The Princess of Wales meets health visitors taking part in a study funded by Centre for Early Childhood


In Nuneaton, The Princess of Wales has met health visitors taking part in a new field study, funded by The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.

The Princess of Wales visits Nuneaton

The field study aims to support the profession to promote infant wellbeing and social and emotional development. Her Royal Highness also visited a drop-in clinic to hear from families about the impact of the support they are receiving from their health visitors.

The Centre for Early Childhood has provided a £50,000 grant for the study which will trial and evaluate the use of the Alarm Distress Baby Scale (ADBB) in the UK and is being run in partnership with the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) and the University of Oxford. The Princess saw first-hand how the ADBB model is being used by health visitors to support parent-infant relationships and early childhood development during her visit to Denmark in February 2022. Following the trip, Her Royal Highness and the Centre for Early Childhood have been working closely with the Institute of Health Visiting to explore the potential for implementation of the ADBB in the UK.

The ADBB model is used to assess how babies are interacting with the world around them. The tool focuses on social behaviours such as eye contact, facial expressions, vocalisation and activity levels to help practitioners and families to better understand the ways babies express their feelings, whilst also supporting parents and carers with bonding and attachment. The ADBB can also be used to recognise early signs of psychological distress, enabling specialist support to be accessed as soon as it is needed.

During her visit to Nuneaton, Her Royal Highness met health visitors who are taking part in the trial and are currently receiving training to learn how to use the ADBB to support the families in their care. The group discussed the importance of ensuring that every child is given the best possible chance at building positive and healthy relationships, and how the ADBB training is allowing them to gain additional practical skills to help deliver this support.

By working closely with people from across the private, public and voluntary sectors, including the early years workforce, The Princess of Wales and the Centre for Early Childhood hope to create a network of shared knowledge and best practice which can be used to identify and collaborate on new solutions and inspire action to drive real, positive change on the early years.

The ADBB trial is running for a period of ten months and is being carried out at the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, and Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust.

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