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The new Scotland Child Disability Payment has opened for applications from people living in three pilot areas.

Families of children with a disability or long-term health condition living in Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and Western Isles council areas who need financial support should apply to the new system.

This is the first application-based disability benefit to be introduced by the Scottish Government and will be administered by Social Security Scotland. The benefit replaces the UK Government’s Disability Living Allowance for children.

The pilot will be followed by a nationwide roll out in the autumn and is for families applying for the first time for this benefit. Those already in receipt of Disability Living Allowance for children do not need to apply and their cases will be transferred in future.

Calling all health visitors in Scotland…sign up to join NSPCC Scotland’s hustings on 26 April (10:00-12:00) to give all of Scotland’s babies a Fair Start in life.

See their invite below:

What?

NSPCC Scotland, supported by Children in Scotland, are hosting a virtual hustings on Monday, 26 April, 10-12noon, focused on safeguarding and support in the early years.

The event will raise awareness of the distinct needs of babies and their families, as we emerge from the pandemic, with parliamentary candidates in advance of the Scottish elections.

The panel will include representatives from all of Scotland’s political parties, including the Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd.

They have also invited families, health visitors, midwives, social workers, early years staff, third sector partners, family nurse partnership teams and specialist perinatal and infant mental health services to raise issues from practice with political parties.

Why?

Babies need us to fight for them. They are a uniquely vulnerable group of children; they are completely dependent on adults for their care and protection, and cannot verbalise their needs or seek support.

Around 50, 000 babies will have been born in Scotland since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic[1], born into a society of heightened anxiety and stress. While we might think infants will be too young to remember, we must not overlook the impact the pandemic will have had on them and their families.[2]

There is extensive evidence showing early experiences have profound effects on lifelong development. Yet, last year in Scotland, around half of the children on the child protection register, and over a third of children coming into the care system, were younger than five years old[3].

The Promise[4] has as a key foundation the provision of better and more responsive scaffolding for families. Despite a decade of policy frameworks which recognise the importance of the early years, of early intervention and prevention[5], the scale of ambition is not matched by the scale of investment.

They believe getting it right for families in the early years is the most efficient and cost-effective way to realise Scotland’s long-held aspirations around equality and prevention.

Following incorporation of the UNCRC, they want to hear how political parties will deliver a rights-based approach to budget setting and decision making to ensure early years services are holistic, preventative and integrated to better support families.

How?

Sign up to join this important event to give voice to the distinct needs and rights of babies with decision makers

They look forward to seeing you there😊


[1] Based on previous year birth rates. See https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/files/statistics/rgar/2019/Pages/bir-sec.html

[2] https://www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/news/the-babies-in-lockdown-report

[3] https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/statistics/2021/03/childrens-social-work-statistics-2019-20/documents/childrens-social-work-statistics-scotland-2019-20/childrens-social-work-statistics-scotland-2019-20/govscot%3Adocument/childrens-social-work-statistics-scotland-2019-20.pdf?forceDownload=true

[4] https://www.carereview.scot/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/The-Promise.pdf

[5] EY Framework; https://www.gov.scot/publications/early-years-framework/pages/4/ 

9 – 15 October, Baby Loss Awareness Week #BLAW2018, sees the publication of a significant piece of national collaborative work to develop a National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP).

Statistics for #babyloss tell us that around 15 babies died before, during or soon after birth every day in the UK in 2015. Of those, 9 babies a day were stillborn1. Additionally, one in four women will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime and one in one hundred will endure recurrent miscarriages (more than 3 in a row)2. Many of these women and their partners will go on to have a successful pregnancy and others may already be parents. Therefore, as health visitors we will already be working alongside many families affected by baby loss, and will contribute to the delivery of quality care to support new parents through a devastating time.

iHV has been honoured to be part of the National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP) work for England over the past year, meeting alongside 13 or more different national charities and professional bodies (Bliss, Lullaby Trust, RCM, RCN, etc) on the project led by Marc Harder for SANDS, with the support of the Department of Health and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Baby Loss. The aim for the project is to ensure that all bereaved parents are offered equal, high quality, individualised, safe and sensitive care in any experience of pregnancy or baby loss, be that miscarriage, termination of pregnancy for fetal anomaly, stillbirth, neonatal death, or sudden unexpected death in infancy (up to 12 months).

The NBCP Core Group has overseen the development of specific pathways to support each experience of loss described above, with the Training sub-group creating a training toolkit to support dissemination. There has been a Wave 1 pilot of the pathway in 32 sites from October 2017 and a further 21 sites in Wave 2, including one area of Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust that employs health visitors. Valuable feedback from hundreds of professionals and parents has fed into the project and shaped this vital work to ensure that it supports the delivery of consistently confident, parent-centred, empathic and safe care when a baby dies.

Go to: www.nbcpathway.org.uk to review the Sudden and Unexpected Death in Infancy (up to 12 months) pathway. See also: National Bereavement Care Pathway – standards.

The work is now heading towards national roll out and will bring huge benefits to parents and professionals alike. Please share this work amongst your health visiting colleagues and managers to discuss how the pathway and standards might be implemented in your area. Dissemination is key – help spread the message as widely as you can with all your multi-agency colleagues (GPs, Midwives etc) and check they are aware of the emergence of the national pathway.

Of note there is also work commencing in Scotland this month to bring the NBCP project to Scotland. Please contact [email protected] if you are an HV and would be interested in contributing to the Scotland project.

  1. https://www.sands.org.uk/about-sands/media-centre/blog/2017/06/every-96-minutes-baby-dies
  2.  https://www.tommys.org/our-organisation/charity-research/pregnancy-statistics/miscarriage accessed 27.9.18

RCN Scotland has launched their latest publication today: Measuring Success: principles for a new approach to improving health and wellbeing in Scotland.

The paper follows on from the sustainability statement the RCN published last year with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland. In that there was a united call for visionary change and bold action to make services sustainable for the future.

This new publication, developed through open and frank discussions with partners across sectors and professions, sets out nine principles which the RCN believes could, and should, form the basis for a new approach to measuring success in Scotland’s health and wellbeing services.

You can join in the discussion on Twitter – @RCNScot #inthespotlight

Two new e-publications on preconception health, education and care in Scotland.  These e-publications are intended to raise awareness about preconception health, education and care, particularly within the Scottish context. This, it is hoped, will lead to many positive actions (large and small; national, local and individual) that prospective mothers and fathers across Scotland find informative, valuable, empowering and supportive as they make their decisions about parenthood. While individual choices are crucial, it also is the case that larger societal forces, political choices and structural issues can powerfully shape what is true for individuals and couples.

The main report “Missed Periods: Scotland’s opportunities for better pregnancies, healthier parents and thriving babies the first time . . . and every time” is a 45-page evidence-based report (including links to extensive references and international resources).

A brief version of this report “Prepared for Pregnancy?: Preconception health, education and care in Scotland” is an introduction and overview of the above more detailed report.  This also includes the advance reviews by a leading public health professor in Scotland and the senior advisor on preconception health to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood (herself an obstetrician) also reviewed this report in advance and has been publicly supportive of it.

These two e-publications were commissioned by NHS GG&C’s Public Health Director, Dr Linda de Caestecker.