Autumn 2013 Newsletter iHV
View this email in your browser
Social Media

Are you following the iHV  on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with our news? 

Large numbers are.
Autumn 2013 
Autumn has proved a time for reflection as we approach our first birthday.  A year ago we certainly couldn’t have predicted that we would be where we are now.
We are thrilled at how much in demand the iHV already is. There is so much to be done in the health visiting world that we think that we are going to be busy for a long time.
Our focus remains on strengthening the quality and consistency of health visiting but to a large extent this first year has had to focus on laying down our processes as a new charity and establishing relationships with the many organisations who have an interest in the work of the health visitor. 

Latterly however, we have had the opportunity to deliver on a number of projects, and have greatly enjoyed doing so. Further details are later in the newsletter. 

This has been a very challenging year for the NHS with new structures and organisations now sharing the responsibilities for delivering effective health visiting services. We will play our part in actively working with all of these on behalf of the profession and in supporting the upcoming transition to local authority commissioning of health visiting services which is expected to accelerate in 2014.

 Dr Cheryll Adams
 Founding Director, iHV

Last opportunity for health visitors to be Founding Associates of the iHV

This opportunity will only remain open to applications received before the 28th November our launch date.  If you would like to be part of our history do sign up now and your membership status will be recognized with a Foundation Associate Certificate and you will keep the title 'Founding Associate' as lasting acknowledgement of your contribution to our start-up phase. However you will receive much more including a popular lanyard, access to all our new evidence based publications, the monthly iHV Times and now free access to 3 new e-learning units on perinatal mental health and the opportunity to be part of the national testing of our e-Community of Practice.  Non health visitors can also join us as Founding Friends.  To join look for the Join us buttons on the iHV website:

Corporate membership of the iHV - Be one of our Founding Corporate members

Corporate membership, when all health visitors, and often student health visitors, in an organization are joined to the iHV continues to be popular as it ensures that every health visitor in an organization has access to the growing resources of the iHV.  These now include, access to the e-Community of Practice during phase 2 of its testing.  Corporate membership is supported by NHS England - as the iHV is a charity any income it raises, through its corporate schemes and other means is used to strengthen the facilities that it can offer health visitors and their employers.  The latest organization to join all its health visitors and students corporately is Oxford. The iHV has recently extended its corporate scheme to higher education institutions. To be a founding corporate member you must commit to joining us before 28th November. For further information contact

1001 Critical Days Manifesto

The iHV contributed to the development of the 1001 Critical Days Manifesto and we are one of the organisations who have endorsed it.  This important manifesto has cross party support from the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrate and Green Parties and makes the case for every party to invest in services and policies to support infants and their families in the critical period between conception and two when the foundations of physical, social and emotional health is laid down. The manifesto was launched in a fringe meeting hosted by WAVE Trust at the three main political conferences.  Dr Cheryll Adams was on the panel at the Labour party conference where the event was supported by Frank Field MP and Andy Burnham. See the manifesto here. Please read it and tell your colleagues about it, it needs to be very influential.


Voices is a new development for the popular iHV website.  It is a place where health visitors, opinion leaders and others can reflect and/or comment on something of interest or value to the profession.  We welcome contributions - to discuss your ideas please contact Dr Cheryll Adams –

New resources for our Associates

Community of Practice  (Resources)
Now available to Associates to support phase 2 of its testing having already gone through extensive piloting with discrete groups of health visitors.   We hope that Associates will help us refine it further by upping the usage rate
Perinatal mental health on-line training 
An opportunity for all our associates to access the on-line training developed to support the recent Champions training.  These units will also be available to all health visitors via the eLfH website.
Perinatal mental health resource section
We have been developing this and other sections of our resources to support practice.  Associate members can expect an explosion of new information in the resource section over the next few months.

International activity

In August Dr Cheryll Adams was invited to launch a Global Public Health Nursing Network at the 3rd International Public Health Nursing Network conference in Galway, Ireland.

The iHV will be working with representatives from Ireland, Norway, the USA, Japan, Australia and many other countries to establish the Network as a place where public health nurses across the globe can come together to discuss areas of interest and to support the development of public health services in countries where none exist.  Already the Network has attracted interest and support from the WHO, UNESCO and UNICEF. 

In November Dr Cheryll Adams will be presenting on health visiting on behalf of the Department of Health and UNICEF at the 35th Anniversary of Alma Arta conference in Kazakhstan.  UNICEF believe the health visiting model should be influencing the development of home visiting service in developing countries.  
Wellbeing plan and perinatal mental health report

The iHV has been working with partners, the Boots Family Trust, Netmums, Tommys and the Royal College of Midwives to survey mothers and health professionals about their view of services in relation to perinatal mental health.  Over 2000 health professionals, largely health visitors, contributed to the professional aspect of the report which was launched on 10th October. 

Due to very real concerns that mothers are ill prepared for the quite significant likelihood of suffering any of a range of perinatal mental illness in the ante and postnatal period this partnership also launched a Wellbeing Plan, designed to be given to every mother by their midwife or health visitor.  The plan helps the mother to consider in advance who she might turn to for support and help should she become unwell.  It is also designed to reduce the stigma of emotional illness and thereby encourage professional help to be sought promptly if required.  The plan can be found in the For Families section of the iHV website and the report here.


'Perinatal Mental Health: a priority for public health'
The iHV are running a second conference in partnership with the RSPH. This will take place at 28 Portland Place, London on 12th February 2014.  It will particularly appeal to health visitors but also seeks to place perinatal mental illness in the context of longer term public health consequences when mothers go unsupported so will be useful for the wider public health community and commissioners. Confirmed speakers include Professor Vivette Glover, Sally Russell, Dr Angela Underdown and Dr Alain Gregoire.  The full programme will be published shortly.  For further details:
Marce International Conference, Swansea, September 2014

Hosted by health visitor and Marce President, Dr Jane Hanley this is a brilliant conference for all those interested in perinatal mental health.  It is the bi-annual 3 day international meeting where delegates hear about the most cutting edge practice and research.  The iHV are actively supporting this conference and expert to host a fringe event for Perinatal Mental Health Champions and other health visitors. Go to for more details. 

Education and training

Perinatal Mental Health Champions Training
Supported by a Department of Health grant; obtained through competitive tender, this was delivered to health visitors in 10 regions of the country during June, July and August 2013.  To date, we have created 299 Champions from 108 organisations and will be running 3 more sessions over the next few months when we hope to recruit from those organisations not so far represented. The Champion’s remit is to disseminate the training to all the health visitors in their organization and to become a local resource for perinatal mental heath supported by the iHV.  Ultimately the intention is that this project will improve the quality and consistency of services that health visitors are able to offer mothers who have perinatal mental illness, ensuring prompt case finding and early support.  It was an exciting project which allowed us to engage with health visitors around the country, to hear their concerns and to understand what the iHV can do to support them in practice.  We are continuing to support them as they roll out the training to their colleagues.
Sleep Training
The iHV has developed a training package for health visitors to help them support families experiencing sleep difficulties in their very young children.  This is providing popular and can now be commissioned for local delivery.  For further details please contact the iHV business manager at:

Quality Assurance
The iHV now has a quality assurance process for its education and training activities which will help to ensure that they meet the needs of those attending and to be provided to a high standard.

Partnership work

The iHV is working on research and other projects with a range of partners.  These include the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), the NSPCC, Mellow Parenting, WAVE Trust, The Boots Family Trust and CAPT.
Think Tank
In January 2014 the iHV is hosting a high level Think Tank in partnership with NHS England. This will bring together national leaders with an interest in health visiting to consider how to strengthen the profession and its services for 2015 and beyond.
Consultancy role
Some of the things the iHV has contributed to in the past 3 months:
  • The Select Committee review of Children’s Centres
  • Chief Medical Officer’s Annual Report planning
  • The NICE quality standard and indicators for Normal Postnatal Care
  • The NICE Domestic Violence guideline consultation
  • Children’s Outcome Framework discussions
  • A Ministerial Round Table with the NSPCC and Maternal Mental Health Alliance focused on perinatal    mental health
  • Bookstart’s book selection
  • Work looking at the effects of homelessness on babieS
  • Home Office work on body image
  • The development of a national indicator for perinatal depression
  • London health visitor action plan
Trustee Professor Dame Sarah Cowley is a member of Frank Field’s  Foundation Years Action Group, to which Sally Russell (iHV Chair) and Dr Cheryll Adams are advisors. Cheryll Adams is also on the advisory group for the Big Lottery Healthy Start consultancy work led by the Dartington research group and is supporting work to update the evidence base for the Healthy Child Programme, and the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Early Years.
Kids enjoying Veggies

A new product to solve the dilemma of parents exasperated by their fussy kids at mealtimes has been launched by the charity Weight Concern, based on research from psychologists at UCL. Eating behaviour experts have spent a decade researching the effectiveness of child feeding strategies, resulting in a new pack called Tiny Tastes which has now been tested – with impressive results – and is available online
Help required- Antenatal pathways and supporting IT solutions

Do you know of any areas which have managed to develop robust systems for the antenatal pathway and any IT solutions for this. If you do , please email

iHV Evidence digests

A new evidence digest has been published: "Talking with and advising about child immunization" written by Dr Helen Bedford, of UCL Dr Bedford uses evidence to explain that in their work of promoting immunisation and improving uptake rates, health visitors need to be aware of particular issues in their locality, as different interventions may be needed for these very different groups of children. This adds to existing evidence digests which have focused on blood spotting, sleep and cow's milk allergy. 


iHV Services

Consultancy support
The iHV can now support the NHS, local authorities, other employers of health visitors and others through training, consultancy, the development of health visiting related publications and events. Our mission is to improve public health outcomes for children, families and communities through a strengthened health visiting service. If you are needing to get a piece of research, development, education or other project work done do considering contacting us to discuss (obligation free) how we may be able to help. Please contact us at or 0207265 7318.
iHV supplies local training for health visitors
If you need to provide local training for your health visitors we may be able to help.  The iHV can supply a range of cost effective training and updating solutions on a range of health visitor related and public health topics in-house. We can also provide speakers for local conferences and professional forums.  Please contact us to discuss your needs: or 0207265 7318.  Recent courses have covered the management of sleep difficulties and perinatal depression. 
NB:  the iHV is currently recruiting specialist/expert trainers to deliver our training programmes.
 Email your CV with a short statement about your interest/expertise to

Copyright © 2013 Institute of Health Visiting, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences