Today, the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) is delighted to share the overwhelmingly positive findings from their mixed-methods feasibility study into the use of the Alarm Distress Baby Scale (ADBB) in routine health visiting practice in England.

The study, commissioned and funded by The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, was conducted in partnership with Professor Jane Barlow from the University of Oxford. It sought to explore how acceptable and feasible health visitors found using the baby observation aid, the ADBB, and its shorter modified version, the m-ADBB, during their routine 6-8-week visits to families.

During the ten-month study, health visitors trained in the ADBB and m-ADBB were recruited from South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected over a four-month period, during which the trained health visitors used their enhanced skills and knowledge to observe babies’ behaviours and interactions and identify those in need of a more thorough assessment or additional support.

Health visitors described the ADBB approach as “hugely beneficial” and “of great importance” to their practice. Findings demonstrate that both training programmes (ADBB and m-ADBB) were rated highly by all study participants, giving a new theoretical perspective, additional knowledge and skills, and a new vocabulary for explaining their observations of a baby’s behaviour. The use of the shorter validated 5-item version of the scale, the m-ADBB, was found to require minimal additional time and was considered easy to embed into routine health visiting practice (for example, the observation could be undertaken when parents were undressing their baby, or the baby was being weighed). Using the m-ADBB in this way enabled health visitors to:

  • Have more meaningful conversations with parents and carers about the emotional wellbeing of their baby;
  • Promote positive parent-infant interactions, attachment, and bonding; and
  • Identify those babies and families in need of greater support during this critical period of development.

Dr Jane Barlow, Professor of Evidence Based Intervention and Policy Evaluation at The University of Oxford, who oversaw the evaluation of the trial said:

“Babies are born with amazing social abilities. They are ready to relate and engage with the world around them, communicating how they feel through their behaviours.

“Whereas previous approaches have focused on the parents’ perspective, this training has really helped health visitors to ‘read’ the baby during interactions and develop greater sensitivity in terms of the observation of potential attachment and bonding issues that would not have been identified without the training.

“The feedback from those involved has been overwhelmingly positive. It is truly exciting to think about the impact this could have on families right across the country as we enter the next phase of this research.”

Alison Morton, CEO of the Institute of Health Visiting, said:

“Babies can’t talk, but there is now good evidence that they can communicate their experiences of the world around them when we tune in to their behaviours. We are therefore delighted by the positive findings from this study which found that the modified ADBB tool was very workable within universal health visiting practice, providing an important new way for health visitors to observe babies interacting with the people around them. There are many reasons why a baby might be distressed or withdrawn. Spotting these problems as early as possible is important as it will enable health visitors to work with families to ensure that they get the right support and babies can thrive.”

During the study period, health visitors identified behavioural concerns in 23 (10%) of babies as a result of using the m-ADBB. Health visitors were then able to work with families to explore the many possible reasons for this and determine the most appropriate next steps. All identified families were offered additional support, ranging from follow-up visits, emotional wellbeing visits and video interaction guidance (VIG) as well as connections to Child and Family Centres and referrals to Specialist Perinatal Mental Health and other local support services where indicated.

Conclusions and next steps

The quality of interactions that a baby has with their parent or caregiver is associated with their long-term development outcomes. Health visitors have a key opportunity in their routine contacts with families to promote optimal parent-infant interactions and identify emerging concerns. However, assessing these interactions can be quite complex, requiring a robust theoretical understanding as well as sound clinical observational skills.

The ADBB training introduced health visitors to the concept of social withdrawal – a coping mechanism that babies may use if they are experiencing some sort of stress in the environment around them. The additional understanding gained from observing babies’ behaviour from this perspective sat very well alongside health visitors’ existing skills. It helped them to consider how babies let us know they are ‘here, and engaging with the world’ and identify where additional support may be needed.

Executive Director of The Centre for Early Childhood, Christian Guy, said:

“The quality of the relationships between babies and their parents or carers, during the first weeks and months of life, shapes their developing brains and lays the foundations for their future health and wellbeing. So, it is vital that we provide families with the best possible advice and support at this crucial time.

“The results of the initial phase of testing are so encouraging. We now want to move quickly to ensure we build on this work, bringing the benefits of this model to more health visitors across the country so that, ultimately, more babies and their families get the support they need to thrive.”

In light of the positive findings of this study, the report includes recommendations for a second phase of research and evaluation of the tool in the UK context. In addition to several suggested research strands, consideration should also be given to:

  • a UK-based training programme with amendments to the training to align with the UK context, incorporating the training improvement recommendations from this study
  • Evaluation of the impact of training in more health visiting sites across the UK
  • Support systems for health visitors if ADBB/m-ADBB are adopted within health visiting practice, to include continuing professional development, supervision, learning resources and practice opportunities

The iHV, in partnership with the University of Oxford, would like to express its sincere thanks to The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood for funding this important study and for their support and oversight throughout the study period.

Training in the ADBB and m-ADBB was kindly provided by Alexandra Deprez and Jocelyne Guillon of Humagogie training centre. Further details can be found at adbb-scale.com.

To cite this report , please use the link to the pdf here: https://bit.ly/4a7z2hT


The research team would like to acknowledge the governance and guidance of the Expert Advisory Group:

  • Alison Morton (Chair) – Institute of Health Visiting
  • Dr. Sarah McMullen – The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood
  • Hannah Sereni – Start for Life Unit
  • Wook Hamilton – Parent-Infant Foundation
  • Professor Crispin Day – South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lynne Reed and Wendy Nicholson – Office for Health Improvement and Disparities
  • Sarah Muckle – City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Director of Public Health
  • Professor Carl May – London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

And the dedicated health visitors, managers and research departments at the Humber Teaching NHS  Foundation Trust and South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust who participated in the study.


Watch Sky News article: ‘Overwhelmingly’ positive results for trial funded by Princess of Wales as part of early years work

On 30 June, the government published their long-awaited NHS Long Term Workforce Plan. The Institute of Health Visiting provided evidence and is listed as one of the organisations engaged in forming the Plan. As expected, we were keen to read the final details. The Press Release attracted considerable attention, but the ‘numbers’ in the Plan were only published later (read our initial response here).

We’ve now had a closer look – and set out ‘in brief’ the key points for health visiting and our response.

We welcome the ‘good news’:

  • There is a plan now! We’ve been asking for a ‘plan’ for health visiting for eight years. In that time, health visitor workforce numbers have fallen by more than 40% in England (published workforce data show a fall from 11,192 FTE in October 2015, to 6,688 FTE in April 2023).
  • There is a plan that is phased with a long-term commitment! The Government has recognised that a ‘quick fix’ won’t work – we welcome the long-term and phased-nature of the Plan. It will take time to train enough new health visitors and this will need to be phased to make sure that the quality of training is not compromised. The Plan spans a 15-year assessment of the workforce that will be needed for the future (with regular reviews). It also provides a costed plan of how the current NHS workforce needs to be developed to meet the future challenges.
  • The Plan extends beyond the NHS and includes health visiting! This ends some uncertainty about the future of health visiting in England that has been felt by health visitors. The profession often gets overlooked as it sits outside the NHS for its funding. The Plan, therefore, provides a welcome endorsement of the important role that health visitors play and the Government’s commitment to the profession over the longer term. It states that The health visiting workforce is fundamental to improving the health and wellbeing of families from pregnancy to starting school by promoting health, preventing ill health and reducing inequalities. And by providing support in the community, they help alleviate pressures on hospital”.

We welcome the following commitments – but we need more details on implementation and funding:

  • Retention. The Plan recognises that recruitment will not solve the workforce crisis alone. We welcome the recognition that we need to ‘embed the right culture’ to retain the highly skilled staff that we have. The Plan is light on detail for health visiting but includes important commitments to improve retention through career development initiatives, flexible working and improved staff wellbeing – this is essential, otherwise we will keep filling a leaky bucket!
  • Reform. The Plan sets out the ambition to ‘work differently’ by enabling innovative ways of working, with new roles as part of multi-disciplinary teams so that staff can spend more time with patients. It changes how services are delivered, including by harnessing digital and technological innovations. As long as this improves care and outcomes, health visitors have a lot to offer in this area – the devil will be in the detail! Training will also be reformed to support education expansion, including Advanced Practice roles – we are currently working with the Department of Health and Social Care to explore how these roles could enhance health visiting. Again, more detail is needed, but in principle we are very keen to support this.
  • Improving learner experience. It will be imperative that the quality of learner experience and training are not compromised. Further details are needed on how this will be managed with increased student numbers. At the last ‘Call to Action’ for health visiting, the profession was much better resourced with ‘Practice Teachers’ to oversee the placements and learning in practice. With the erosion of this role and the loss of experienced health visitors in recent years, this will need a very robust implementation plan. At the iHV, we are happy to support planning to ensure every chance of success. Clearly not having an expanded training plan is not an option. Having a phased approach will be crucial – and plans, to equip the existing workforce and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to manage this, need to start now!
  • What about funding for substantive posts? A question we will be asking Government: ‘Will Local Authority Funding increase to support commensurate workforce expansion now and in the future?’
  • What plans are there to ensure more equitable distribution of the health visitor workforce and delivery of the Healthy Child Programme across England? With many others, we continue to call for full delivery of the Healthy Child Programme, as intended, for all children, regardless of where they live.

We have some important concerns!

We’ve looked at the numbers – the Plan for health visiting is ‘too little and too slow’. The proposed trajectory for increasing student health visitor numbers will miss the mark of what is needed to rebuild an effective health visiting service:

  • The Plan needs to start now, not in 2025. Without an immediate plan of action, health visitor numbers will continue to fall and families with babies and young children will face the brunt of this – too many are already missing out on the support that they need. And, for some, this has life-changing and catastrophic consequences. Health visiting service leads are already asking us how they will manage in the interim? They are ready to start now!
    • The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan includes their assessment that education and training routes into the health visiting workforce would need to expand by between 32% and 74% by 2030/31; with an ambition to expand training places by 74% to over 1,300 by 2031/32. To support working towards this expansion, training places for health visitors will grow by 17% by 2028/29 (see Table 1 below).

  • The scope is too narrow.  We are not convinced that the modelling for the health visiting workforce takes full account of current demand based on population need that is recommended, or the full scope of the Health Visiting Model for England and Healthy Child Programme Schedule of Interventions. Neither does it take account of the full potential that lies within a well-resourced health visiting service to address key health, education and social care priorities across the life course (read our submission to the Major Conditions Strategy below). Health visiting is the only workforce that systematically reaches all families with babies and young children and is skilled to address a breadth of:
    • physical and mental health needs for babies, children, adults and communities
    • social needs
    • child development concerns
    • and safeguarding.
      This does seem like a missed opportunity!
  • The numbers are too low. Based on independent workforce modelling of health visiting by Professor Gabriella Conti in 2021, there is an estimated shortfall of around 5,000 health visitors in England.
    • Health visitor workforce numbers have fallen by more than 40% since the end of the last health visitor ‘Call to Action’ in 2015 – reaching an all-time low. See graph below:

    • Despite the boost to the workforce that is provided each year through qualifying student health visitors, on average, the health visitor workforce is still falling by 485 health visitors each year*.
    • The Plan aims to train 3,416 health visitors in four years (between 2025-2028 – see Table 1).
    • This is not enough – based on previous trajectories, we will need at least 750 additional health visitors a year (or 3,000 over 4 years) to just ‘stand still’.
    • The net gain after 4 years at this rate will be 416 health visitors! This falls significantly short of what is needed.
    • We recognise that it will take time for Higher Education Institutions to increase health visitor training places. We need a phased plan that starts this September and increases year-on-year, alongside retention, career development and return to practice initiatives to rebuild the workforce, with 5,000 more health visitors.

Summary

In summary, this Plan is a very welcome ‘step in the right direction’ that ends years of uncertainty for the health visiting profession when there was no plan. Implementing it will be a huge challenge. We recognise that there are many health visitors who were part of the last ‘Call to Action’ and gave so much of their time and energy to train large numbers of health visitors before 2015. They have been left hugely disappointed as their efforts were so easily squandered! Others are feeling exhausted working in the aftermath of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. Their health and wellbeing must be a priority in these plans, and we will continue to advocate for this at the iHV.

But – this is an opportunity that the health visiting profession will need to get behind to build a sustainable future. This requires cross-party support and a long-term plan– our children’s health is too important to be left to chance and party politics!

What next: In the absence of a Chief Public Health Nurse, we have written to the Chief Nursing Officer for England, Dame Ruth May DBE, and the Public Health Minister with an offer of support and request to meet to discuss the Plan and its implications for health visiting.

Want to know more about why health visiting matters?

Read our recent evidence submissions for further details on the benefits of a sufficiently resourced health visiting workforce that will be accrued across the health, education and social care systems. Also see our infographic “Who are health visitors and what do they do?” and iHV short films – see links below:

*Calculation based on published total combined HV workforce in September 2022 = 6,840; and totals combined HV workforce Sep 2020 = 7,810.

We need you! Are you:

  • An experienced SCPHN (minimum of 3 years)?
  • Passionate about leadership within SCPHN practice with experience in a specialist or clinical leadership role?
  • Willing to support one mentee at a given time for a minimum of 4 sessions?
  • Suitably supported by your employer to participate and provide mentorship for future leaders?

We are thrilled to see the exponential growth in interest for our iHV Leading Excellence in Practice leadership programme. We are delighted to see the next generation of aspiring SCPHNs stepping forward to become leaders for the profession and are loving the energy they are bringing with them.

Part of our Leading Excellence in Practice programme is the provision of mentorship to support the candidate on their leadership journey through the programme. We believe so many of you have so much to offer the profession in terms of gentle guidance based upon your own journey and your experience. Our mentors regularly share how much they gain from mentorship, and we also know that the candidates really value the mentorship they receive through the programme, in terms of the additional perspective it offers them.

The role of leadership mentors for this programme is:

  • As a ‘critical friend’, a mentor is able to offer guidance, support and form a positive one-to-one relationship with their mentees.
  • To provide encouragement and guidance using a range of approaches to support the mentees in their development as future leaders.
  • To create a supportive, challenging and reflective learning environment during the one-to-one sessions to help them focus on their strengths and areas for development.
  • To guide (but not direct) the mentee to support their personal development in line with the learning outcomes of the iHV Leading Excellence in Practice programme.

The commitment to the mentee in terms of time is:

  • Attendance at a virtual Mentor Briefing:  25 April 2023 – 3:00-4:30pm via Zoom (details to follow) – SAVE THE DATE!!
  • Provide mentorship meetings for one hour (x 4 virtual meetings) for one candidate in either of the following cohorts:
    • May 2023 (with mentor meetings in June, Sept, Nov & Dec)
    • June 2023 (with mentor meetings in July, Oct, Dec, Feb)
    • July 2023 (with mentor meetings in Sept, Nov, Jan, March)

How to apply:

If you would like to become an iHV Leadership Programme Mentor and meet the criteria at the top of this email, please complete the expression of interest form below by 3 April 2023:

Any Questions?

Please contact: [email protected]

We need you! Are you:

  • An iHV member?
  • An experienced SCPHN (minimum of 3 years)?
  • Passionate about leadership within SCPHN practice with experience in a specialist or clinical leadership role?
  • Willing to support one mentee at a given time for a minimum of 4 sessions?
  • Suitably supported by your employer to participate and provide mentorship for future leaders?

We are thrilled to see the exponential growth in interest for our iHV Leading Excellence in Practice leadership programme. We are delighted to see the next generation of aspiring SCPHNs stepping forward to become leaders for the profession and are loving the energy they are bringing with them.

Part of our Leading Excellence in Practice programme is the provision of mentorship to support the candidate on their leadership journey through the programme. We believe so many of you have so much to offer the profession in terms of gentle guidance based upon your own journey and your experience. Our mentors regularly share how much they gain from mentorship, and we also know that the candidates really value the mentorship they receive through the programme, in terms of the additional perspective it offers them.

The role of leadership mentors for this programme is:

  • As a ‘critical friend’ a mentor is able to offer guidance, support and form a positive one-to-one relationship with their mentees.
  • To provide encouragement and guidance using a range of approaches to support the mentees in their development as future leaders.
  • To create a supportive, challenging and reflective learning environment during the one-to-one sessions to help them focus on their strengths and areas for development.
  • To guide (but not direct) the mentee to support their personal development in line with the learning outcomes of the iHV leading excellence in practice programme.

The commitment to the mentee in terms of time is:

  • Attendance at a virtual Mentor Briefing:  25 April 2023 – 15:00-16:30 – via Zoom (details to follow) SAVE THE DATE!!
  • Provide 4 x virtually delivered mentorship meetings of one hour for one candidate in either of the following cohorts:
    • May 2023 (with mentor meetings in June, Sept, Nov & Dec)
    • July 2023 (with mentor meetings in Sept, Nov, Jan, March).

If you would like to become an iHV Leadership Programme Mentor and meet the criteria at the top of this email, please complete the expression of interest form below by 3 April 2023:

If you have any questions, please contact: [email protected]

Exciting job opportunity with the Institute of Health Visiting

Are you:

  • An ambitious administrator with an engaging online presence, looking for a stimulating and varied work opportunity?
  • Looking for an exciting role providing central support to a dynamic team providing nationally recognised training?
  • Organised and systematic in your approach to work and able to work remotely without direct supervision?

If yes, then come join us.

This is an excellent opportunity to join the Institute of Health Visiting, the leading Centre of Excellence for health visiting, as our Virtual Training Host/Training Administrator to support the organisation of our training events and meetings, acting as technical Host (hosting online training events and Forum meetings), and providing specific support for the mental health team and wider iHV team administrative activity. Provision of national training is an important function of the work undertaken by the Institute and provides important income for the iHV which is a charity.

This exciting post is offered to provide capacity to our virtual training events and meet the increased administration needs arising from the growing demand for our training programmes, while providing an opportunity for the right candidate to become part of the valued administration team at the Institute.

We are seeking applicants who enjoy varied work and are good self-starters with excellent personal drive. You will need to be able to work efficiently remotely without direct supervision as well as collaboratively as part of a busy team in the office when needed. You will have experience in the use of online meeting platforms and a confident presence in the virtual space, as well as efficient administrative and organizing skills using Microsoft Office applications.

As the Virtual Training Host/Training Administrator, you will:

  • Work alongside the iHV training facilitators providing technical coordination for our virtual training events. This hosting role is central to the success of our live online training and ensures a very positive training experience for the participants, where you will welcome them to the virtual space and assist with any issues.
  • Support the current iHV Training Administrator and will oversee the day-to-day preparation for our regular multi-agency training events, ensuring that the systematic preparation and robust liaison with all parties supports delivery at the highest standard by our trainers.

This post will:

  • Suit candidates who work are organised and systematic in their approach to work and are excellent communicators. You will be supported by a fantastic team including the iHV Head of Training, iHV Training Programme Manager, iHV Training Administrator, and the wonderful trainers and wider iHV team.
  • Offer the right candidate a unique opportunity to enjoy a job that provides a real variety of tasks, which contributes to the delivery of highly acclaimed and nationally recognised training, while working on alongside a really committed and dynamic team.

Location: Emsworth, Hampshire – working from home and local office base as required

Applications close:  9am Friday 10 March 2023
Interviews: w/c 20 March 2023

For further information or an informal conversation about this post, please contact Philippa Bishop, iHV Head of Training – [email protected]  

 

Exciting new role with the Institute of Health Visiting – iHV Continuing Professional Development Lead

Are you:

  • An experienced health visitor with experience of leading continuous professional development in health visiting and 0-5 public health practice?
  • Are you knowledgeable about technology enhanced learning?
  • An excellent communicator, motivated to lead the development and delivery of training programmes to improve practice and professional development?

If yes, then come join us.

This is an excellent opportunity to join the Institute of Health Visiting, the leading Centre of Excellence for health visiting, as the new iHV Continuing Professional Development Lead to support the future development of the iHV’s highly rated training programmes and new online learning resources. Provision of national training is an important function of the work undertaken by the Institute and provides important income for the iHV which is a charity.

We are seeking applicants for this brand-new senior position at the iHV. The successful applicant will have a track record of leading the design, development, delivery and evaluation of sustainable blended learning programmes to meet the learning needs of health visitors, their team and the wider early years workforce.

This post will work closely with the iHV Head of Projects & Evaluation and iHV Head of Training to lead the development of our iHV LEARN platform as part of ongoing development and delivery of sustainable and high-quality continuing professional development for the workforce.

As the iHV Continuing Professional Development Lead, you will:

  • Work in a matrix way across all departments at the iHV and with external stakeholders to ensure that we achieve our aim of delivering excellence in health visiting through the training and CPD offered
  • Lead on an important programme of technology-enhanced learning to broaden CPD opportunities offered to the workforce
  • Deliver key training programmes, maintaining and refreshing the current programme materials as needed, as well as developing new programmes for future delivery

This post will suit candidates:

  • Educated to masters level, or equivalent, and registered as a professional educator with the NMC, with a recognised qualification in training and education
  • With significant personal drive who are competent and confident in the use of technology as a means to enhance learning now and in the future
  • Seeking to work at a national level alongside an innovative and energetic team

Applications close:  9am Friday 10 March 2023
Interviews: Monday 27 March 2023

For further information or an informal conversation about this post please contact Philippa Bishop, iHV Head of Training – [email protected]


A bit about us – Institute of Health Visiting

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), established in 2012, is an independent charity, professional body, and Centre of Excellence – established to strengthen the quality and consistency of health visiting practice, so that health visitors can effectively respond to the health needs of all babies, children, families, and communities enabling them to achieve their optimum level of health, thereby reducing inequalities. The core focus of its work is on education, research, quality improvement and developing leadership in health visiting.

The iHV is a UK-wide organisation with a web-based Centre of Excellence for health visitors (www.ihv.org.uk).

Our values – we believe that:

  • Improving public health outcomes for babies, children, families, and communities is at the heart of health visiting practice
  • When appropriately resourced, health visiting provides a vital infrastructure of support that is central to improving public health outcomes and to reducing inequalities in health
  • Ensuring the highest standards of education, research and practice means that health visitors can deliver a world-class service
  • Health visiting leaders flourish in an environment of academic and professional excellence.

We are fully committed to the active promotion of equality, diversity, and inclusion in everything that we do. We want to enable an organisational culture that values diversity and we are committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination.

New and exciting opportunity with the Institute

Are you:

  • An ambitious health visitor with an interest in professional development and training, looking for a stimulating and varied development opportunity?
  • Committed to improving babies, young children and their families’ outcomes through a strengthened health visiting service and greater emphasis on evidence-driven prevention and early intervention?
  • An excellent communicator, motivated by providing practitioners with the training opportunities and evidence to drive improvements in practice?

If yes, then come join us. This is an excellent opportunity to join the iHV, the leading Centre of Excellence for health visiting, as our Training Programme Manager (Maternity Cover) to support the coordination of our training and assist the iHV Head of Training and wider team activity. This exciting opportunity is offered to cover the maternity leave of the current postholder, while providing an opportunity for the right candidate to develop their career with experience of working for the Institute.

We are seeking applicants who can demonstrate a track record of managing and coordinating projects or managing multiple programmes of work. They will have excellent communication skills to liaise directly with course participants and wider stakeholders linked to iHV training commissions. As the Training Programme Manager, you will work alongside the current iHV Head of Training and will oversee the day-to-day coordination of our regular multi-agency training events, ensuring that these are delivered to the highest standard and meet our contractual obligations to our stakeholders (commissioners, grant funding bodies and individual customers as participants).

Candidates must have SCPHN registration (experience as a mentor or practice teacher desirable and or some experience of iHV training delivery (e.g. as an iHV Champion)). You will need significant personal drive and the ability to work well remotely and without direct supervision.

The post is intended as a development post for health visitors and will suit candidates who work well with systems and people, have excellent organisation skills, are good communicators, and can identify risk and produce high quality reports. Your work will support the role of the iHV Head of Training, and you will be supported by a fantastic team including the iHV Training Administrators, iHV Mental Health team and wider team.

This post will offer the right candidate a unique opportunity to develop their interest in professional development and project management type work, working at a national level alongside a really committed and dynamic team.

Applications close: 12 noon Friday 2 December 2022

Interviews: Wednesday 14 December 2022 (interviews via Zoom)

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More women* across the nation are set to benefit from being physically active during and after pregnancy, as ukactive and Sport England announce the results of the This Mum Moves pilot project and plans for its expansion.

This Mum Moves was created to support women to continue to enjoy and benefit from an active lifestyle ‘during pregnancy and after childbirth’ by enabling and upskilling healthcare professionals to confidently promote and provide advice around physical activity within routine pre and postnatal care.

ukactive launched the project in 2018 alongside several national partners, supported by National Lottery funding and Sport England.

During a three-year pilot, This Mum Moves worked with NHS trusts in Sheffield, Sunderland, Plymouth, Cambridge, and Bexley, to deliver training to more than 400 healthcare professionals.

An independent evaluation by the Centre for Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research at Canterbury Christ Church University showed that following This Mum Moves training:

  • 85% of healthcare professionals were ‘committed’ or ‘highly committed’ to apply what they had learned into practice.
  • 81% felt confident to start a conversation with women about physical activity during and after pregnancy.
  • 76% of healthcare professionals ‘often’ or ‘always’ provided physical activity advice to women during and after pregnancy.
  • 97% of healthcare professionals said they would recommend This Mum Moves training to a friend or colleague.

Following the piloting of training materials and resources, ukactive and Sport England have established a sustainable model which now will be taken forward by project partners, The Active Pregnancy Foundation and the Institute of Health Visiting.

The offer will also be expanded to wider workforces, including fitness professionals, recognising that conversations by healthcare professionals have the potential to open doors to discussion across organisations, and in consultation with other professionals.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said:

“We want to ensure every pregnant woman and new mum has access to support about being active during this time, so it’s great to know This Mum Moves is helping healthcare and fitness professionals to deliver it.

“Our findings show This Mum Moves is helping to build the knowledge, confidence and motivation for healthcare professionals to have these conversations with women, so that more mums feel supported to be active for the health of mother and child.

“We are excited to see the Active Pregnancy Foundation and Institute of Health Visiting grow this model and reach more communities.”

Frances Drury, Head of Activation at Sport England, said:

“During a period of enormous change – like pregnancy and becoming a new mother – being active is very important, as it boosts mental and physical health at a time that can be very challenging.

“Physical activity can be an effective means of reducing rates of postnatal depression among other conditions.  But we know that 74% of pregnant women and new mums have safety concerns in relation to being active – and 64% would be encouraged to continue or to take up activity if they were given guidance or encouragement by a healthcare professional.

“We are delighted that This Mum Moves is expanding to enable more healthcare professionals to support more pregnant women and new mothers.”

Dr Marlize De Vivo, CEO of The Active Pregnancy Foundation, said:

“Physical activity is not simply a tick box at the antenatal booking appointment, it is a means to an end, with the potential to address many pregnancy problems including gestational diabetes, excessive weight gain, high blood pressure problems, and postnatal depression, to name but a few.

“This will not only reduce costs and increase capacity within the maternal care system but also improve women’s quality of life.

“While healthcare professionals have a crucial role in the dissemination of information, we also know that engaging women in active lifestyles requires systemic change and interprofessional collaboration.

“We are therefore excited to be involved in upscaling this project and rolling the offer out to other workforces, including allied and fitness professionals.”

Victoria Gilroy, Head of Projects and Evaluation at the Institute of Health Visiting, said:

“Physical activity has significant benefits for women and their families’ quality of life. Working together to raise awareness in the wider workforce, with those who come into contact with pregnant women and new mothers, is key to ensuring that consistent and timely advice can be offered at all contacts.

“We are delighted to be able to continue developing this important work in partnership with The Active Pregnancy Foundation.”

To find out more about This Mum Moves programme click here.

*Where referring to ‘women’ and ‘mothers’, this should be taken to include people who do not identify as women but who are pregnant.


Upcoming Training Dates:

  • 24 May 2022, 09:00-13:00
  • 21 September 2022, 09:00-13:00
  • Cost: £150.00 (no VAT)

This Mum Moves (TMM) Ambassador Training is a half-day training event that will equip professionals with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to discuss physical activity during pregnancy and after childbirth.

The training is delivered live via Zoom and will provide learners with access to a digital toolkit to support conversations and further learning. It will also provide participants with the resources to facilitate the promotion of physical activity, including cascade and promotional materials. This training has been accredited by the CPD Standards Office and equates to 3 CPD points.

In support of World Autism Acceptance Week 2022 (28 March – 3 April), we are delighted to tell you about our fantastic upcoming training opportunity for you to become a Changing Conversations: Autism & Supporting Behaviour Ambassador.

The aim of the programme is to equip you to be Ambassadors for Changing Conversations when supporting families when they have concerns that their child may have autism.

This is a hosted event, and you will have the opportunity to network and share practice with HVs from other areas and organisations. The training is suitable for qualified health visitors with an interest in neurodiversity and supporting parents of autistic children. You will also be offered the opportunity to receive additional training to support you to:

  • share your learning with your health visitor colleagues.
  • enhance the support that health visitors offer to these families.

This one day Ambassador training event will equip HVs to act as advocates for parents with children who may be autistic. It will introduce resources including: Good Practice Points, Parent Tips, films, case studies, parent and child stories, along with collated research and literature to support a broader knowledge base and provide quality-assured resources that families can be signposted to. Finally, there is a PowerPoint Awareness session that Ambassadors can share with colleagues.

Objectives of the training

  • To raise awareness of the specific needs of families of children with autism
  • To understand what a child’s behaviour is communicating, and how to support families
  • To apply learning to wider early intervention with all families
  • To be aware of evidence-based practice for HVs in this subject
  • To be able to access resources to consolidate learning and support practice

Book your place today

Demand is high – so don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

Changing Conversations: Autism & Supporting Behaviour Ambassador Training

  • Date: 18 May 2022
  • Time: 09:00-16:30
  • Location: Online via Zoom

Cost: iHV Members: £200
Non-Members: £225

How to book

To apply, send your completed application form to [email protected]

Participant feedback:

“ Thank-you. The training was amazing.”

“The views and feeling of those with autism were insightful and useful. After all, who better to tell us what a lived experience is like than those living it!”

“I feel all health visiting and early years staff should attend this training. It can make a positive impact on practice”

 

“I was blown away by all the information in this toolkit. It really is going to be beneficial for myself and my colleagues to use”

“The information contained in this kit is very informative and has changed my practice, just what we need to support children with autism”

 

“I feel more confident to offer parents possible strategies to cope with their child’s distressed behaviour”

“I will be listening better to parents when they share concerns and try to unpick with them more what they are experiencing with their child”

Bookings open for 11 and 12 May 2022

 

This is an opportunity to book a place on our hosted training event which provides an opportunity for individual practitioners to complete our programme.

Our multi-agency Perinatal & Infant Mental Health Champions training programme is designed to improve family mental health by:

  • increasing competence and confidence in perinatal and infant mental health practice
  • developing place-based leadership for perinatal and infant mental health across complex systems of care
  • raising awareness of the importance of perinatal and infant mental health across the workforce

Date and Time:

  • Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 May 2022 (both days to be attended)
  • 09:00-16:30 online – log in from 08:45

Cost of places:

  • £415 – iHV Member (membership number required for booking)
  • £450 – Non-member

How do I apply?