Thursday, 19 April 2018

Giving young children a better start in life – is it just a lottery?

I was pleased to read, in Children and Young People Now, about improvements to the health visiting service in the English seaside town of Blackpool. 

The improvements consist of increased visits to families expecting or raising young children. According to Children and Young People Now this means that health visitors will now see families for the first time at 28 weeks of pregnancy. They will then visit children within 14 days of birth and then again on four occasions during the child’s first 12 months. The visits will also be more parent-centred, focusing on their concerns.

That sounds to me exactly what a health visiting service should be like. It’s exactly what families need and require. The only sad piece of news is that Blackpool is one of only five areas in England to be receiving extra funding for its health visiting service, not from the government but from the Big Lottery Fund.

I think all areas should receive this kind of service and it should be funded from taxation, not from gambling. The right to a good healthy start to life should never be a matter of chance.