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“Government’s Baby Blindspot must end” say First 1001 Days Members

22nd July 2021

First 1001 Days logo

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) joins over 60 First 1001 Days member organisations who have today jointly written to the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, asking him to address the impacts of the pandemic on babies and their families, and to take longer-term action to ensure all our children have the best start in life.

Alison Morton, Executive Director iHV, said:

“The importance of getting it right for every child cannot be over-emphasised. The needs of babies, children, and young people have all too often been overlooked in pandemic policymaking. Although some money has recently been spent on mitigating the impact of the pandemic on older children, nothing has been spent or allocated to children aged under two.

“We now need the Government to prioritise on babies’ health and wellbeing, and those of their families, to ensure that all children have the best start in life. Giving our babies the best start in life can improve health and wellbeing for decades to come and positively impact future generations.”

The letter describes three things that the Secretary of State should prioritise to make a significant difference:

  1. Securing funding in the upcoming Spending Review to deliver the Government’s Best Start for Life vision.
  2. Setting out clear expectations in the Health and Care Bill that local partners will cooperate in order to improve outcomes and reducing inequalities for children in the first 1001 days.
  3. Ensure that the new Office of Health Promotion can intervene when a local area is not delivering the Healthy Child Programme or is experiencing poor, declining, or unequal outcomes in the first 1001 days, providing additional support and resources where needed.