Public health matters

Viv Bennett

In January 2012, Viv was appointed as the Department of Health’s Director of Nursing and the Government’s Principal Advisor on Public Health Nursing, providing high quality and independent nursing advice to ministers and officials on policy issues and public health nursing. She leads the national Health Visiting Programme and School Nurse Development Programme. As of September 2012, Viv was also appointed the Director of Nursing at Public Health England.

She trained as a nurse in Oxford in 1976 and worked in children’s nursing before training as a health visitor in Oxford in the early 1980s. She worked as a health visitor and research health visitor in Oxford whilst studying for a BA and then
Masters degree in health and social policy.

Viv has worked in a number of NHS operational management and commissioning roles and undertaken nurse executive roles in both provider and commissioning organisations. She has also worked for SHA and local government on projects relating to nursing strategy and services for children and families.

Viv joined the Department of Health (DH) as Deputy Chief Nursing Officer in November 2007. She is a Fellow of the Queen’s Nursing Institute, a Visiting Professor at King’s College London, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Coventry in November 2012.

Health visitors: Giving our children the best possible start

The health visiting service has been transformed in recent years to improve access, experience, outcomes and contribute to reducing health inequalities. This is the story of what's been achieved through more health visitors and renewed vision. Follow @VivJBennett or