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March 25, 2019

Parliament publishes report on first 1,000 days of life

The cross-party Health and Social Care Committee published its report 'The First 1,000 Days of Life' on 26 February.

In it, the committee describes widespread variation in provision of services and a lack of information sharing between healthcare agencies.

The report recommends the implementation of a national strategy for improving the first 1,000 days for children, parents and families, setting goals to reduce adverse childhood experiences, improve school readiness and reduce infant mortality and child poverty.

Dr Max Davie, Officer for Health Improvement at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, says: "The first 1,000 days of a child's life are hugely important for their later health and development. That's why it's so encouraging to see the Health Select Committee call for a long-term, cross-government strategy, with clear goals and a framework for delivery. We would like to see any such strategy focus on a number of key areas including infant deaths, smoking during pregnancy, breastfeeding and immunisation. In each of these areas, childhood poverty has caused poorer health outcomes and increased mortality rates, so tackling inequalities is essential to achieving success."

The report can be accessed here.


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