NCT response: Audit Commission report 'Giving Children a Healthy Start'

Released on: 20 July 2011

A new Audit Commission report, Giving Children a Healthy Start, published today found health care for under-fives has not improved over the past decade.

More than £10 billion has been spent on improving the health of under-fives in England since 1998. The findings show improvements in some aspects of young children’s health. There are fewer deaths in infancy and obesity rates show signs of slowing, but the gap between the health of children in disadvantaged areas and those in better off places has grown.

NCT is disturbed at continuing health inequalities in children when there is clear evidence about what needs to be done to make a real difference to the current and future health of families in the UK. 

Rosie Dodds, NCT Public Policy Officer, says, 

“The NCT welcomes the report, Giving Children a Healthy Start, as it provides a much needed impetus to make children’s services more effective in reducing health inequalities. 

“NCT workers are involved in providing services through children’s centres in some local areas. Our feeling is that much more could be done to reach out and include vulnerable and marginalised families who are not keen to ‘attend’ and access these services for themselves.
 
“We support the Audit Commission’s recommendation that local bodies should co-ordinate policies and targets so that there is a more coherent approach to funding and improving health for young children.”