Applications are now open for the 2024 iHV award for Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) health visitor students.

This year’s award is linked with the annual iHV Leadership Conference in December 2024. Submission will be accepted from current iHV student members and would need to be supported by an academic/ practice assessor or supervisor. To make a submission, students are invited to prepare an 350-word abstract showcasing an innovation in practice.

The award has been developed to celebrate new talent joining the health visitor workforce and showcase leadership in action for strengthening the quality of service provision.


The student submission must be made using the iHV submission form to be accepted for entry. This details:

  • Name of HEI, department providing the SCPHN-HV programme and declaration of cohort size
  • Full name, contact details and signature of the student
  • Full name, contact details and signature of the supporting academic, practice assessor or supervisor
  • Title and written abstract prepared by the student (max 350 words)
  • Disclaimer confirming the submission is the student’s own work and has not been submitted elsewhere

The abstract should:
Present a service innovation that demonstrates leadership in action to strengthen the quality of service provision
for babies, children and families.

Latest date of submission: Friday 23 August 2024


The innovation must be informed by evidence and can be a proposed development or review of existing practice. Proposed or actual impacts for babies, children and families must be identified and the service innovation must involve SCPHN-HV practitioners.

The iHV judges will be looking for innovations that incorporate factors known to support successful practice. This includes a
service investing in the following:

  • Trusting relationships
  • Working in partnership with families
  • Evidence-driven practices
  • Accessible and equitable provision
  • Well-coordinated personalised service with continuity of practitioner
  • Practitioner autonomy
  • Collaborative working
  • Demonstrating impact

The winning student will be notified early October 2024. The award includes a free place at the iHV Leadership Conference in London, December 2024*, where the successful student will be invited to present their innovation and accept an iHV Award Certificate. The supporting academic, practice assessor or supervisor will also receive a free iHV Leadership Conference place.

Submit an entry

*The award cannot be transferred for an alternative prize or money, it is specific to the named iHV student member and conference date. The award does not include travel or accommodation expenses.

Earlier this month, the iHV submitted a written response to the Department for Education’s Working Together to Safeguard Children: changes to statutory guidance consultation.

Working Together to Safeguard Children is the multi-agency statutory guidance that sets out expectations for the system that provides help, support and protection for children and their families. It applies at every level from senior leaders to those in direct practice with families, and across all agencies and organisations that come into contact with children. It gives practitioners clarity about what is required of them individually and how they need to work in partnership with each other to deliver effective services.

Updating ‘Working Together’ forms a central part of the Government’s plans to transform Children’s Social Care, set out in Stable Homes, Built on Love. The plans aim to strengthen multi-agency working across the whole system of help, support and protection for children and their families, with greater emphasis on earlier help and strong, effective and consistent child protection practice.

The Working Together consultation ran from 21 June 2023 to 6 September 2023 and views were sought from children and young people, parents and carers, and others who are ‘essential to children’s safety and welfare’. Officials at the Department for Education contacted the iHV with a direct request for a response to the proposal that health visitors might become lead professionals for children subject to Child in Need – section 17 arrangements. Our submission is therefore focused on the questions that relate to this proposal.

Our response was formulated with support from members of the iHV Working Together Safeguarding Roundtable Event that was held on 21 August 2023. The group met specifically to consider the impact of the proposed changes to the statutory guidance on health visiting practice. Further practitioner intelligence, and views on the proposed changes, were also collated from direct emails that the iHV received from members and discussions with partners during the consultation period.

What happens next?

The results of the consultation and the department’s response will be published on GOV.UK in Autumn 2023.

With special thanks to Trish Stewart, iHV Expert Advisor for Safeguarding and Associate Director for Safeguarding and Children’s Public Health Nursing at Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust; Georgina Mayes, iHV Policy and Quality Lead; and members of the iHV roundtable event for their valuable input and support with this submission.

iHV has submitted its response to the Integration of Primary and Community Care Committee – a Lords Select Committee.

The Committee, appointed to consider the integration of primary and community care, invited views on the delivery of integrated primary and community care services as part of its inquiry and was particularly keen to receive submissions from those with direct experience of accessing or delivering primary and community care services.

The inquiry was set up to explore improved ways to integrate the delivery of effective primary and community care services. It will consider the challenges facing the sector and any barriers preventing further integration. The success of existing models of integration will be examined, including the role of Primary Care Networks and Integrated Care Systems. Access to primary and community care services will also be considered, as well as accountability and decision-making.

Would you like to share your practice developments or research at our 2022 annual evidence-based practice (EBP) conference – “Together | Fairer | Stronger” on 15 September 2022 at King’s House Conference Centre in Manchester?

If so, we would love to hear from you! The EBP conference will be a fabulous event for you to showcase your work whilst sharing learning and innovations in practice.

We welcome submissions that support the overall theme of reducing health inequalities and strengthening integrated working from researchers, and educators. We know that many practitioners are also leading innovative improvement projects in practice, and we want to provide an opportunity for you to showcase and disseminate your findings to a wider audience.

We are keen to showcase best practice examples of effective integrated working and would also be especially delighted to receive applications from community nursery nurses and other health visiting associate practitioners. Non-UK applicants will also be considered if their work can demonstrate transferable learning.

Why should I submit an abstract?

  • To showcase your work, disseminate your findings to a national audience and raise the profile of your organisation
  • To enhance research in health visiting
  • To inform others about positive, innovative approaches to improve evidence-based practice in health visiting and preventative public health work focused on families with babies and young children
  • To raise the profile and benefits of an effective health visiting service focused on reducing health inequalities

Abstract/conference themes:

We are inviting abstracts that support the overall theme of the conference: Reducing health inequalities and strengthening integrated working:

  • Improving access/ reducing inequalities: We are particularly interested in submissions that improve the experience and outcomes of health visiting service users who encounter obstacles accessing health care, and/ or people with protected characteristics, for example: people from minoritised ethnic groups; people with disabilities; LGBTQI+ women and people; families experiencing homelessness; domestic abuse; substance misuse problems; mental illness and mental health problems; and safeguarding.
  • Integration: Innovations in health visiting practice or service delivery models from across the UK that can demonstrate impact within integrated/ ‘whole system’ public health approaches to addressing health inequalities.
  • Themes may also include, but are not limited to current priority public health topics:
    • Transition to parenthood, including preconception care
    • Breastfeeding
    • Perinatal mental health (mothers, fathers, and partners)
    • Infant and child mental health
    • Healthy nutrition, physical activity, and healthy weight
    • Managing minor illnesses, building health literacy and prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
    • Reducing unintentional injuries
    • The uptake of immunisations
    • Primary prevention and health promotion in oral health
    • Child development 0-5 years, including speech, language and communication and school readiness
    • Sleep
    • Children with developmental disorders, disabilities, and complex health needs
    • Tobacco, alcohol, and substance misuse in the perinatal period
    • Healthy couple relationships
    • Teenage parenthood

Abstract Submissions

The abstract submission deadline is 4 April 2022.

Please see Abstract Submission Guidelines and Timeline for further details on format and how to submit.

We are very excited that our EBP conference will be face to face. It will provide a great opportunity to showcase local work and network with colleagues and national experts from across the country. It really is a conference that can’t be missed!

Our Booking system is due to go live on 11 March so, in the meantime, please hold the conference date in your diary – 15 September 2022 at King’s House Conference Centre in Manchester.




The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) has published its written evidence submitted to the parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee inquiry into the First 1000 Days of Life.

The bulk of public spending during a child’s life comes in their teenage years, but there is a significant case for investing public money much earlier – i.e. during a child’s first 1000 days of life. There is strong evidence showing spending then has many later benefits to individuals and society – the problem is the gap between that evidence and what is currently provided.  This inquiry is to review that gap.

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

“We welcome this inquiry into the First 1000 day of a child’s life. Evidence supports a specific priority for focusing spending on early intervention, prevention and inequalities as they affect children in the first 1000 days of life. We know that this would have a significant impact on their future health and development across the life-course. Investing more resources in the first 1000 days, would lead to less investment being needed for secondary and tertiary care in later life, by preventing problems (and increased costs of later healthcare) from occurring in the first place.

“Health visitors have highly developed skills in assessment and the formation of trusting relationships with families, each being critical to effective engagement with families in the first 1000 days.  Adequate resourcing of the service could be delivering enhanced and earlier support to prevent problems or reduce their impact and in so doing reduce later expenditure for the NHS.”

The parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee inquiry into the First 1000 Days of Life is not re-examining the evidence base, or the economic case. Instead it plans to focus on the following three key areas: national strategy, current spending and barriers to investment and local provision.

Dr Adams continued:

“On national strategy, we propose that the NHS should act with others to strengthen the governance of the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) across all partners.  This should be through joint integrated NHS and local authority commissioning within a national quality framework for systems-based practice for child and family public health.  That should realise the benefits of closer working both with NHS child health services and primary care, alongside local authority services such as children’s centres. In such a context, health visitors are well equipped to more realistically fulfil their long-recognised mandate to both deliver in practice and to lead the HCP at system level.

“On current spending and barriers to investment, we highlight the impact of recent reductions in public health funding and evidence of the impact of reductions in the resourcing of health visiting. We also recommend that health visitor caseload size should not exceed 250 children per full time health visitor or a maximum ratio of 1:100 in more deprived areas.

“Our written evidence submission lays out what the Institute believes a high-quality evidence-based approach to service provision would look like for the First 1000 Days of life if more spending happened during this period.  Health visitors, with their highly developed skills, are well placed and critical to supporting this agenda.”