Review launched into improving health of babies and young children

The team leading a major new national review into improving health outcomes in babies and young children has been invited to Wirral by the Chair of Wirral’s Children and Families Scrutiny Committee.


The review will consider the barriers that impact on early-years development, including social and emotional factors and early childhood experiences. 


It will look at reducing inequalities in young children from birth to age 2-and-a-half, aiming to ensure every baby is given the best possible start in life.


Cllr. Wendy Clements (Conservative, Greasby, Frankby, Irby) said: “The really important early years in a child’s life will often decide how healthy they are for the rest of their lives, how they will develop and grow.


“Here in Wirral, in spite of all the various programmes and initiatives over the years, children living in the lowest income households still have significantly worse health outcomes than other children.


“I very much hope that Wirral will play it’s part in this review and I have today written to those leading the review to ask them to visit our Borough and see for themselves the issues that are affecting some of our most vulnerable children.”


The review will seek to show how to reduce disparities in low birth weight, social and emotional development in early years, and reduce impacts of vulnerability and adverse childhood experiences in this stage of life.


Research from NHS England suggests that 1 in 5 mums and 1 in 10 dads experience mental health problems during pregnancy and after birth. Pregnancy can often be a trigger for domestic abuse, with between 15% and 30% of domestic violence cases starting during this time.


Understanding lessons learned from COVID-19, including minimising the risks from the pandemic to very young children, and better using technology, the government will work with academics, health professionals and other experts to identify policies and services that will improve the outcomes for vulnerable babies, children and their families.


Health Minister Jo Churchill added: “Most babies are born healthy and enjoy a safe and nurturing childhood. We know the first 1,000 days of a child’s life is critical, providing a solid foundation as children for growth and development throughout their lives.


However, some do not have the same advantages. We want to remove barriers so that all babies and young children are supported and nurtured to be ready for school and ready for life.”