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State of Health Visiting Survey Reports

State of Health Visiting Annual Survey - 2021

Our 8th annual survey was completed by 1,291 practitioners from across the UK during October 2021. The findings present health visitors’ unique view into the lives of babies, young children and their families who are often hidden behind front doors and invisible to other services. The pandemic is not over – its impact on families has been significant and is ongoing. Health visitors reported soaring rates of domestic abuse, mental health problems, child behaviour problems, poverty, and child safeguarding.

The resounding headline message to policy makers is captured in this report’s sub-title which is a direct quote repeated hundreds of times throughout the survey responses, “We need more health visitors”.

State of Health Visiting Annual Survey - 2020

Our 7th annual survey was completed by 1012 health visitors from across the UK during October and November 2020. This report presents the findings from 862 health visitors in practice in England and highlights the range of issues facing the profession, with significant unwarranted variation in the quality of services available to parents depending on where they live. The findings lay bare the damage that the pandemic has had on families, with the youngest and most vulnerable in our society suffering the most.

State of Health Visiting Annual Survey - 2019

This latest publication from the Institute of Health Visiting presents the findings from an annual health visiting survey completed in November 2019. This latest survey was responded to by 1209 health visitors in the UK, of whom 1040 were working in practice roles. The annual nature of this survey, and the fact that many questions have been repeated in an identical format, year on year, enables a “temperature check” to see how we are doing and the identification of trends by comparisons over time.

State of Health Visiting Annual Survey - 2018

For the last six years the Institute of Health Visiting has surveyed its members on the ‘State of Health Visiting’. Here we report some of the findings from our 2018 survey of over 1200 health visitors and compare them to what health visitors told us in 2015 when their commissioning arrangements were moved from the NHS to Local Authority.

State of Health Visiting Annual Survey - 2017

For the last five years, the Institute of Health Visiting has surveyed its members on the ‘State of Health Visiting’. Here, we report some of the findings of our most recent UK-wide survey, which had a response rate of over 1400 health visitors.

State of Health Visiting Survey 2016

In November 2016, the iHV surveyed its Associates, yielding over 1220 responses from front-line health visitors.

This is the fourth annual survey covering the high-water mark in 2015 of the last government’s Health Visitor Implementation Plan: A Call to Action (Department of Health, 2011) and what has happened since. That Plan aimed to grow the workforce in England by 4,200 to modernise the workforce; and to transform the service in readiness for local authority commissioning and integration with other local children’s services.

iHV Annual Reports

2021 Annual Report

The ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside longstanding challenges facing the health visiting profession formed the backdrop of 2021, the effects of which have touched all our lives. The achievements highlighted in this year’s annual report testify to the hard work of the iHV team, our ever-growing network of partner organisations and supporters, volunteers, members and parents who have shared our journey.

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8th Annual Report

2020 has been a year like none before for health visiting, as it faced the challenges of adapting to a world forced into “lockdown”. The challenges of COVID-19 have been felt both by the Institute and in practice, bringing with them much learning. Our first concern is always the families we support, whom we know this year did not receive either adequate or, in some cases, any support during a crucial time.

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7th Annual Report

It is time to look forward and lay the foundations for a new future for health visiting. We have worked hard with many partners to deliver our evidence-based Vision for the profession and are thrilled by how well it has been received across the system. We are now working across government to seek support for its implementation. The evidence is stark, health visiting does deliver clear public health outcomes in at least fifteen priority areas for children. Stay close – together we can create a better future for babies, children and their families.

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6th Annual Report

Institute has been working hard behind the scenes to raise the concerns of English health visitors, and those of the Institute, regarding the measurable effects of reduced public health budgets on outcomes for all young children and their families. As a result, our voice has been heard by health visiting’s many friends in Parliament, partner organisations, by journalists and by the public.

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5th Annual Report

As the Institute celebrates its 5th year, our team continues to develop and grow, and as a result increase their contributions and impact on the Institute’s core business of improving outcomes for children and families.

We remain endlessly impressed and proud by the work of our amazing members and all that they do everyday. Despite sometimes challenging circumstances, they still give their all to make a difference to children, families and communities.

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4th Annual Report

As we celebrate our fourth birthday, we wonder where four years have gone!
Thank you to each and every one of you who have helped make the Institute the organisation it is today. Without you we could never have got so far, so fast.

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3rd Annual Report

After a standing start just three years ago we can now say with confidence that the Institute is here to stay!

The recurring highlight of this year has been seeing so many of our members becoming local leaders in their communities.

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2nd Annual Report

What a year it’s been! Thrilled to see our innovations liberating the talents of so many in the health visiting profession. This supports our core purpose: to deliver positive health outcomes for children and families nationwide.

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1st Annual Report

Our focus in our first year has been on steady and sustainable development: one of the things the profession needs most.

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Discovery phase AIMS Insight report

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust were awarded funding by the Health
Foundation to work together to consider how to improve analytical capability in health visiting. The timing of this study
brought an unexpected impetus to this work, commencing during the lockdown restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic
in 2020 which accelerated digital transformation across the healthcare system as practitioners sought new ways of
delivering services safely, including better use of data.

Other Reports

Making history: Health visiting during COVID-19 - Good practice case studies (September 2020)

Making History: health visiting during COVID-19”, a collection of case studies which presents a window into the working lives of health visitors and families navigating the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The case studies, family stories and creative pieces capture the pace and scale of change as health visiting services adapted to working during “lockdown”.


Health Visiting during COVID-19: Unpacking redeployment decisions and support for health visitors’ wellbeing (April 2020)

We asked health visitors across the UK what the big issues were for them under the COVID-19 pandemic.  We used the responses very proactively with government to provide a window into health visiting practice in April 2020 and the support that the profession needs.

Health visiting during COVID-19: An iHV report (April 2020)

On 2 April 2020, the Institute of Health Visiting contacted health visitors through the iHV open Facebook page in an attempt to understand the impact that COVID-19 was having on their practice and the families on their caseloads.

Health visitors were asked to respond to two questions. Responses were received from across the UK and the data from all sources were included in this rapid qualitative analysis and identification of key themes. Based on these key themes, the Institute of Health Visiting made recommendations to support the health visiting workforce maximise their contribution and impact as part of the wider COVID-19 response.

Voices from practice (July 2018)

A snapshot of first hand experiences from health visiting services under pressure,
demonstrating the impacts of cuts to public health budgets on the health visiting workforce and the services that they deliver for babies, children and their families.