Released on: 07 October 2021

In response to a Petitions Committee Report which calls on the Government to publish a dedicated covid-19 recovery strategy for new parents, Sarah McMullen, Director of Impact and Engagement, NCT, who gave evidence to the Committee, said:

‘This report recognises the very serious and accumulating impact of Covid-19 for parents and babies. One year on, we share the Committee’s bitter disappointment that so little has been done to mitigate the risks to safety and wellbeing at such a vulnerable stage in life.

‘There have clearly been damaging and dangerous gaps in support that have left some parents feeling abandoned. These gaps have exacerbated inequalities that already existed, including for families living in areas of deprivation or from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. It is unacceptable that such little attention could be paid to those most at risk.

‘We support the calls for the Government to fund an expansion of the health visitor workforce. It is essential that new families get this specialist support and safeguarding, especially for those experiencing challenging circumstances or poor mental health.

‘The recommendations that all new families should receive an in-person visit at home before the end of this year is also welcome, alongside capacity building in community and mental health support for new parents. The Government must recognise that the need is immediate - long term plans are all very well but any further delay really is too little, too late.’

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