iHV welcomes Professor Mitch Blair and Dr Michael Fanner as new Trustees

At our recent Board meeting, the iHV was delighted to welcome two new Trustees to its board – Professor Mitch Blair and Dr Michael Fanner. They have been appointed to bring additional skills to our Board at a time when the health of our nation’s babies and children is deteriorating, with widening inequalities. The health visiting profession also faces numerous challenges, as well as opportunities to help turn the situation around, with a renewed focus on the importance of prevention and early intervention in the earliest years of life across UK governments.

Thank you

This week, 6-10 November 2023, is “Trustees Week”, providing a time for us to celebrate the achievements of all charity trustees across the UK. At the iHV, we want to thank all our Trustees for the time, commitment and effort they bring to our organisation. Our Board of Trustees brings a wealth of experience from a number of sectors including research, education, senior operational leadership, media, inclusion and national policy. They add an enormous amount of value, constructive challenge and rigour to our organisation, taking on major responsibilities for no personal gain.

We look forward to working with our new Trustees and welcome them to the iHV:

  • Professor Mitch Blair is Professor of Paediatrics and Child Public Health (Emeritus) at Imperial College London. He has 41 years NHS practice in General and Community Paediatrics as a Consultant Paediatrician and recently retired in July 23. Mitch is well-known to most health visitors as a co-author of “Health for All Children: 5th Edition” and proponent of robust implementation of the Healthy Child Programme for the benefit of all children.

Professor Mitch Blair

  • Dr Michael Fanner is a health visitor and currently works as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford. With previous roles as a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for SCPHN education, Public Health Technical Adviser for the WHO Collaborating Centre for public health nursing, and iHV Professional Adviser for Safeguarding, Michael brings a wealth of experience in research, health visitor education and child safeguarding, as well as diversity to our Board.
man wearing glasses smiling

Dr Michael Fanner

The charity’s Trustee Board is delighted to appoint Susan Tokley as its new Chair. Susan will succeed Pamela Goldberg OBE FRSA who has reached the end of her seven-year term as the Institute of Health Visiting’s Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Susan Tokley, the Institute of Health Visiting’s new Chair of the Board of Trustees

Susan is an experienced leader with a portfolio career that spans several senior roles in the NHS, as well as nurse consultancy work (NMC fitness to practise/medico-legal work/management consultancy). After an early career as a health visitor, Susan moved to commissioning, and on to more senior leadership/executive nursing roles in London.  She has a comprehensive understanding of healthcare systems, both as a commissioner and provider across both acute and community health services.

Susan also has a breadth of experience in the charity sector and is currently a Non-Executive Director and Chair of a Housing Association.

Responding to her appointment, Susan Tokley, the new Chair of the Institute of Health Visiting, said:

“I am delighted to be taking on the role of chair at this important juncture for health visiting and the iHV.  I am looking forward to working with the board, building on their past work and looking ahead to deliver a strategy that truly impacts on future public health for children and families.”

Welcoming Susan Tokley, Alison Morton, CEO of the Institute of Health Visiting, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Sue to the Institute as its new Chair this week. Sue brings a wealth of experience to the role and joins at a time to help further develop our strategy as the organisation continues to grow. This will build on the great work that Pamela has achieved. I look forward to working with her to implement our plans in the years ahead.

“I am extremely grateful to Pamela for her outstanding contribution and dedicated service to the Institute of Health Visiting. During her time as Chair, the organisation has gone from strength to strength. In particular, I want to thank Pamela for the incredible personal support and encouragement she has given to me and the team at the iHV. Pamela could always be relied on for her sound decision making, as well as her kind and calm approach.”

The Trustee Board would like to thank Pamela Goldberg who has skilfully led the organisation over two consecutive terms as Chair of the board since 2016. During this time, the iHV has grown considerably into the successful organisation that it is today. Pamela has also overseen considerable change, with a new CEO and ways of working during the pandemic. We thank Pamela for her impressive leadership, wisdom and hard work over her period as Chair and wish her every happiness and health in her next ventures.

Pamela Goldberg OBE FRSA, Institute of Health Visiting Chair – 2016-2023

The Board looks forward to the future, working with Susan to lead the Institute of Health Visiting and our work to fulfil our mission to improve health and reduce inequalities for babies, children and families through a strengthened and effective health visiting service.

We are seeking a new Chair to pick up the mantle and lead a highly capable, successful and aligned Board and Executive Team into the next era. Our Chair plays an important role in helping us to continue to meet our founding mission. The new Chair will build on our success to date, and help us continue to build a sustainable financial future. They will have an interest in public health and the wellbeing of children and families.

Trustees can serve up to two terms, each of three years, in office before being required to step down.  In December 2022, the charity announced that Pamela Goldberg, current Chair of the Institute of Health Visiting, would step down in 2023 when her second term expires.

The role of Chair of the iHV is a voluntary, unpaid, non-executive position. The overall purpose of the Chair’s role is to lead and oversee the work of the iHV Board of Trustees. The Board in turn is responsible for setting the strategic direction and the governance of the iHV.

The Chair will be a figurehead for the organisation and “champion” of the values, vision and mission of the Institute.

This opportunity is for a very special person who wants to do exceptional things at the Institute, which is a flexible and ambitious organisation, as demonstrated by its many achievements.

Candidate Profile

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Proven skills in chairing Board/Senior committee level meetings in industry, NHS/LA, or voluntary sector
  • Experience in business/organisational leadership at senior level, ideally with a proven record of strategic leadership and business planning
  • Financial management, funding strategies, funding sources and fundraising
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to engage with a wider range of audiences and stakeholders – effective media management
  • The successful candidate will be credible in the world of health visiting, child and/or public health (a background in health visiting is not required – both our current and former Chair come from different sectors).
  • Confident, engaging ambassador who relates well with multiple stakeholders
  • The utmost integrity, diplomacy and ability to articulate the organisation’s strategic vision
  • Professional credibility across a range of settings, ideally including national settings
  • Experience of working in or with the charity sector is desirable
  • Understands health visiting and its importance in public health
  • Entrepreneurially minded – can think out of the box and see the bigger picture
  • Commitment to improving the health of children, families, and communities
  • A high level of emotional intelligence
  • Resilient and able to handle conflict to reach consensus
  • Visionary and leader of people – able to motivate staff and bring people together and with them
  • Dynamic and inspiring
  • Quick to learn; able to think on feet
  • Open to input and new ideas
  • Supportive of others – collaborative team builder

Expected time commitment and other requirements

Time commitment: 1 -2 days a month

The Board meets quarterly.  It is important that the Chair is able to be available to the Chief Executive on a regular basis and for occasional consultations, generally by telephone or email with senior staff.  The Chair should also be able to participate in occasional evening and daytime events such as conferences.

Appointment Process

The iHV will run a formal appointment process, producing a short list of those interested in this post, before inviting them to interview.

For application, please provide the following:

  • A supporting statement: This should clearly set out why you are interested in this opportunity and how you meet each of the criteria set out in the person specification.  You should provide evidence in each case (i.e., provide examples, facts, explaining what was achieved and how it helped your organisation’s goals).
  • A comprehensive CV including details of your achievements in each role.
  • Details of two references, one of whom is able to testify to your current performance and suitability for this post, e.g., current employer. Please state whether you are happy for us to contact them as part of the appointment process.

Please send these to [email protected] by Monday 13 March 2023

The iHV aims to confirm its new Chair’s appointment following a handover period and the annual financial audit in July 2023.

Further details

If you would like further details, or to have an initial discussion before applying, either with Alison Morton (iHV CEO) or Pamela Goldberg (iHV Chair of the Board) please contact [email protected] directly to arrange an appointment.

Rewarding and interesting opportunity with the Institute of Health Visiting

The Institute of Health Visiting is currently looking for a new Treasurer to join our Board of Trustees to help guide us on financial matters. This is an exciting time to join our charity and make a lasting impact to our work. Join a well-established and supportive Board of Trustees who all bring a wealth of experience and knowledge across many different sectors including health & social care and commercial experience in marketing, communications and public affairs.

We’re looking for an Honorary Treasurer with an understanding of charity sector finance and governance, to ensure the robust management of our financial operations and risk management as we grow. This is an interesting opportunity for someone with finance experience in the private, non-profit or public sector, and to join a Trustee Board that is passionate about supporting the work of the Institute to improve health outcomes and reduce inequalities for babies, young children and families through a strengthened health visiting service.

The role of Treasurer is to help oversee the financial work of our Charity, and not to be involved in the day to day running of the iHV’s finances – full details of the role are set out in the job description.

We want to represent all the communities we serve. Appointment will be made solely on merit. However, the iHV is fully committed to increasing the diversity of our Board and we are particularly keen to receive applications from people from all sections of the community, including people from minoritised ethnic groups or people with other protected characteristics.

Applications close: 9am, 15 March 2022.  Successful applicants will be informed as soon as possible after that.


Exciting and unique opportunities with the Institute

The Institute was set up in 2012 to support the work of health visitors to help give every baby the best start in life and in so doing to reduce health inequalities.  It is now a very well established academic professional body which reaches across the UK and internationally and works with many partners including, increasingly, users of health visiting services.

The main areas of focus of this award-winning organisation are on research, education, quality assurance, leadership and partnership work which come together to develop practice in health visiting.  However, we also have a significant social media and online presence which reaches very many others who either work with health visitors, are parents or are interested in learning about the work of the Institute. In particular, we produce a unique set of Parent Tips offering best evidence in a range of areas to parents, our most popular product.

The iHV is seeking to appoint two new trustees who have expertise in either:

  • Business development


  • Marketing/External relationships

The new Trustees will be passionate about the importance of investing support at the start of life to improve every child’s outcomes and will be experienced professionals in their fields. Previous experience in the charity sector would be helpful but not essential.

Applications close: 12 noon on Friday 28 June.  Successful applicants will be informed as soon as possible after that.

Interviews: Interviews will take place on Thursday 11 July in London.  We advise all applicants to keep this date free.


We are delighted that our founding member and trustee, Professor Dame Sarah Cowley,  has been listed in the Nursing Standard/RCNi Celebration of 70 influential nurses and midwives from 1948 to 2018 – a list of nurses and midwives to celebrate 70 years of the NHS.

Sarah has had a distinguished career in health visiting and research culminating in being one of the four founders of the Institute.  In the 2013 New Year’s Honours List,  Sarah was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in acknowledgement of her services to health visiting.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, said:

“I am so delighted that Sarah has been chosen for this great honour which is thoroughly deserved. She had positively influenced the lives of many families and the careers of many health visitor researchers over her career.”

Professor Dame Sarah Cowley commented:

“I am honoured to be included amongst such luminaries.”

Professor Sally Kendall MBE

We are delighted that Sally Kendall, professor of community nursing and public health at the University of Kent, has been awarded an MBE for services to nursing and to research in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, said:

“This is fabulous news. Sally was one of the four founders of the Institute and remains one of our Trustees.  She has a particular responsibility in supporting our research developments which she fulfils with huge energy and commitment.”