The Institute of Health Visiting wishes to reconfirm that it always seeks to ensure its activities and publications comply with the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative. We have never and will never take sponsorship from the formula milk industry.

The Institute welcomes and supports Unicef UK’s Call to Action campaign – calling on MPs to commit to protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding both locally and nationally.

On Tuesday 5 December, Unicef UK is holding a drop-in event for MPs, to tell them about their “Change the Conversation” Call to Action and asking them to make a pledge to:

  • Commit to making their workplace breastfeeding friendly
  • Support their local health services to become Baby Friendly
  • Champion the Call to Action campaign in Parliament.

This is where Unicef UK’s campaign needs your help. Constituents’ voices are so important in raising MPs’ awareness of these issues and the need for action.

Please write to your MP encouraging them to attend the event to make the pledge. This link takes you to the Unicef UK campaign page where you can fill in your information to identify your local MP, create an email which is already prefilled with important information, and then just click to send it – it’s as simple as that!

By making this simple pledge, MPs will show that they recognise the importance of breastfeeding to the health and wellbeing of babies and mothers, and are committed to taking action to support it.

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The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) announces the launch of its International membership whilst Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, iHV executive director, Professor Dame Sarah Cowley, iHV Trustee, and Dr Karen Whitaker, iHV Fellow, attend a UNICEF meeting in Leiden, Holland, as professional advisors to support the introduction of home visiting services in other countries.

iHV International membership has been introduced for those living overseas who would like to have access to the latest evidence-based research, reports, briefings and other materials relevant to the work of the health visitor.  In addition, this new category of membership helps the iHV to raise international awareness of the important role of health visitors.

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

“I am pleased to open up our membership of the Institute of Health Visiting to those health professionals living outside of the UK who work with babies, children, families and communities.  Membership of the iHV provides access to our vast number of excellent evidence-based resources and information to improve outcomes for children and families and reduce health inequalities.”

The announcement of iHV’s International membership coincides with Cheryll, Sarah and Karen’s attendance and presentations at a UNICEF meeting, being held in Leiden, Holland, where UNICEF is supporting the introduction of a home visiting service based on health visiting into 25 countries across Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Dr Adams added:

“I am delighted we are helping support UNICEF to introduce home visiting services into other countries. UNICEF is turning to England as a source of best practice on the central role that the health visitor plays in the lives of families due to our history and the level of experience and sophistication in our systems.  The UK health visiting service is seen as the gold standard service to emulate, with the iHV as the ‘go to place’ to support these countries.”

In 2014, the iHV hosted a meeting for UNICEF where child and family health experts from Eastern Europe and Central Asia visited England to learn about the vital role that health visitors play in health and wellbeing outcomes for children and their families in England – they heard presentations on policy, education, research, practice, health visiting frameworks and tools.

Dr Adams added:

“We’re very proud here at the Institute of Health Visiting to be working with UNICEF to help child and family experts of other countries to improve the health and development outcomes of young children and their families in their own countries.  Health visitors in the UK play a vital role in ensuring that every child gets the best possible start in life – and the iHV supports UK health visitors to do just that!  And now, with our International membership, the iHV will be helping other health professionals to achieve the same in their own countries.”

Congratulations to Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust’s (SCFT) Healthy Child Programme in West Sussex which has received an OUTSTANDING result for Stage 2 Baby Friendly accreditation by UNICEF.

SCFT’s Health Visiting and Infant Feeding Team

SCFT’s Health Visiting and Infant Feeding Team

SCFT’s Health Visiting and Infant Feeding Teams underwent a rigorous assessment process to provide assurance that they deliver the very highest standards of care. SCFT received Stage 1 Baby Friendly accreditation in July 2015 and were “highly commended”.

Stage 2 of the Baby Friendly Initiative assessment assesses the level of knowledge and skills of staff that are providing breastfeeding support and care for pregnant women, mothers and babies.

SCFT is now working towards Stage 3 accreditation. Assessors will interviews mothers across West Sussex to assess if they have been given antenatal and postnatal advice and support by their Health Visiting service as required by UNICEF Baby Friendly. SCFT aims to pass Stage 3 and to be fully accredited as UNICEF Baby Friendly in 2017.

The Institute of Health Visiting wishes to confirm that it always seeks to ensure its activities and publications comply with the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative. We have never and will never take sponsorship from the formula milk industry.

#celebratebreastfeeding

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Ellywa – nl.wikipedia / commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7113434

Today Dr Cheryll Adams, iHV Director, gave an inspiring keynote speech in Geneva.

Our Eastern European colleagues were inspired to hear all about our gold standard health visiting service in the UK.