Short film focusing on crucial child health visitor role launched

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) has launched a new short film highlighting the ‘critical’ role health visitors play in improving child health.
Cheryll Adams

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) has launched a new short film highlighting the ‘critical’ role health visitors play in improving child health.

Health visitors and families feature in the five-minute piece, filmed in the style of a TV news report and fronted by ITN newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky.


Families reveal how health visitors have supported them through difficult times in their lives, including experiencing postnatal depression, housing problems or domestic abuse.

The programme’s release comes amid a fall in health visitor numbers in England in the past two years, which the iHV says is the result of cuts to public health budgets.

In December 2016 the iHV surveyed its members in response to NHS Digital figures showing 988 full-time posts had been lost across England between September 2015 and August 2016.

A total of 85% of the 1,224 health visitors surveyed said their workload had increased in the past two years, with 40% putting this down to a reduction in staff numbers.

‘Critical cog’

Cheryll Adams, iHV executive director, said: ‘Health visitors are a critical cog in each child’s journey to adulthood and work to improve public health outcomes for all children, helping to reduce health inequalities across the UK.

‘Children’s needs seem to have become invisible among the many competing demands being made on the government and the NHS.

‘We want ministers and commissioners to understand that we cannot afford not to invest in our children’s health.’

The programme has been produced as part of a series called The Public’s Health Across the Life Course, and was produced in partnership by the Royal Society for Public Health and ITN Productions.

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