Our highly popular iHV Insights webinar programme continues with our next event for iHV members taking place on Thursday 27 May 2021, 3:30 to 4:30pm.

Being held in the build up to Child Safety Week which takes place 7-13 June, this iHV Insights will cover the topic of: “Preventing Accidents in Children”. It will focus on the health visiting skills and role to support preventing accidents in children.

We are delighted to be joined by our expert panel of speakers, including:

  • Katrina Phillips, Chief Executive, Child Accident Trust
  • Toity Deave, iHV Fellow, Assoc Professor for Family & Child Health, Centre for Academic Child Health at University of the West of England, Bristol
  • Sue Hall-Wallace and Hayley Douglas-Jones, Clinical Leads for the Health Visiting Teams in South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust

The webinar will also be recorded and will be available to iHV members on our website after the event.

Please join us.

How to book for iHV members

Go to our EventBrite booking page and please use your iHV membership number as your access code. If you have any problems or enquiries please email [email protected] and we will be happy to help.

Once you have submitted your details, you will be able to select your ticket and proceed to checkout – please note that this webinar is free to iHV members.

Not an iHV member?

Previous iHV Insights

The great news is that all iHV Insights webinars are available for iHV members to access as a free member benefit after the event, as well as joining the live session. As a member you can access all of our previous iHV Insights webinars with their supported resources that includes topics on:

  • managing childhood illnesses;
  • domestic violence and abuse;
  • health visiting during a pandemic;
  • training as a health visitor during a pandemic;
  • supporting smoke-free families;
  • improving support for children with parents who are dependent on alcohol;
  • bereavement, the NBCP & Health Visiting
  • working with children with autism – resources to support your practice

Click here and login to catch up on our previous iHV Insights.

iHV is delighted to publish its response to the Prevention Green Paper: Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s.

We have provided a response to the online consultation. In addition, we have made some further points which we believe will strengthen the positive proposals in the Green Paper to give every child the best start in life – and sent via letter to the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP.

Overall, we welcome the government’s commitments outlined in the Green Paper. In particular, its desire to put prevention at the centre of all decision-making, with a focus on the importance of investing in our health throughout life – starting in the early years.

Investing in the earliest years saves money in the long run and, more importantly, ensures that every child is supported to achieve the best start in life with foundations for good health throughout the life-course. As inevitable from a Green Paper, it lacks the detail needed to determine whether the ambitions will be supported by a real funding uplift and the workforce support required to implement the recommendations in full. We are hopeful that this will be addressed in the stated commitment that national and local government will work together to ensure the plans succeed.

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) has signed up to Public Health England’s (PHE) Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health. This will see iHV work closely with PHE to take significant steps towards the promotion of good mental health and the prevention of mental health problems.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director Institute of Health Visiting, with the iHV’s signatory certificate for Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Visiting, said:

“The Institute is delighted to have been awarded as a Signatory for the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health. Our work in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, in particular our Champions project, acts on the recognition that parental and infant mental health are crucial to good mental health across the life-course. We support our Champions at every local level to lead the shift towards prevention-focused care, enabling early help through the use of upstream interventions at every level of need.

“The Institute is absolutely committed to supporting local authorities, policy makers, parents, NHS clinical commissioners, service providers and the voluntary sector to promote a prevention-focused approach towards improving the public’s mental health.”

The Prevention Concordat Programme for Better Mental Health marked the first time that agencies across the community and care sectors came together to make prevention a priority for mental health. Now 74 organisations representing all sectors have signed up and committed to action. These organisations are benefiting from resources designed specifically to help local areas put in place effective prevention planning arrangements.

The promotion of good mental health is everyone’s responsibility and can only be achieved by working together. As a signatory to the concordat, we recognise that we can all contribute to improving mental health and wellbeing and reducing stigma, facilitate local and national action around preventing mental health problems and promote good mental health.

Lily Makurah, national lead for public mental health at PHE, said:

“The Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health exists to help communities prevent mental health problems and promote good mental health. Through local and national action across sectors we can all contribute to improving mental health and wellbeing, improve outcomes and reduce stigmas for everyone. We’re delighted that the Institute of Health Visiting has joined the growing list of signatories.”

Background to the Concordat

The Institute of Health Visiting very much welcomes the new NHS Long Term plan, in particular the new focus on investment into community and preventative services, and the commitment ‘….to consider whether there is a stronger role for the NHS in commissioning sexual health services, health visitors, and school nurses, and what best future commissioning arrangements might therefore be.’ (see NHS Long Term Plan page 33, 2.4).

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, said:

“This can’t happen soon enough as we continue to see fragmentation of health visiting services and a loss of very experienced health visitors across the country. This has been accompanied by an inevitable impact on the quality of services that the profession can now provide for babies and their families, our most vulnerable members of society. We know that this is leading to increased use of GP and A&E services, an increase in the number of children needing safeguarding protection, and that far too many children are starting school without adequate communication as well as other delays in their development. All these cause much greater expenditure for the state than the cost of providing a robust health visiting service and it is very encouraging to see prevention recognised in the ‘Plan’.

“We hope that this statement is the first step towards providing proper protection for primary preventative services, such as health visiting and school nursing, into the future and beyond. A cycle of investment and disinvestment, as has happened over at least the last 25 years, must now become a thing of the past so that England can be proud of the support it offers young families. Furthermore, society will feel the benefit of this with babies suffering less mental illness, less heart disease and less cancer in their later lives. These are all things that are impacted by what can happen to babies during pregnancy and the first months of life such as poor nutrition and being exposed to a poor emotional environment.

“We also hope that pledges for maternity services, such as continuity of care, will also be invested in for those receiving health visiting services. No one wants to discuss their problems with a stranger – trusted professionals in the community, such as health visitors, can literally change lives when their help is sought.

“In addition, we are delighted by the significant attention which the plan gives to addressing health inequalities. This is something which health visitors and the Institute see as key to creating healthy communities, so it’s very encouraging to see it so well articulated in the ‘Plan’.

“Whilst the commissioning of health visiting services is being re-examined as recommended by the Institute in its 10 year plan (September 2018), we call for the strengthening of training commissions in 2019 as a visual demonstration of the commitment to the professional contribution of health visitors as laid out in the ‘Plan’. This would start to rebuild the profession to a place where its impact can be felt once again.”

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, has outlined his vision for the future health and care system.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director, iHV said:

“The Institute very much welcomes this long overdue focus on prevention.  We hope that it is understood that effective prevention starts at the start of life or earlier.  Investing then can ensure a much healthier population who stand a much better chance of realising the Minister’s ambitions. We hope that this vision therefore will be accompanied by new investment into health visiting, national standards for best practice and a ring-fenced budget.”

The document sets out the government’s vision for:

  • stopping health problems from arising in the first place
  • supporting people to manage their health problems when they do arise

The goal is to improve healthy life expectancy by at least 5 extra years, by 2035, and to close the gap between the richest and poorest.

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) has published its preferred plan for the relationship of health visiting with the NHS in the next 10 years.


As the NHS writes its new 10-year plan, with a specific focus on children, prevention and mental health, the Institute of Health Visiting has published its own recommendations for strengthening health visiting services alongside.





Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director, Institute of Health Visiting said:

“Health visitors have a vital role in delivering early preventative services for infants and children, and in supporting parents through the emotional challenges of early parenthood. Unless there is a plan to strengthen health visiting services alongside the new NHS 10-year plan, it will be impossible to deliver on many of what we expect to be its worthy ambitions. We hope that our rationale, and the recommendations in our new position statement, will be taken seriously by those writing the plan.

Dr Adams continued:

“Moving health visiting commissioning completely from the NHS to local authorities, in October 2015, has created many challenges for the quality of services that health visitors have been able to deliver, and for the essential relationships that health visitors need to have with NHS partners. Part of the challenge has come from cuts to public health budgets, but it’s more complex than that – the loss of close relationships with NHS services, in particular with general practitioners, has also been very unhelpful.

“Three years of the local authority commissioning model has seen a loss of around 20% of the workforce and worryingly high levels of grade mix.  Therefore, we are proposing a new joint NHS/Local Authority governance/commissioning model – this we hope will avoid such challenges for services to our most vulnerable members of society in the future.

Further recommendations

“Other recommendations include that every family should have at least nine universal contacts. This requires new investment into the profession, but that will be more than offset by savings in preventable treatment costs in later life. Nine core universal contacts being delivered by health visitors is becoming the norm for Welsh families, with Scottish families receiving eleven! This is based on the evidence of what can be achieved by providing robust health visiting services during the very early years – and English children shouldn’t be disadvantaged.”

Dr Adams concluded:

“Our position statement makes clear what we believe needs to happen to improve outcomes for children through strengthened health visiting – with a renewed focus on children’s services, improving mental health and prevention and reducing inequalities in the essential early years period. We are circulating it widely to decision makers and those concerned about giving every child the best start in life.”



Local authorities are charged with commissioning children’s public health services as part of a wider remit for children’s services.

This new briefing for commissioners of children’s services provides an overview of the central role that health visitors play in reducing unintentional injuries in the under-fives, along with the associated high personal and financial costs to children, families, communities and society.

Unintentional injuries in and around the home are a major cause of death and disability among the under-fives in England.

Please share this Local Authority Public Health briefing with your local commissioners – along with the other briefings in the series (under the “For commissioners” section on the link below).




New Parent Tips on Preventing choking are published.

Keeping your little one safe is vitally important to all parents.  Babies and small children are at high risk of choking on small items because they examine unfamiliar objects by putting them in their mouths.

These parent top tips bring together a collection of evidence-based tips that new parents can put into practice today.


CAPT Child Safety Week 2016

Child Safety Week (6-12 June 2016) is CAPT’s (Child Accident Prevention Trust’s) annual campaign to reduce serious childhood accidents. The Week offers those working in health visiting a opportunity to engage with families to reduce the number of local children suffering serious accidents, one of health visitors’ 6 high impact areas for change.

Last year, Child Safety Week activities reached over 450,000 parents, carers, children and young people nationwide. It offers an opportunity for health visiting work to stand out and have a visible impact, particularly important in the current climate.

With your help, we can reach even more families with important safety messages.

Simply sign up for free resources

Sign up now, you’ll automatically be alerted when free resources for you to use to engage families and support your planning are available.  You’ll also get a link to free downloadable activities for using with children and families.

Or to find out more go to www.childsafetyweek.org.uk.