Following the publication of the “COVID-19 restoration of community health services for children and young people: second phase of NHS response“ last week, we launch updated versions of the COVID-19 professional advice documents that were originally published in March. The documents have been developed in partnership with Public Health England, and have been signed off by them, to support the safe and effective delivery of health visiting practice during the restoration of the health visiting service during COVID-19.

The advice includes a clear statement on the redeployment of health visitors by Public Health England that:

“Where services have been interrupted this requires the restoration of elements of the service that were stopped, paused or reduced during the earliest phase of the pandemic and the return of any redeployed members of the health visiting team where this has been the case”.

The refreshed advice also includes the reinstatement of the 6-8 week postnatal review which is particularly important to ensure families are supported and perinatal mental health conditions are identified.

Additional safeguards to protect vulnerable children have been included with advice that “Face-to-face contacts should be prioritised for families who are not known to services, or those with safeguarding concerns, to mitigate known limitations of virtual contacts and support effective assessment of needs/ risks”.

We have also included additional information on the use of virtual contacts – their benefits as well as recommendations to minimise their limitations

Our suite of refreshed documents Delivering the Health Visitor Healthy Child Programme during the COVID-19 pandemic – Professional advice to support best practice include:

Please note: As the COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing, the information in these resources may change. Please keep checking the Government and NHS websites for details.

Also, don’t forget our COVID-19 webpages for health visitors and parents – see details below:

COVID-19 webpages

  • For Health Visitors– These new professional advice documents can be found on our COVID-19 (coronavirus) guidance for health visitors webpage –
  • For parents and families– The iHV is dedicated to supporting the health and wellbeing of all families and we are putting together links and resources from trusted organisations and websites to support parents and families during the COVID-19 pandemic – please see our Parenting through Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage –

We have waivered our usual restrictions on resources for members so that the COVID-19 sections of our website are “free access” to all to support the national response to this pandemic.

Health Education England (HEE) has updated and refreshed the e-learning training sessions for the ten core statutory and mandatory topics as defined in the UK Core Skills Training Framework for the health and social care workforce.

The e-learning sessions, which can be accessed free of charge via HEE’s e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) hub and via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR), have been updated with content provided by subject matter experts across the ten topics which include:

  • Conflict Resolution (L1)
  • Equality, Diversity and Human Rights (L1)
  • Fire Safety (L1)
  • Health, Safety and Welfare (L1)
  • Infection Prevention and Control (L1)
  • Moving and Handling (L1)
  • Preventing Radicalisation (L1)
  • Resuscitation (L1)

The e-learning sessions on Safeguarding Children, Safeguarding Adults, Information Governance and level 2 sessions will be updated and available by end of June 2017.  The existing e-learning sessions for these topics will remain available on the e-LfH hub and ESR for staff to access.

Alan Ryan, Director of National Programmes, HEE said:

“The updated suite of core statutory and mandatory e-learning sessions will ensure consistency in quality and the definition and delivery of such training.  This will also make the completion of statutory and mandatory training more efficient thanks to the centralised approach for both learners and trainers, especially as the e-learning is available to the whole health and social care workforce, including students on placement.”

In addition to including updated content the sessions also have more graphically rich and engaging content as the programme has been redeveloped using a new authoring tool, Adapt, which allows greater interactivity to reinforce learning.

The short and high-impact sessions have been developed to allow learners to complete the training and then progress to the assessment.  There is also the option for learners to proceed straight to the assessment without completing the training, if they are confident in the subject area.

To access the free e-learning sessions click here or visit the Electronic Staff Record.

The Department of Health has updated some materials for the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Prevention programme:

FGM Safeguarding and Risk Assessment – Quick guide for health professionals

This guide has been created to help health professionals identify and assess the risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) for patients in their care and to support the discussion with patients and family members.

The guide will help you to:

  • Start the conversation and confidently discuss FGM with patients and their families.
  • Use the risk assessment tool to assess whether your patient is either at risk, or has had, FGM. Also to identify whether your patient has children or whether there are other children in the family / close friends who are potentially at risk of FGM.
  • Safeguard your patients appropriately, including understanding when to refer to social care and the police.
  • Learn more about FGM, including the different types, the health impacts, a world map of where FGM is practised and the different names and local terms used to describe FGM.

FGM Risk Assessment Tool

This FGM Risk Assessment Tool comprises 3 sections:


This is to help you make a decision as to whether the unborn child (or other female children in the family) are at risk of FGM or whether the woman herself is at risk of further harm in relation to her FGM.

  • Part One (b): NON-PREGNANT ADULT WOMAN (over 18)

This is to help decide whether any female children are at risk of FGM, whether there are other children in the family for whom a risk assessment may be required or whether the woman herself is at risk of further harm in relation to her FGM.

  • Part 2: CHILD/YOUNG ADULT (under 18 years old)

This is to help when considering whether a child is AT RISK of FGM, or whether there are other children in the family for whom a risk assessment may be required.

  • Part 3: CHILD/YOUNG ADULT (under 18 years old)

This is to help when considering whether a child HAS HAD FGM.

Service standards for commissioning Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) care

This guidance describes service standards expected to be commissioned for the confirmation of FGM in children under the age of 18.

If you have any queries relating to the above documents, please contact [email protected]




Our Good Practice Points (GPPs) and Parent Tips (PTs) around breastfeeding have gone through a radical overhaul in line with recent changes with BFI and UNICEF, and are now available on our website.

Updated Good Practice Points

Please note that these GPPs are available to iHV members only.

Updated Parent Tips

The Parent Tips are open access for your to share with your families.

Join Us

If you’re not a member, please join us to get access to all of our resources.

Button 4The iHV is a self-funding charity – we can only be successful in our mission to strengthen health visiting practice if the health visiting profession and its supporters join us on our journey. We rely on our membership to develop new resources for our members.

Membership of the Institute is open to health visitors and anyone working with health visitors or interested in the work of health visitors – such as School Nurses, Nursery Nurses, Mental Health Nurses, Paediatric Nurses, Children’s Centre workers and Directors of Public Health.  Membership of the iHV, a charity, is a widely recognised mark of commitment to health visiting and brings real professional benefits – so do join us now.