walker said:

“I am deeply honoured to have been nominated to lead the UK and Ireland regional group of such a world-leading and well-renowned perinatal mental health community.  I look forward to being able to strengthen the contribution of health visiting within the international perinatal community and vice-versa, strengthening the Society by spotlighting: a whole systems approach to perinatal and infant mental health;  thinking of the whole family; transferring knowledge into practice; public mental health and prevention; informing research from practice and practice from research; and co-production with parents/families.”

Melita will serve one year as President-elect, at the end of this term she will become President of UKIMS and serve for 3 years.

Melita continued:

“The Marcé Society has been a source of inspiration to me and the connections we have made. These connections and the fabulous International and regional UKIMS meetings have enabled us at the iHV to make sure that our training, resources, responses to policy consultations and events are informed by the very latest cutting-edge research.

“I am particularly excited that my term as President will coincide with Professor Louise Howard’s term as President of the International Society and am very much looking forward to seeing lots of health visitors at the Biennial International Marcé Meeting in London in 2022!”





The iHV is seeking to appoint a part-time Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Trainer to support delivery of the iHV award-winning UK-wide training programmes, either face-to-face or virtually (as currently being delivered), as well as supporting a wide range of evolving workstreams across the Mental Health portfolio.

The post holder will be an experienced trainer, including as a perinatal/infant mental health Champion, and with experience of delivering training to multi-professional groups. They will contribute to the evaluation of the delivery of the programmes. They will be home-based and the post will include pre-planned travel and overnight stays in other areas to support training.

A confident self-starter, they will be passionate about the contribution that health visiting can make to reducing the impact of perinatal mental illness and improving the public’s health.

The post holder will have well-established local PIMH networks and able to demonstrate engagement with national level activities in the field of PIMH.

This a part-time position – 0.4 or 8 days a month with possibility of additional days some weeks by arrangement.  This is 1-year fixed-term contract with probability of extension.

Applications close: Thursday 17 December 2020

Interviews: Monday 21 December 2020 (please keep this clear)

Exciting and unique development opportunity with the Institute

Professional Development Officer, Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, South of England

The iHV is seeking to appoint health visitor expert in perinatal and infant mental health and practice development to work with them supporting training and various other related projects, as well as covering some national meetings. The post holder will be up to full time but could be 4 days, we would also consider a job share if the post holders were based in different areas of the country.

The post holder, who will have a master’s degree, will ideally be based in the South of England but this isn’t essential and will be prepared to travel within the post, mostly within the UK, but potentially also to European countries. They will ideally be an iHV infant and perinatal mental health champion, have broad experience in these fields, with additional research or project development experience.

A confident self-starter, they will deliver training, attend meetings, develop regional forums for our PIMH Champions and input advice to other work streams on request including to a European project just funded.

The post holder will be highly respected by colleagues for their capacity to drive and deliver local professional developments.

1-year post/secondment in the first instance with expectation of extension.  The Institute offers a competitive pension scheme.

Applications close: 9.00 am Monday 18 March 2019

Interviews:  Thursday 4 April 2019 

We are delighted to open the bookings for two new specialist conferences:

  • Breastfeeding: a public health priority
  • iHV National Multi-agency Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Conference: The Hidden challenges

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, executive director iHV, commented:

“It is a privilege to able to offer these fabulous specialist conferences with such distinguished speakers to support the health visiting profession. Please do take advantage of an iHV accredited event with great CPD and the latest updates in these two extremely important areas of health visiting practice. Book your place soon as we expect there to be pressure on places!”

Breastfeeding: a public health priority

  • 19 April 2018, in London
  • Accredited conference
  • This event is joint hosted by the iHV and the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), and is supported the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi).
  • The conference programme is designed to illustrate the need for support and show examples of what integrated services can achieve in the community.
  • The World’s Breastfeeding Trends initiative findings and recommendations which will be shared during the day can strengthen health visitor practice and improve public health if implemented.
  • Earlybird tickets (for iHV members and non-members) are available until 16 March 2018

iHV National Multi-agency Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Conference: The Hidden challenges

  • 24 April 2018, in Manchester
  • Accredited conference
  • This multi-agency conference is a brilliant opportunity to get the latest updates and evidence in perinatal and infant mental health.
  • As well as stimulating learning through debate and discussion via presentations from internationally-acclaimed speakers, the day will offer focused opportunities to learn from each other through sharing best and promising practice in PIMH.
  • A call for abstracts is currently open – providing the opportunity to showcase your work in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (PIMH).  Abstracts are welcome in areas of new research and local innovations in the fields of perinatal and/or infant mental health.
  • Earlybird tickets (for iHV Champions, iHV members and non-members) are available until 29 March 2018, so don’t miss them! Limited student places also available.

We always seek to ensure our activities comply with the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative – our events are not and never will be sponsored by the formula milk industry. 

The iHV is delighted to offer you an opportunity to showcase your work in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (PIMH) at the iHV National Multi-agency Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Conference: The hidden challenges, being held in Manchester on 24 April 2018.  Please see programme.

As well as stimulating learning through debate and discussion via presentations from internationally-acclaimed speakers, the day will offer focused opportunities to learn from each other through sharing best and promising practice in PIMH.

Abstract Submission and Timeline

Abstracts are welcome in areas of new research and local innovations in the fields of perinatal and/or infant mental health. The abstract should be no more than 250 words and provide an overview clearly demonstrating excellence, innovation and novel approaches to improve outcomes in perinatal and/or infant mental health.

Please submit your abstract as a Microsoft Word document to [email protected].

  • Tue 13 March 2018 – Abstract submission deadline
  • 14 – 26 March – iHV peer-review process on submissions
  • Tue 27 March 2018 – participants informed of acceptance of abstracts for a poster.  Full guidance on the poster format will be provided if your abstract is successful.
  • Tue 10 April 2018 – Poster deadline for conference
  • Tue 24 April 2018 – Poster presentations at the iHV National Multi-agency Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Conference: The hidden challenges in Manchester

It is important that you book to secure your conference place on or before the final registration deadline for accepting your offer to present.

Early bird tickets (for iHV Champions, iHV members and non-members) are available until 29 March 2018, so don’t miss them!

Women with mental health problems during and after pregnancy reveal the impact of low rates of specialist referral, long waits, as well as lack of consensus over medication and little support for their partners, in a survey published today (22 February) by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and supported by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA).

The survey of over 2,300 women who had given birth in the last five years in the UK, explores their experiences of perinatal mental health problems, engagement with healthcare professionals and the quality of care they received.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, executive director, iHV, said:

“The Institute of Health Visiting, a member of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, welcomes the results of the ‘Women’s Voices’ survey run by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and launched today.

“This survey gives real life evidence on the level of support that women receive when suffering from perinatal mental illness (PMI) – and the variation there is in the level of services across the country.  Health visitors are key healthcare professionals who are well-placed to identify and offer support to women suffering with PMI.  However, our own surveys have shown that, although parents will turn to their health visitor for support,  there is often insufficient time for the health visitor to offer the level of support required.

“We, at the iHV, deliver perinatal mental health (PMH) and infant mental health training to ensure standardised practice for health visitor professionals and the families they work with.  Our PMH training has now been delivered to well over 10,000 health visitors and others across England. However, for this training to have the impact it should, more health visitors need the time to use what they have learnt to improve services, especially at the recommended contacts.

“Perinatal mental health is an incredibly important area of healthcare which can have a negative effect on the health and wellbeing of babies and families and ultimately on our society when we don’t recognise it early. Health visitors have always made a huge contribution to supporting pre-school children and their families and are the best-placed professional to help give all children the best start in life during the early years of life.”

The Institute of Health Visiting warmly welcomes the new commissioning and workforce development guidance on Specialist Health Visitors in Perinatal and Infant Mental health (PIMH) – What they do and why they matter, published today by Health Education England (HEE).  It concludes that all women and their partners should have access to a specialist health visitor in perinatal and infant mental health (PIMH) and recommends at least one for every health visiting service.

Creating Specialist Health Visitor posts in PIMH within every health visiting service will play a valuable part in reducing the incidence and impact of postnatal depression and other perinatal mental health problems. This will be through earlier diagnosis, better intervention and support – creating savings on child and adult mental health services, and improved public health.

Dr Cheryll Adams, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), said:

“The iHV is delighted to endorse this new guidance which provides a framework for improvements in the services that health visitors can provide to families to promote their mental health.

“Through the health visiting ‘universal’ service, health visitors are well-placed to identify those families requiring additional support, especially where the mother (or indeed father) may be suffering from perinatal mental illness, or where the bond between parent and baby may be compromised. However, health visitors have many other roles and responsibilities taking their time during this important period of every child’s life and they would benefit from specialist support in this challenging arena.”

The framework sets out the important role of specialist health visitors in PIMH, illustrates the value to parents and other health professionals involved in a mother’s care and recommends that every woman should have access to a specialist Health Visitor as part of the multi-disciplinary team.